Coming Events: Rob Russell versus Ashley Doty – Feather Wrestling, at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop….
In this corner, looking lean, mean, and ready to rumble, we have “Intruder Rob the Fishing-Machine Russell.” In the other corner, we have “Artisan Ashley Earring-Creatin’ Dynamo Doty.”
Yes, folks, it has indeed come to this amazing situation, when gentlemen and ladies are increasingly finding themselves in a race to scour the Caddis Fly “Great Wall of Saddles”, intent on their quarry, seeking beautifully marked natural and dyed, narrow, ultra long, most excellent rooster saddle feathers.
Whut’s up? This is weird beyond weird. Unexpected. Earth shaking. A test of the boundaries of the human imagination, I think.
Us guys, selective and sometimes nerdy fly tying and fly fishing addicts, have been stunned – brought to our knees – by a shortage of natural and dyed rooster saddles for fly tying. We want these rooster feathers to tie Intruders for salmon and steelhead. We want to tie streamers for Bull Trout or tarpon. We want long saddles to palmer our Chinook Comets. We want long natural and grizzly rooster saddle feathers to tie Stimulators and Humpies and Royal Wulffs, Renegades, Blue Uprights, Adams, and all sorts of dry flies.
We guys want these Beautiful Rooster saddle feathers for legitimate, traditional, time honored, respectable, utilitarian and manly purposes.
But suddenly, in the last several months, the playing field has been turned upside down. We were caught off guard, off our saddles, so to speak. Our feather-supply territory has been invaded by women who don’t know a dang thing about a Steelhead Intruder, nor do they care one little tiny bit about tying flies.
First hint was not so long ago when Nate noticed that young women were wandering into the Caddis Fly, looking pretty lost, (also pretty and lost), strangers to the unique environs of a fly fishing shop, until they found the “Wall of Saddles.” That was it. Giggles. High pitched squeals of delight. Heads pressed together, wide eyed, whispering while they admired these feathers that were formerly the exclusive territory of us fly tyers.
Among the first “causalities” to the fly tying scene were the “Pick-Yer-Pocket” packs of mixed color saddle feathers. Something like five years of saved-up scraps from Hareline Dubbin flew off the shelves in a few weeks. Next to go was a steady stream of strung rooster saddles, natural and dyed grizzly variant saddles, strung rooster schlappen, extra select marabou quills, ostrich plumes, strung peacock herl, peacock eyed feathers, and peacock sword feathers. Not even the lemon Wooduck was immune to the feminine feather-shopping list.
Then the dyed grizzly saddle patches with long feathers in purple, kingfisher blue, olive, yellow, orange, green, olive, golden olive, black, and brown flew out the door. Yes they did. They flew out the door with the laughing happy ladies, about as fast as we could re-supply the “Wall.” Days evolved into weeks and still the ladies kept trooping into the Shop, and the ultra long saddle feathers dwindled. Meanwhile, our regular fly tying customers, mostly guys, were more than a little taken aback by the “shortage” of long rooster saddle feathers they had come to rely on for so many fly tying purposes.
Ooops. Just realized that I haven’t explained why the ladies want these ultra long saddle feathers. They braid long thin rooster saddle feathers into their hair. They make earrings with the dang things. It is all quite artistic and attractive, and the ladies surely sparkle with a special radiance when they wear these feathery creations.
At first, it was principally our in-store feminine customers mining the “Great Wall of Saddles”. Then these fine artistic ladies found us on the Internet. Whoa, ladies, how about giving the fly tyers a break? No dice. Limited supplies, high demand, and many of our devoted fly tying customers have continued to be frustrated by the shortage of their favorite saddle feathers.
So Chris took matters into his able hands recently, and arranged for the conveyance of several large bags of cash across the country to secure at least a temporary supply of the finest rooster saddle feathers for both fly tying, hair braiding, and jewelry making (read: earrings, mostly). But PLEASE, ladies – this has put a serious crimp on our fly tying supplies, and it has to be dealt with swiftly.
Next chapter to the drama. From a secret agent in an undisclosed location, Chris Daughters arranged procurement of roughly 300 (yes, three hundred) Eurohackle Saddle patches that have just arrived at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop.
Colors? You betcha there are colors. Lavender saddle feathers. Golden yellow grizzly saddle feathers. Lavender grizzly saddle feathers. Dun. Yellow Grizzly. Orange grizzly. Coachman brown. Unique variant. Pale watery dun. Furnace. Cream. Brown. Any shade of dun you can imagine. Natural grizzly. Light ginger. Grizzly variant saddle feathers. Light and dark barred grizzly. Ghost barred white. Golden straw grizzly. Barred ginger. And several other delectable colors of natural and dyed rooster saddle feathers too.
So, ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to browse our stunning new supply of the hottest and most desirable rooster saddle feathers to please both fly tyer and feminine craftswoman.
Don’t forget to join us for the Nau Trunk show at the shop men’s and women’s fall apparel 20% off. Ninkasi, Wine and snacks.