Feather Shortage Concerns Fly Fishermen


By Michelle Costa

TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT-TV) - A new fashion trend called hair feathering is all the rage with women across the nation putting feathers in their hair.

But, that's leading to a very big problem: a shortage of those prized feathers.

That, in turn, isn't making fly fishermen very happy.

"It's affecting us here as much as anywhere. We get calls on a regular basis from all over the country looking for feather and we've been out for 5 months,” said James Harper, Sportsman’s Warehouse.

James Harper is on the front line of a feather shortage.

Women are now storming fly fishing shops like Sportsman's Warehouse to get their hands on hackles, the long rooster feathers that supposedly make the best extensions.

"It got out that fly shops have these feathers and they can get them cheaper than hairdressers. Feathers are selling now as high as $5 to $6 a feather,” said Harper.

In some places, feathers that used to sell for $20 are now $300.

The problem is that the feathers the girls are putting in their hair aren't everyday chicken feathers.

They're the most valued both by fly–tiers and, lately, fashionistas.

So why all the hype?

"It's a fun way to have the girls express themselves. It's easy. It's quick. It's not real permanent,” said Emily Asher, Emily’s Hair Design.

At Emily's Hair Design, the feather fad is definitely catching on.

"Probably every day I do a couple of girls. Some older women want one feather and younger want a lot and bright colors,” said Asher.

Amid no sign of this rage dying down, fly fishermen are stocking up now.

"Just the idea that there are more women than saddle hackles. It will cut into the pockets of fishermen like me,” said Lance Jennings, Fly Fisherman.

All that's left are empty shelves and that's ruffled the feathers of many.

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