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Fly Tying Sex Appeal

Comparing fly-fishing to the wonderful world of dating, a surprising number of similarities.

December 20, 2012
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By nature, fly-fishermen are salesmen. And let’s face it — sex sells. Our job as anglers should always be to pitch every fish we throw to. That being said, what better way to peddle our wares than to incorporate a little bit of sex appeal into our products?

It recently occurred to me that an interesting comparison can be drawn between fly-fishing and the wonderful world of dating. Yep, the mind-set of an angler really doesn’t deviate too far from that of a zealous bachelorette prepping for a night out on the town. Just like she scours her closet to find the perfect dress and rifles through her jewelry box for accessories that exude hints of flair, don’t we essentially go through the same frantic process before sitting down to tie flies? All of us reading this magazine have probably haphazardly thrown heaps of fur and piles of feathers that simply won’t do over our shoulder until — finally — the sexiest material colored in a way that looks good in any light suddenly appears. In order to complete the ensemble, we then repeat the process until we locate accouterments that move provocatively and emit kisses of flash. Why? Because like the bachelorette, we too want our fly to be dressed in a way that showcases its most endearing features, lines and curves.

Once our hook has been donned with jaw-dropping attire, what do we do? We remove the fly from the vise, snip away any unwanted hairs, groom the chosen fibers with our fingers until they lie flawlessly and then examine the finished creation from all angles. This ritual completely parallels the way the bachelorette plucks the peach fuzz from her eyebrows, which, by the way, is probably more painful than it is effective — ladies, most guys would never notice. Like us, she too will inevitably fluff her hair one last time and check herself out head to toe in a full-length mirror from the front, the sides and, most importantly, the back just before heading out the door.

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Once the dressed-to-the-nines bachelorette enters her chosen fishing local, she has one objective — to get noticed. To accomplish this, she doesn’t casually walk, nor does she boastfully strut. When she looks good and knows she looks good, she seductively slinks through the room and strategically stops in the zone of her prey. Perhaps, to draw more attention, she gives her suitors a little wiggle, or maybe she resists the urge to move altogether and remains motionless so she can be admired until attention is acknowledged. This tactical walk, calculated wiggle and deliberate stop are precisely the maneuvers we use to catch the eye of the fish we seek.

Now, if only fishing and dating were that simple. Isn’t it funny how, in both activities, things never seem to go the way we plan? However, every once in a while, a connection does occur. Women and fish are both beautiful creatures, and whether its a totally butchered pickup line or a completely blown cast, they have the innate ability to bewilder our minds and actions.

Keep this comparison in mind the next time you find yourself at the vise and start hiking up the metaphoric skirts of your flies. On the water, seduce your quarry by making your best-dressed offering move in perfect sync with the rhythm of the tide, and sell it using the oldest sales trick in the book.

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