The last edition of This is Fly is just out. Slick and cool as usual. The fly tying section caught my eye though. Thomas Harvey ties a outlandish sort of shrimp-minnow hybrid streamer, obviously conceived under the influence of some substance. Probably excellent on Florida salt, I guess. So far, so good.
But what striked me is the little piece of writing that comes attached. Conceptualizing his work, Harvey resorts to notions he borrows from porn, i.e. the sex selling industry. Nothing shocking, of course, mere hints, but still the question is: how do you make a fly enticing, understood as sexy. I’ll let you check how he contrasts barely legal siliconed designed products with old school beauties au naturel — please, someone tell him how you write that in French — it’s not my point. We already had another barely legal in the tying business, so I sense a trend here. Drawing inspiration from the same wells as Galloup, Harvey (aptly) called the aforementioned hybrid Hairy Down Under.
Bob Wyatt, who forgot how to be stupid a long ago, produced this incredibly deep idea that fly tying is an affair closely related to the history of visual arts. I already talked about that here and there. The aesthetics of porn heavily influence our contemporary visual culture. That it reaches up to fly tying is quite revealing in that respect. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I object in principle. I have more than often advocated that the main reason why one should fish a barbless dry with a perfect loop is that it makes you sexier. Yet porn, as an industry, is not necessarily led by fine taste and delicacy, qualities I still tend to associate with fly fishing. I’ll sign a manifesto for eroticism in flytying any day.
If you can guess who’s the fishing dude up there without using google’s superpowers, I’ll be seriously impressed (I would never have). Have a go in the coms. And Harvey is pro at Clear Cure Goo, and this stuff seriously seems to be the dog’s bollocks. I need to get some.