Hair of the fish

There’s something strangely voyeuristic about losing your hair. It’s like watching a car crash in extremely slow motion. You know what’s coming, and it’s not pleasant, but it is somewhat fascinating. For a time you quietly pretend it’s not happening, as if looking away will solve the problem. But gradually, as the cars get closer and the sink gets increasingly clogged, it’s harder and harder to ignore.

Going au naturel when young is perhaps the cruelest way. The teenage years are only just gone, and finally you’re getting a little more comfortable with the carcass God gave you. Every now and then you notice what it’s like to be an ‘adult’. Feelings of responsibility, guilt and an increasing desire to go fishing 24/7. You realise time does move on, some things do change and you do grow slowly older.


Then you notice the eagerness that some of those precious strands on the noggin seem to have for running off. The hair brush, the coat, they seem to cling to anything and soon you’re obsessing about the whole thing and a panic sets in. What will the women think? The occasionally comforting “it’s ok, I’m a fly fisherman, who really needs a woman anyway” gag starts to sound hollow. You begin to notice people with plenty of hair. Folks with thick, dark hair provide a particularly fascinating spectacle. How can hair even be that thick? Every now and then a rich strawberry blond holds your gaze for just a little too long. Man, woman, it doesn’t matter any more. Things are getting desperate.


Plenty of hair under that hat…

One thing that does surprise the person afflicted is the sheer number of the blighters to begin with. Months go by, hundred of hairs disappear, yet still just enough remain to sow the seed of ‘maybe… maybe it’s all a bad dream’. Then after a good while, maybe a couple of years, an old photograph brings your mind to a sharp focus. Bugger.

This is a fishing/hillwalking blog. I’ve deliberately refrained from posting stuff about politics or my pet ant. So of course this post is about fishing… well, fly tying. One thing about having so much extra hair around the place is that it provides a whole new avenue of thought in fly tying material. I’m thinking nice, translucent nymph bodies. Perhaps if I use some really quality shampoo the end result will sparkle that little bit extra. I’m thinking something with papaya and powerbait extract. Only problem is I’m not a woman. That, however, is a whole other blog post.


  1. opax’s avatar

    Mik, it’s good to have you back. Maybe a bit angst-driven but this is great writing.

  2. Alex’s avatar

    Maybe that pet ant of yours has been feasting on your folicles while you sleep.

    Talking of hair, Alistair & myself – despite every effort – are still having trouble procuring the ‘special ingredient.’One day…

    Let me know how the great shampoo experiment goes. Maybe you will have trout leaping from the water to graze on your powerbait-infused mop! Then it’s just a question of hook size….!


  3. Mike’s avatar

    Hi there opax and alex.

    Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comments. It has been a bit dry of late around the river Tamanawis, but I’m hoping to get back to normal soon.

    Plenty to write about now, so stay tuned.

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