What’s Wrong With Tweedy?

Fly-fishing elitism has long been associated with pipe smoking, wicker creels and tweed jackets.  Fly fishers like trend-bashing as much—or more—than participants in other outdoors sports, and the new media angling writer who suggests that something classic is actually smart risks the most terrifying prospect of all: no Retweets.

But as a retort to what style-maven Tred Barta said in 2008 (“Fly fishing has become an embarrassment and a joke”) why don’t we leap past the silliness of the moment, follow the advice of top New York fashion designers, and embrace the Retro Chic?  Everyone else is. Cyclists were among the first to go retro, and single-speed bikes and cruisers are the new eye candy.  The new Fiat 500 is a contender for Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year.  Ranch style architecture is the new cool in house design.

Harris Tweed

Granted, some fly fishers are ahead of the curve, embracing the glamour that once was in the form of retro rod materials and even Chokoloskee Loafers.

But we can do more.  Let’s Be Like Mike (that was 20 years ago, by the way) and follow Nike down the path of looking behind to look ahead.  Otherwise two years from now we’ll still all be wearing improved 2012 fashion, which will be so…. 2012.  (Challenge to fly fishing apparel manufacturers: embrace vulcanized rubber for 2014.)

You don’t have to dress like this man to prove the point.  You can simply pick up a pair of Adidas Tweed Half Shells and at your next Bro Fest casually reference Scotland’s Tweed River and your plans to fish there during the next salmon run.  What could be cooler?

Want to get Tweedy?  Start with Brain Picking‘s excellent review of Harris Tweed: From Land to Street.  Or just go see your granddad and ask to see some of his old fishing stuff.  You might like it… and even “Retweed” it.

Photo by Patrick Stahl

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