Monday’s Marketplace on NPR covers the Hackle Debacle

I’m an avid listener of Marketplace from NPR’s American Public Media, they do such a good job of making the financial and business world digestible by us normal folks that I think we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Monday’s show covered what is now referred to in the FF world as the Hackle Debacle.

You can listen to the story here.

This is exactly the kind of story that the major media outlets will never cover, and why I think the Corporation for Public Broadcasting needs federal funding. We need some good solid reports on interesting non-sound-byted-detail-oriented-fact-based-well-researched news?

Quotes form the story are below – they even interview Dr. Whiting, he’s the man!

Competition between anglers and stylists threatens a shortage of rooster feathers. Producers look to boost supply.

VIEW A SLIDESHOWGabrielle Aquaro attaches a feather hair extension Gabrielle Aquaro attaches a feather hair extension using a shrink bead at Spa Villa Salon in Southern California. (Jennifer Collins / Marketplace) 

  • Steve Ellis, owner of the fly fishing store, Fishermen's Spot, displays a silver grade Whiting hackle that costs about $75.Steve Ellis, owner of the fly fishing store, Fishermen’s Spot, displays a silver grade Whiting hackle that costs about $75. (Jennifer Collins / Marketplace).

KAI RYSSDAL: Washington lobbyists like to throw parties. It’s a pretty effective way to get their people close to Congress-people. But there are only so many cocktail and heavy hors d’oeuvres parties one can go to. Which is why the American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s goin’ out on the river next week. They’re taking lawmakers along to talk about conservation and fisheries management. The gathering comes as fly fisherman are facing some challenges. For years they’ve used rooster feathers — pricey ones, at that — to tie the intricate flies that get the fish to bite. This year, though, there’s stiff competition for all that plumage.

Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports.


JENNIFER COLLINS: Gabrielle Aquaro has worked in Southern California hair salons for 15 years, so she’s always on the lookout for the latest trend. About six months ago…

GABRIELLE AQUARO: I saw these feather pieces in this girl’s hair. She had some wild, curly hair. And I thought that looks really cool, what is that?

So she mentioned the feathers to her dad.

AQUARO: He says, ‘I’ve got just the thing for you kid. Come on over.’

TED AQUARO: Well I thought it was a great idea and I had all my fly tying stuff in the garage just gathering dust.

In his kit, Ted Aquaro had a stash of long thin feathers. Gabrielle bundled them, a few at a time, and layered them into her clients’ hair for $25 a pop.

AQUARO: And are you happy with that placement?

CUSTOMER: Yes. No, I love it.

Other stylists have also discovered the trend.

AQUARO: And now it’s, it’s blown up because now you know Steven Tyler on American Idol’s got bushels of feathers.

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