The Tup's Indispensible.
I went fishing a lot with my folks when I was a kid, but it was worm-on-a-hook type fishing for bass and sunfish, not fly fishing for trout and such. I was vaguely aware there were people who tied flies and that there were lots of kind of flies meant to imitate different kinds of delicious and irresistible insects and that fur and feathers and fiber were used, but I didn't know any of those people who did that. Then one day a few years ago a very nice man emailed saying that he had searched and searched and found my website and hoped I could be a source of the magic ingredient of a Tup's Indispensible fly. And that is.........drumroll, please.......the wool from a Cotswold ram's scrotum and lower belly.
She wants whaaaaatt??
Wow, you learn something every day. He was actually very sweet and was trying to find a way not to upset anyone's delicate sensibilites, for he used words like "nether region" and "private parts" rather than the good old anatomical terms. When I said I could get that for him and guarantee that it was THE genuine item he was thrilled - thrilled! - and I sent him a baggie of very scary looking fiber which he was over the moon about. Since then I've had several other fly fishermen get in touch and order that essential ingredient. Here's the latest order.
Sheepy short curlies.
This little pile of trout fishing goodness is headed to Germany. Are there trout in the Rhine? I have no idea, but Oliver K. can make about 100 flies with this amount, I think.
I grew 18 pounds of wool last year, and that's what she takes from the bag first. Sheesh.
So next time the dinner conversation rolls around to fly fishing (and it always does, doesn't it?) you can smile brightly and say "Oh, yes, I was just making a Tup's Indispensible the other day, and.....what? You've never made one? Secret ingredient too hard to find? Oh, please, let me share my source with you..."
They'll be talking about you all night, maybe the next day too.