Flies, Fish and a South African Success Story, by Ed Stoddard
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Mpho Mashila has never caught a fish in her life but she ties a mean fly.
The decoy insects (called flies) tied by her and other women in the South African squatters camp where she lives are so popular with fly fishing aficionados in the United States that Mashila and others are being reeled out of poverty.
“I was trained for four months and then I became a trainer. I now train the other women how to tie flies,” she said from behind a table cluttered with the tools of her trade.
Two years ago she had no work or prospects and the idea of twisting colorful materials like deer hair and bird feathers into imitation insects with hooks for sale to people who fish for fun would have been a fantasy.
But then South Africa’s government provided seed money for a unique project in this mountainous corner of the Free State province which sought to turn local skills for making handicrafts into the elegant art of tying flies.
Story found here.