It has to be said, fishing isn’t the coolest hobby out there. Most commonly associated with older gents, mud, rain, and all sorts of interesting odours, the pastime would seem to be a bit of a fringe obsession. However, quite the opposite is true. Many people are now interested in the hobby and even book a fishing charter to level up the experience. In fact, research indicates that fishing of all varieties has experienced a popularity boom in the last decade, one that has even attracted the envious eyes of fashion houses.
Yes, back in 2015, the high-fashion magazine Vogue revealed that designers like Alexander Wang had looked to fishing for inspiration for their latest collections. It’s not quite as harebrained an idea as it might seem. Coats, hats, and overalls aren’t exactly unusual pieces of clothing, although the combination of waders and wellies might not set the office Christmas party alight.
Closer to the present, the Guardian revealed that demand for fishing licences had soared by 15% over 2020, a figure that represents an extra 120,000 people. British retailer Argos also saw a 300% increase in sales of rods and related sundries over the numbers for 2020. Arguably, the most interesting shift was in demographics, with young women making up a third of new fishers aged up to 44.
Still, there’s no denying the fact that the local fish pond is an odd place to find up-and-coming fashion designers. Something strange – even magical – has been going on behind the scenes, though. While the interaction of man and fish isn’t a new thing, becoming a meme thanks to Tinder, the extent of the overlap between fishing and technology is still a surprising phenomenon.
Anybody who has ever played video games will be aware that fishing has a storied history within the industry, serving as a soothing mini-game amid sometimes life-or-death plotlines. Titles such as Breath of Fire III, Red Dead Redemption II, and World of Warcraft all let their players fish in their respective worlds. This has recently carried over to casino gaming, too, with Buzz Bingo’s 5-reel, 10-payline slot Fishing Frenzy offering a digital salmon to tickle. It’s clear that casting a line can appeal to many demographics looking to relax and win some prizes.
The concept of a ‘fishfluencer’ continues the melding of technology and fishing. The term, possibly coined by the Telegraph in 2020, refers to an Instagram personality that has succeeded in making a fishing trip something to be desired. These characters include Marina Gibson, an educator in the space, who posts beautiful photos of fish in turquoise waters.
Returning to fashion, the British luxury brand Barbour is one of the biggest names in the premium fishing attire market. Normally a purveyor of wilderness clothing, such as wax and quilted jackets, the use of fishing as a template for new clothing lines isn’t exactly a stretch for this brand. Vogue recommends pairing raincoats with overalls for a straight-from-the-pond look, albeit a subtle one. Visit Stride Wise to check the best mens waxed jackets that are available on the market.
Try it out for yourself. As people seek ways to escape the often burdensome presence of technology, fishing sometimes provides the perfect panacea to a personal – or fashion – crisis.