Illegal Fly Tying Business Busted


Kalamazoo police arrested a couple suspected of operating an illegal underage fly tying operation this past week in the quiet neighborhood of Milwood.  Search warrants were issued following an eight month sting focused on Jerry and Betsy Hankin, suspected of forced child labor involving their three children.

School representatives reportedly tipped off police in early 2015 when it was learned that the children were nicknamed after popular trout and steelhead flies. “After one of the kids was asked to be referred to as Glo-Bug we didn’t think much” noted Principal Gabe Henderson, “but after his sister mentioned that her parents now call her Size 22 Adams at home, we found that unusual”.

A grizzly scene awaited police in the basement of the home.  Although well adorned with high quality materials, tables and vises, the rest of the basement looked like a Barny-themed sweatshop.  Even more disturbing was the music being piped in which included “The hackle on the fly goes round and round” and “Itsy bitsy foam spider”.


Attempting to defend his actions, Jerry Hankin stated “It’s not like we’re making them smelt iron, we pay them better than adults doing the same work in Kenya and Detroit.”  Hankin continued extolling the virtues of having flies tied by children such as their amazing dexterity and ability to tie the smallest flies with ease.  Hankin also commented that they exude a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after 14 or 15 hours at the vise.

Commenting on the arrests, local fly shop owner Dale Schwartz stated “I’m shocked, I wasn’t aware that we could even buy flies tied by adults”.  Schwartz later asked for his statement to be redacted.

Tuesday Bananas*Tuesday Bananas is a weekly satire article meant for entertainment and laughs.

4 responses

  1. Pingback: Fly Boxes for Jerry & "His Kids" - The North American Fly Fishing Forum

  2. Pingback: Poor babies: is this for real? « This is Fly Daily

  3. Dennis Johnson

    Hey Mit dudes, please forward applications for fly tyers! I have a 6 year old that needs a job. Is there a meal plan offered in the application?


    January 17, 2016 at 4:44 am

    • Hey Dennis, since this story broke we have great fears of being busted for the same thing, thus we will not continue employing underage youth to spin our flies and instead we’ll order them from the sweat shops of Kenya and Malaysia. I’ve heard that the iron works company and gravel pits are looking for help though – maybe a good fit for your 6 year old?


      January 25, 2016 at 8:35 am

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