Tis the season of giving so I thought I’d put together a Holiday Gift Buying Guide (AKA my wish list) for those who may have procrastinated this season. Don’t worry there is still time! You’ve arrived at this page because you are the fly fisher on someone’s list or you were directed here as a not so subtle hint. In either case I hope this helps…Happy Holidays!
Bamboo - Sweetgrass makes an unbelievable fly rod bamboo rod and this is one you can throw the receipt away early as he/she won’t be taking it back. If you have one custom built, you may want to start the process now for 2014 or maybe even 2015. (You can enter to win one HERE)
Fiberglass – Admittedly I don’t know much about glass, but I like the idea of glass. Fortunately I know a guy who knows a guy who knows all about fiberglass rods. Be sure to consult the Fiberglass Manifesto if you wander down this path.
Graphite – I’m a bit biased to Sage rods so I’d recommend a Circa (for the one who has every rod) and the before mentioned One (for the one that wants everything from a rod).
Deals – You may have missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but fly shops and online stores will continue to run promotions. If you read my “Buying Gear on Ebay” blog this is a good time to pick up the discontinued Sage TCX as shops make room for the new Sage Method fly rod. You may even be able to find a personal favorite of mine, the Sage Z-Axis.
Hardy Ultralite 3000DD Black Edition – Top of the list and would pair nicely with a Sage One 9’0” 3Wt…just saying.
Galvan Brookie – Check out the review but I really like this reel. If the fly fisher in your life is looking for a super lightweight reel this is your choice.
Lamson - Most of my reels are Lamson litespeeds. They recently discontinued one model and replaced them with Lamson Litespeed Series IV so again shops are likely to clear out the old inventory for the new. Just be aware the Series IV reels aren’t compatible with the previous models.
Allen Fly Fishing Kraken – I don’t have any firsthand knowledge here, but I do know these are great looking reels and have been getting a lot of praise. Seems like the folks over at Allen only make quality product so if your angler is looking for a big game reel these are worth looking into.
Cabela’s Wind River Fly Fishing Starter Kit– These kits take some of the guess work out of what to get and how to set it up. Keep in mind this is a very low cost entry into the sport and you get what your pay for. If they take to fly fishing this will be the first of many rods/reels to come.
Fly Tying Kits – If you have someone who is already fly fishing, but thinking about tying flies kits are the way to go. They usually come with everything you need to get started including a DVD or book to show a handful of patterns. Ask your local shop to put something together or check out the Cabela’s, BassPro or Orvis fly tying kits.
Vise – Keep your ears open if there is a particular kind of vise he or she is leaning towards, but here are a couple of proven winners.
Renzetti – I recently purchased a Renzetti Presentation 2000 and it is an outstanding vise. The product line has several models at various price points and all are extremely high quality.
Peak- The Renzetti vises can be expensive so if you are looking for a fantastic value with some of the same features I recommend checking out the products from Peak.
Tools – A fly tyer never has enough tools. These are an absolute safe bet and a great stocking stuffer!
Bobbin – Case in point, I wish I had a bobbin for every spool of thread and wire I own. I really like the Rite Bobbins. It allows you to easily adjust thread tension.
Catch Bag – Wouldn’t tie without one, if your tyer doesn’t own one put it towards the top of the list. You can find one on the accessories page from Peak (any of these items would make a great gift).
Tool Caddy – You need to store all the tools and a tool organizer is the way to go. I got mine with my Renzetti vise and love it.
Travel Bag – If you’ve got a fly tyer who is a member of a tying club or takes a vise whereever, a travel bag is a great idea (even better if it comes fully stocked). I’d recommend the Fishpond Tomahawk Fly Tying Kit, but Orvis and others make a similar product.
Orvis Super Slim – At time of writing, these are my favorite fly boxes. I typically have a new favorite every year, but this is season three.
Montana Fishing Company – The boxes are great, and the artwork is amazing.
Fly Fisherman – Great all around magazine covering a little bit of everything.
Fly Tyer – Perfect for the fly tyer on your list.
The Drake – Amazing photography, very cool articles.
Books – As mentioned we like to gobble up the written word whether it’s a “how to” or story to live vicariously through.
George Daniels Dynamic Nymphing – You can check out my gear review, but this book is a most have for anyone who likes to toss a nymph.
Dave Whitlock’s Trout and Their Food – Any time you can pick up something from one of the greats do it. Lovely illustrations and if you ever get a chance to have him autograph a copy he is more than generous.
Anything by John Gierach – All-time favorite fly fishing author and maybe a second only to Mario Puzo for top honors overall. While I have my favorites, you can’t go wrong with any of his work.
DVD - We're in the midst of the golden age of fly fishing films here are couple good ones.
Where the Yellowstone Goes - Love this film, check out the review on my gear page.
Running Down the Man - Felt Soul Media has some really nice films. This one's a classic.
Heart of the Driftless - I don't own it, but it highlights the region I fish so it's on my list.
Go-Pro – They are taking the world of outdoor cinematography by storm. It won’t make them a better fisherman, but may offer proof that they were indeed fishing that long or that they actually caught fish. This product has a down side if you don’t like to watch fishing videos you may get invited to a couple premiers.
Weatherproof camera – I don’t fish without one. A couple I’ve used include the Olympus Tough and Fuji XP60, but there are a lot of good ones out there. Be sure to throw in a beefy memory card.
Packs – He/She needs a place to put all this gear while streamside and you can never have enough packs! I realize this list is getting long, but we’ll attach anything with a clip to our packs so can’t go wrong with streamside tools as well!
William Joseph Confluence – This is a good looking midsize pack, hoping Santa recognizes how good I’ve been on this one…
Fishpond Arroyo – I own it, I like it. Great for short day trips.
Golden Trout Lanyards - Perfect for when they want to pack light.
Donate to Project Healing Waters – They are dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. You can donate through my site and be entered to win some great prizes.
TU Membership – Find out if there is a local chapter and sign him or her up. Even if they don’t go to a meeting the money spent will help the local habitat.
Park Pass – I spend a lot of my time fishing in state parkland. A park pass is on the list every year for me and doubles as a venue for a nice family outing as well.
Mug – North Creek Cabin has a collection of trout themed mugs. I use mine everyday. You can find them at The Trout Spot.
Art – If there is a room in your house dedicated to fishing, keep it in theme with these wall hangers.
Fly Fishing Art / Badaxe Design - I know nothing about linocut block printing, but I dig the results.
Deyoung –Deyoung work is all over the place - very cool stuff. Here is a neat video to check out.
Bob White – Some amazing work by Bob White Studios including the cover from John Gierach’s No Shortage of Good Days and Pulp Fly Volume 3
Gift Cards – When all else fails a gift card is the way to go. Just check your bank statement to see where he/she spends money. Here are a couple I always enjoy receiving.
Local Fly Shop – Again support your local shops. Part of the fun will be going in to spend it.
Fly Shack - I get a lot of my fly tying materials there. Great prices, no shipping or tax make the gift card go that much further.
So that’s my Ultimate Holiday Buying Guide. If you get something off the list and it bombs feel free to send complaints and return items here.