It’s hard to believe Christmas is a little over 5 weeks away! Face it, we’re into the holiday season. Last year, I received a request to provide a few gift ideas for fly fishers and fly tyers. I thought it was a great idea, so be sure to pass this list onto your significant other so you can have a very Merry Christmas! Here is the 2016 Christmas list for fly fishers and fly tyers.
I’ll begin with fly fishing ideas and then list a few fly tyer ideas.
Please support your local fly shops, but if there isn’t one close, I’ve provided “hot links” to many of the product to ease your shopping.
Ideas under $50
Frog’s Fanny (Retail $6.95 – $7.79) – This is the floatant I use. People always ask “will (fill in the blank) work as well”? I don’t know…I only use Frog’s Fanny. I like it for two reasons. First, the powder is very fine. Second, it comes with a brush to push the silica into the fly’s body and hackle to better float the fly. I explain how to use Frog’s Fanny in my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple fly pattern page.
Tippet Material (Retail $6.95) – Every fly fisher has a favorite leader brand and I’ve used Rio leaders and tippet for several years. When changing flies, the end of the leader (tippet) is removed and after several flies are cut off, the tapered leader is shortened and the end becomes larger. Tippet spools allow the fly fisher to replace the end. I use a lot of 6X tippet. (See my post Make your fly fishing leader last longer)
Mag eyes (Retail $20) – I didn’t used to need extra magnification to thread the leader through the hook eye, but these certainly help older eyes. Clipping them on the hat keeps them close, but out of the way.
CliC – reading glasses (Retail $29.95) – Here is another great option. I have two pairs of these glasses in different magnifications…1.5x and 2.5x. These glasses have magnets between the middle of each lens and can be found in 1.25 – 3.5 power. They fit around your neck so they’re always handy.
Net knots cards (Retail $5) – Your new fly fisher will appreciate these cards, which fit in your pocket to assist with the popular knots.
Brass knot tyer (Retail $15.95) – My wife uses this tool every day she fishes. A great tool to have on a cold day too!
Net magnet (Retail – from $12.95) – This will keep your net out of the way while fishing, but releases with a quick pull. The coil allows you to drop the net in the water and not see it float away, but it’s still handy when you are ready to net the fish.
Suncloud sunglasses (Retail from $49.99) – I always wear sunglasses when fishing and I’ve used Suncloud for a couple of years. I have a “normal” pair as well as a bifocal pair with 1.5x power.
Flask (Retail $20 – 30) – Perhaps the flask for your fly fisher to toast the fish gods when you land a fish!
Infrared thermometer by William Joseph (Retail $40) – This is a great thermometer my wife carries with her at all times. Always interesting to know what the water temp is.
Gift certificate for fishing license – This gift is priceless! A fishing license is a gift that keeps on giving every day of the year. A great stocking stuffer!
Ideas from $50 – $100
Water Filter Bottles (Retail $50) – I’ve used a filter bottle for several years. I like the convenience of not packing several pounds of water, but I can fill the water bottle at any time to keep hydrated. Everyone should use one! Katadyn is a great brand.
Fly Line Gift Certificate (Retail approx $75) – Your fly fisher probably needs a new line, but is too cheap to purchase one themselves. There are too many to choose from and they probably have a favorite, so the gift certificate from your local fly shop is the best way to go.
Ideas $100 – $200
Simms Wading Staff (Retail $99.95) – A wading staff is a necessity for many fly fishers. This fits into the category of “required” when wading deep or in the winter. Many fly fishers will not purchase one because of the price. Be sure to order the Wading Staff Retractor ($24.95) as well. It connects to your waders so it won’t float away. Other companies carry them, but be sure to get a sectional staff with a retractor attached.
Korker Wading Boots (Retail $199) – There are several great brands of wading boots available for the fly fisher, including Korkers, Simms, and Patagonia. These manufacturers have multiple boots and price points available. I’ve been using Korkers for several years and recently upgraded to the Devil’s Canyon boots. I really like the BOA lacing system and ability to change soles. Lightweight and comfortable.
Wader bag (Retail $160) – Wader bags are a wonderful way to store and keep track of waders, boots, and other fishing gear. There are a variety of bags (and price points) and this one does it all. Find one with a bottom vented compartment for wader storage allowing air to circulate in order to avoid mold. Some bags include a changing mat that folds out for you to stand on and not get holes in the wader feet.
Ideas Over $200
The sky’s the limit here, but here are a few ideas.
Waders (Retail $400 – $500 or more) – These are great waders and I’ve used both of these waders. I wear a pair of Redington waders these days. While they are good and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another pair, the Simms product is a little more heavy duty.
Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders Retail ($500)
Redington Waders (from $200)
Fly Reel (Retail $200 – $500 ) – So many choices here…Lamson, Sage, Hardy, Abel, Ross, and one of my favorites – Galvan Torque. Any of those brands are terrific! Again, a gift certificate from your local fly shop is the way to go.
Fly Rods (Retail $200 – $2,000) – “You can never have enough” fly rods! I’ve been fishing my Winston BIIX fly rods for several years. Best fly rod I’ve ever owned. The Winston BIIIX has replaced my tried & true rod. As with fly reels, there are several great rod makers out there…Sage, Redington, Echo, Beulah, Scott, Orvis…the list goes on. Or try an old school bamboo fly rod. Select a price-range and there’s sure to be a good rod in it. Here is a link to the Winston rod, but your local fly shop can help select the right one.
Bamboo fly rod from Bamboo Pursuits (from $1,400)
My friend Dave Dozer builds beautiful pieces of art which he calls bamboo fly rods. Give him a call for the specifics of owning a classic fly rod. If you’ve always wanted to build your own bamboo rod, Dave offers a class to accomplish that dream. Contact him at Bamboo Pursuits.
Ideas under $50
Hooks (Retail $5 – $25) – Whether your fly tyer uses Dai Riki, Daiichi, or Tiemco hooks, pick up a pack of 25, 50, or 100. A great stocking stuffer. I always need hooks!
Dr Slick Razor Scissors (Retail $30) – These scissors are the best I’ve ever used. Sharp with large finger holes, I like the 4″ version the best. My guess is your fly tyer’s scissors are dull. They will love
Sparkle dun deer hair and Zelon (Less than $10) – You’ll have to order these from Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT, but your fly tyer will be happy. This is where I obtain my deer hair for the dozens and dozens of Sparkle Duns I tie each year. They will select the right hair. Order their Mayfly Brown Zelon, which I use most of the time. Give them a call and let them know I you heard it from me! They offer great customer service.
Dr. Slick Hair Stacker (Retail $18) – These are used to even the tips of different types of hair…deer…elk…etc. Many tiers have the medium size, but if you tie a lot of small flies below #16, I like to use the small version as the hair doesn’t seem to get lost. It’s a brass finish in small (1.75″), medium (2″), large (2.75″) sizes. I like the brass finish.
Verilux Natural Spectrum Desk Lamp for fly tying (from $49) – You have to see in order to tie flies and this is the first part of the equation – the second half is glasses. I use this light everyday I tie.
Renzetti Tool Caddy (Retail $25) – This foam caddy with holes is a handy item for the fly tyer. It will hold scissors, bobbins, head cement, tweezers, or any other tool and keep them organized and close at hand. I use mine constantly.
Ideas over $50
Solarez UV “Roadie” Kit (Retail $60) – I’ve used a few UV resin products and this is the first one I found that doesn’t result in a tacky finish. I purchased this light & resin kit from Feather-Craft Fly Fishing. What I really like about the kit is it came with a charger and rechargeable batteries.
Whiting Fly Introductory Pack (about $70)
Fly tyers always need quality feathers and it’s especially true for beginning tyers. Here is an easy way to help them get the quality feathers they need. Select a grizzly and brown for the beginners wanting to get started.
Fly Tying Vise (Retail $170 – $200) – I would be remiss if I didn’t include a new vise for the fly tyer. There are several great brands to choose from including Regal, Norvise, but I have tied on a Renzetti Traveler 2000 for several years and really like it. Purchase one with the base and they’ll be able to tie anywhere. They make them in right- and left-hand models. Check out the 2200 or 2300 models.
Books are always a great present. Rather than provide a long list of books here, check out my favorites on the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying page.
Custom RiverKeeper Flies
Last but not least, order some Custom RiveKeeper Flies for your fly fisher or even yourself! I can help select the right flies. Contact me by leaving a Comment below.
I hope the 2016 Christmas List for Fly Fishers and Fly Tyers list helps with a few Christmas ideas for your fly fisher!
(John Kreft is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)