It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than 5 weeks away! Face it, we’re into the holiday season. This is the third year I’ve presented a few gift ideas for fly fishers and fly tyers. If you find something on the list you’d like to have, just pass this list onto your significant other so you can have a very Merry Christmas! Here is the 2017 Fly Fisher’s Christmas List.
RiverKeeper Flies Note Cards
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 – $8) – 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 – $8) – 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.
RiverKeeper Flies Note Cards ($20 plus S/H) – If you like the pictures you’ve seen on my RiverKeeper Flies website, here is your chance to purchase 8 note cards (5 x 7 inches, matte finish) with envelopes. The set includes 2 note cards each of the four fish. They are blank on the inside so they are usable for birthdays, Christmas, or any occasion. Here is the first set – the Rainbow Trout Collection.
CliC – reading glasses (Retail $30) – Here is another great option. I have two pairs of these glasses in different magnifications…1.75x and 3.0x. 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 $16) – My wife uses this tool every day she fishes. A great tool to have on a cold day too!
Hareline Amadou Fly Drying Patch (Retail $15) – Amadou is a natural tree fungus which quickly dries your flies. It works great for CDC flies as well. Squeeze your fly between the leather covered patches and the moisture is pulled from the fly. I use mine quite a bit.
Measure Net (Retail $40) – This is a great low-cost net if you know someone who needs one. It’s light weight and takes the guess out of how long the fish is. The “0” mark in in the middle, so just add two numbers together for overall length.
Suncloud sunglasses (Retail from $49.99) – I always wear sunglasses when fishing and I’ve used Suncloud for a few 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 about $30) – This is a great thermometer my wife carries with her at all times. Just hold it close to the water, push a button, and instantaneously find the water temperature. Always interesting to know what the water temp is.
Dropper Rig Fly Box (Retail $30) – Here is an idea to pre-tie a two-fly rig and have it “fish ready”.
Water Filter Bottles (Retail $35) – 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!
Tacky Fishing Original Fly Box (Retail $25) – This popular new fly box utilizes “micro-slit” silicone rubber instead of foam inserts, eliminating the memory foam develops over time. Perhaps it’s time to update a fly box or two. Check out the variety of sizes available.
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 – $200
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.
Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack ($130) – This waist pack with a shoulder strap will hold a variety of fly boxes and other gear for your fly fishing. The pack includes a net holder slot, water bottle holder and places for your tools. This may be something to consider if you don’t like wearing a vest. I’ll have to check it out too!
Simms Wading Staff (Retail $100) – 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 ($25) 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 wear the Devil’s Canyon boots. I really like the BOA lacing system and ability to change soles. Lightweight and comfortable.
Fishpond Cimarron Wader/Duffel Bag (Retail $170) – 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. It includes a separate bottom vented compartment for wet waders and boots. The top will hold clothes, packs, and vests or whatever else you pack along for your fly fishing adventures.
Snake River Net ($120 – $185) – Your fly fisher might need to upgrade their old net. Snake River Net Co. makes 6 different custom nets, using exotic hardwood and adds a fish-friendly net bag. These are beautiful nets!
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 $175)
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 these scissors!
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 $35) – 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. 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 complete list of books here, check out my favorites on the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying page. Here are a couple favorites.
The Founding Flies ($35) – This book is on my Christmas List! Mike Valla does an excellent job providing a history of fly tyers in America. He presents 43 American Masters and the flies they created. A great read. (For other book ideas, visit my Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Book page.)
The North Country Fly ($50) – Robert L. Smith provides the wonderful history of soft hackle flies. There are many color pictures and Smith includes fly pattern sheets as well as substitute materials to tie the classics. I just received my copy! (For other book ideas, visit my Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Book 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 2017 Fly Fisher’s Christmas 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.)