This is the fifth year I’ve prepared a holiday wish list for fly fishers. If you read prior year’s lists, there are several items remaining, because I really believe these are great gifts! I hope you find something useful on the 2020 Fly Fisher’s Christmas list.
Many of these items can be purchased at your local fly shop and I encourage you to do so. But if you can’t find the item, here are links to Amazon (affiliate links) or websites where you can locate fine these products.
Ideas under $50
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!
Hareline Amadou Fly Drying Patch (Retail around $20) – I’ve been using this patch for over a year now and it’s one of my favorite accessories. 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. Your local fly shop can order the patch for you from Hareline. Here is an online source.
Frogs Fanny Floatant – I really like this product to dry my flies when they finally sink or a fish slimes it. The reason I like it so much is the brush. I’m able to push silica into various parts of the fly. It works especially well on CDC wings. Other silica products work, but this is the one I carry.
Dr. Slick Mitten Clamps (Retail $22) – This is the tool I carry to crimp barbs and remove hooks from fish.
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. Choose the magnification you need to easily tie knots.
Tacky Original Fly Fishing Fly Box (Retail approx $25 – $35) – This is the fly box I started using this year and really like them. I wrote in Choosing a Fly Box why I was changing. Be sure to read it for more information. The one pictured it the Original, but the other models I’m using are the Day Pack, Dry Fly Box, and Big Bug Box.
Montana’s Best Fishing Waters (Retail approx $50) – If you fish Montana or plan to go, this is a must-have book to help identify access locations you plan to fish. It contains 170 full-page color maps. Anytime I think about going to a new Montana river, this is the first resource I pull out. It’s in our van during the fly fishing road trips we take.
The Founding Flies (Retail $40) – Mike Valla has done a terrific job capturing what the subtitles expresses – “43 American Masters, Their Patterns and Influences”. If you are remotely interested in fly fishing history, this is a must read, even if you don’t tie flies. It’s one of my favorite books.
Classic Steelhead Flies by John Shewey (Retail $30) – Another favorite book from John Shewey and one I turn to when researching flies for my Throw Back Thursday posts.
For more book ideas for your fly fisher, be sure to read my Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Bookshelf page.
Ideas from $50 – $200
Fly Line Gift Certificate (Retail approx $75 – $140) – 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.
Fingerless Gloves (Retail approx $20 – $100) – There are a variety of options from several manufacturers. Find the one that works for you. I like gloves with some type of windbloc technology. It will keep your hands warmer.
Guide Windbloc Half Finger Glove
GORE-TEX ExStream Foldover Mitt
Simms GORE-TEX ExStream Cap (Retail about $90) – I pulled out my Simms hat last week because of the cold weather. I love this hat. The ear flaps stay out of the way until you need them. I use it when behind my snowblower as well.
Simms Men’s Midweight Core Top (Retail about $60) This long sleeve quartier zip fishing shirt is similar to several I wear. It’s a great first layer for cold weather.
Umpqua Wader Belt ($50) – I purchased one of these last year and really like it. Fishpond has a similar model as well. You couldn’t go wrong with either brand.
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. Here is a post I wrote when I bought a new pair – New Devil’s Canyon Korker Wading Boots. I wore them for 3 years and had around 300 days of use! I really like the BOA lacing system and ability to change soles. Yellowstone National Park has banned felt soled boots beginning in 2018. With my Korker Wading Boots, all I need to do is switch to a non-felt sole and I’m good to go. Most days, you’ll see me wearing my studded felt soles ($40). These boots are lightweight and comfortable.
Korker Triple Threat Soles ($60) – Add these soles to any Korker boot for options… While not the same as studded felt, they are a great alternative. For further info, see my post – Aluminum Tread Soles for Wading Boots.
Taco Wader Bag (Retail $40) – An inexpensive bag to keep your wet waders and muddy boots.
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! In fact, I bought my lake net from them.
FishPond Nomad Net (Retail $130) – This carbon fiber & fiberglass composite net is popular on the river. This is the hand version. There is also a mid-length as well.
Ideas Over $200
Fly Reels (Retail $200 – $600) – So many choices here…Lamson, Sage, Hardy, Abel, Ross, and Galvan. I use a Galvan Torque, but purchased a Ross Evolution LTX this year and really like it. 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 has replaced my tried & true rod, but there are several other models to choose from. As with fly reels, there are a lot of great rod makers out there…including Sage, Redington, Echo, Scott, and 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. Your local fly shop can help select the right one. As with fly reels, a gift certificate is the safe way to go for this gift.
Bamboo fly rod from Bamboo Pursuits (from $1,995) – My friend Dave Dozer builds beautiful pieces of art which he calls bamboo fly rods. I’ve highlighted his rods in previous years, but he is a true craftsman and if you are considering a ‘boo rod, give him a call for the specifics of owning a classic. If you’ve always wanted to build your own bamboo rod, Dave offers a class to accomplish that dream. Contact him at Bamboo Pursuits.
Olympus TG-6 (Retail $349) – This is the camera I take to the river everyday I fish. Most of the images around water you see on my website use this camera.
Ideas under $50
Hooks (Retail $5 – $25) – Whether your fly tyer uses Daiichi, Tiemco, or the new Firehole Sticks, pick up a pack in quantities of 25, 50, or 100. They’re a great stocking stuffer. I always need hooks!
Stonfo Rotating Dubbing Twister (Retail $13) – I pulled my twister out this week to tie some flies and thought I’d highlight it this year. I use this and my Cal Bird dubbing hook tool when creating dubbing loops.
Dr. Slick Dubbing Hook (Retail $7) – This 5″ w/Half Hitch Tool Brass is similar to the one I use.
Razor scissors (Retail about $30) – These are the scissors I use everyday. I’ve learned to hold them in my hand as I tie. Because of that, I like the 4″ length.
Renomed scissors (Retail $35 – $50) – Yes, they are expensive, but these are SHARP scissors. I purchased the 3.5″” straight FS1 scissors earlier this year. They are made of high-quality stainless steel in Poland. Read about the family business HERE. It appears Wapsi is now selling them in the US. I found these scissors online at Bob Marriott’s Flyfishing Store. Perhaps your local fly shop is carrying them.
Verilux Natural Spectrum Desk Lamp for fly tying (from $50) – You have to see in order to tie flies and this is the first part of the equation for success – the second half is glasses. I use a similar light everyday I tie.
Ideas over $50
Whiting Hackle (Retail $60 – 120) – How about a gift certificate from your fly shop so your fly tyer can select more feathers? Or go to Jim’s Fly Co. for an online vendor.
Renzetti Presentation 4000 Vise (Retail $550) – This is the vise I’ve used for a couple of years and I love it! Before this vise, I used their Traveler series (see below). There are other solid vises as well, including the Regal and Dyna-King brands.
Renzetti Traveler 2000 Vise (Retail $190) – This is the vise I used for many years tying several hundred dozen flies with it. It served me well. Your local fly shop should have these.
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.
(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.)
What is the fly in your last picture. I believe there are 30 of them in the image. Thanks and take care. Ed
Thanks for leaving a Comment. Those are Clark’s Stones…the top are Salmonfly immitations; the bottom Golden Stone. Only difference are size and color.