This is the sixth 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 2021 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.
Gifts 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!
Pro-Knot Fishing Cards ($6) – These waterproof cards are a good addition for the newer fly fisher and offer simple instructions for 12 popular knots.
Frogs Fanny Floatant ($10) – 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.
Hareline Amadou Fly Drying Patch (around $25) – Amadou is a natural tree fungus I use to quickly dry my flies. It works especially well on flies with CDC. 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.
Montana’s Best Fishing Waters
DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer: Montana
Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River
Montana’s Best Fishing Waters ($30) – 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.
DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer: Montana ($25) – We travel the back roads during our fly fishing road trips and I purchased this book on our last trip. I need to purchase the Idaho and Wyoming versions next.
Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River by John N Maclean ($16) – John is the son of Norman who wrote A River Runs Through It. I recently purchased this book and am looking forward to finishing it.
If you need other ideas, go to my Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page for a longer list of my favorite books.
Stream Thermometer ($15) – We left Montana in late July because of low flows and high-water temperatures, which is known as “hoot owl” where fishing was restricted from 2 pm through midnight. High water temperatures mean low oxygen levels for the fish, creating stress on them which could be deadly. Thermometers are an important tool these days.
Gifts from $50 – $200
Fly Line Gift Certificate (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.
Korkers Boots ($150 – 200) – Korkers are the best boots I’ve ever had! I wore my first pair of Devil’s Canyon boots from 2015 – 2018 and ended up with roughly 350 days on the water. I like the interchangeable soles to switch back and forth between studded felt, regular felt, aluminum hex or bars, and rubber. And I don’t have to deal with shoestrings! I always had trouble tightening the laces in regular boots. Seems like they always loosened up. The improved M2 BOA lacing system is even better than the original. They’re quicker to tighten and snug up tight. I just take a couple of deep squats to make sure the boots adjust to my feet and can always get a few extra “clicks” with the BOA dial. My wife wears the Darkhorse and I’ve added a link to their newest boot, the Terror Ridge. Read my review of Korkers HERE.
Korkers Soles ($50 – 70) – One of the reasons I like Korkers are the interchangeable soles. I wear studded felt 95 percent of the time, but change to aluminum when not allowed, like Yellowstone National Park. In addition, I use the felt soles that come with the boot during guided trips when studs aren’t allowed in the raft.
Rock Treads ($60) – I have a set of these and reviewed them along with Korker Triple Threat aluminum bar soles and Korker Triple Threat aluminum hex disc soles. Read the post HERE.
Simms Wading Staff (130) – When I need a wading staff, I pull out my Simms. There are other makers, so take your pick, but they are priceless when you need one!
Vests and Packs ($50 – 200) – I’ve had a variety over the years and wrote a post a while back called How to Choose Between Vests and Packs for Fly Fishing. There are many choices in terms of styles and prices. Pick the one that best fits your needs.
Snake River Net ($120 – $185) – If you would like a work of art, pick up a net from Snake River Net Co. They make 6 different custom nets, using exotic hardwood and a fish-friendly net bag. These are beautiful nets! In fact, I bought my lake net from them.
Gifts Over $200
Fly Reels ($200 – $600) – So many choices here…Lamson, Sage, Hardy, Abel, Ross, and Galvan. My wife and I use a Galvan Torque, but I purchased a Ross Evolution LTX last 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.
Waders ($200 – $800 or more) – Waders are an important piece of equipment for many fly fishers. There are a variety of providers, but I’ve used Redington and Simms for many years. I’ve included links for the waders we wear.
Simms G3 or G4 Waders ($550 – 850) – Simms makes top-of-the-line waders. My wife wears the G3 and I use the thicker G4 during winter months.
Fly Rods ($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. 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) – Speaking of bamboo rods, 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.
Fly Tying Ideas
Gifts under $50
Hooks ($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!
Ideas over $50
Solarez High Output UV Flashlight “Resinator” Kit (Less than $60) – Solarez makes a point of using the correct wavelength to cure their resins, which is 385nm. Other look-alike torches use 395nm, which Solarez states doesn’t cure their resin as well. This kit uses rechargeable batteries. I have an earlier model with the charger and it works well.
Whiting Hackle ($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.
Vises ($175 – 600) – Every fly tyer deserves to tie on a quality vise. Here are three great ones:
Renzetti Traveler 2200 Vise ($230) – 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.
Renzetti Presentation 4000 Vise ($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. There are other solid vises as well, including the Regal and Dyna-King brands.
Regal Medallion Vise ($275) – This is a popular vise too, with a quick release that firmly holds hooks.
(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.)