Welcome to this year’s holiday wish list. It seems like yesterday I was posting for 2022. Where has the year gone? I hope you find something useful on the 2023 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 these fine products.
(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.)
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!
Catch Magazine subscription – On days you can’t fish, why not dream about it? Catch Magazine is the official journal of fly fishing photography and film. Subscribe HERE.
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.
Amadou Dryer Pad – 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.
Loon Aquel & Henry’s Sinket – Loon calls this their Up and Down kit. I’ve used Aquel on occasion when needing to apply a silicone-based floatant. Aquel doesn’t melt when hot or harden when cold. Henry’s Sinket will help those nymphs easily break the surface and get your unweighted nymphs down to the fish. In addition, put some on your leader if it’s floating on the surface and casting a shadow and scaring the fish.
Tippet Rings – When I Euro nymph, this is what I use to fish two flies. I used to attach tippet to the bend of the hook when fishing a second fly. I use tippet rings now. Here is a link to one of the posts I wrote about Euro nymphing.
MEIHO Clear Case – I’ve started using these sturdy boxes for some of my flies. My wife calls them the “provider box”. The compartments are adjustable. I like the medium (1.5 inch deep) for my smaller dry flies and the narrow one (1.1 inch deep) for nymphs. Overall dimentions are listed as 7.7″L x 5.2″W x 1.4″H.
Gifts from $50 – $300
Korkers Boots – 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 – 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.
Vests and Packs – 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. Here are three ideas.
Gifts Over $300
Fly Reels – So many choices here…Lamson, Sage, Hardy, Abel, Ross, and Galvan. You’ll see me on the river with a Ross Evolution LTX and my wife fishes a Galvan Torque (I have one as well as a backup reel). Any of the brands listed are terrific! Again, a gift certificate from your local fly shop is the way to go.
Waders – 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. Patagonia is a solid brand as well, but I’ve never worn a pair of them. Try waders on at your local fly shop as there are many sizes and difficult to order over the Internet.
Snake River Net Co. Products – My friend Mike Avery is a wonderful craftsman and has multiple products available on his website. Here are three I’ll highlight:
SRNC Net – 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.
SRNC Rod Case – Choose between Walnut, Wormy Maple or Beechwood. Cases are 33″ long and a 1 7/8″ diameter. This case has the engraved image of a trout, walnut ends, and leather straps to secure the lid. Will fit most 2-7 weight, 9 foot, 4 piece rod. Finished in tung oil to protect and leave the natural color and feel of the wood. Includes 4 piece rod sock and free engraving on cap.
SRNC Wood Fly Boxes – Crafted from Cherry or Maple. Uses barrel hinges and magnetic closures with foam inserts for durability. Custom Logos and personalized engravings can be included to your specifications.
Fly Rods – “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 – 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
Gift Certificate for Fly Tying Materials – Another great idea for your fly tyer. They always need something so why not let them select the materials needed for the next fly?
Hooks – Whether your fly tyer uses Daiichi, Tiemco, Ahrex, or Firehole Sticks, pick up a pack in quantities of 25, 50, or 100. They’re a great stocking stuffer. I always need hooks!
Norton Hard Arkansas Small Carving Slip Stone – This stone is similar to the hard Arkansas AS-22 sharpening stone I use to sharpen the Dr Slick scissors above. I only use it on the smooth, not serrated side of the blade.
Ideas over $50
Solarez High Output UV Flashlight “Resinator” Kit – 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 – 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. I’ve bought a lot of hackle from him over the years.
Vises – Every fly tyer deserves to tie on a quality vise. Here are three great ones:
Renzetti Traveler 2200 Vise – 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 – 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 – This is a popular vise too, with a quick release that firmly holds hooks.