What Gifts Should I Get a Fly Fisheman?
If you are like me, Christmas shopping is hard. Having too many choices can be a bad thing, and I tend to waste hours wandering around trying to think of just the right gifts for the people in my life. If you are fortunate enough to be looking for gift ideas for an angler, however, I can help.
Fly shops are full of great things that all fishermen need and want, but somehow choosing the right one for a gift is still hard. It doesn’t have to be if you break the ideas into categories and look at it like you would any other kind of Christmas gift.
The Socks and Underwear
A gift of Terminal Tackle will most likely not be the most thrilling thing under the tree, but it could very easily be the most useful. It is hard to get excited about a 100 yard guide spool of 5X flurocarbon tippet, but in September when it is still going strong, it will be very appreciated. Everyone needs a reserve of floatant, Dry Shake, weights, fresh leaders and thingamabobbers as well. These items add up over the course of a long fishing season, and there is nothing worse than running out unexpectedly.
The Stocking Stuffers
Flies are okay gifts as long as they are very standard patterns that get used a lot. Most fishermen like to be involved in the fly selection process though, and that makes gifting them difficult. If you are hung up on the fly idea, try to stick to things like Barr’s Emergers, Pats Rubber Legs, Woolly Buggers and Elk Hair Caddis. It is best to leave the custom pattern selection up to the angler.
One of the best fly fishing gifts I ever received came in the form of a book. I unwrapped Dave Whitlock’s Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods and still read it all the time. Instructional books will provide countless nuggets of valuable information that will eventually put the angler on your list on more fish. Books about far away destinations are a great choice too, as they can plant the seed for a future trip of a lifetime.
Fly fishermen love gadgets. Most fishermen experience some sort of frustration or inconvenience during a typical day, and these little contraptions are designed to solve those problems. If you want your fly fisherman’s friends to be jealous on the water, get him or her the latest magnetic net holder, tool retractor, or lanyard accessory. You can’t go wrong in this category.
The New Car
High end items like rods, reels, or waders require some serious research. If you want to really surprise someone extra special with one of these gifts, make sure you are armed with the proper information first. Things like size, location of use, and fishing style are extremely important here. This information can be tricky to get without blowing the surprise so take your time and be sneaky. It might even be necessary to employ the help of a third party friend to make sure the 6 weight Sage One rod or Hatch 4 Plus reel is the correct one.
Hopefully this information provides a clearer way to look at the fly fishing gift selection process. It feels great knowing that you nailed it on Christmas, and here at Vail Valley Anglers we have the resources that you need to do just that.
Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer