Friday, April 5, 2019

Five (More) Fly-Fishing Gift Ideas for the Special Angler in Your Life

I've gotten some nice stats on my first article about "The Top Five Gift Ideas for a Fly-Fisherman (That My Wife Has Already Gotten Me)" so I figured I might as well write the sequel before Mother's Day and Father's Day this year. Thanks again to my wife Emily whose brilliant freelance marketing mind came up with the idea in the first place. So, without further adieu, here's Five (More) Fly-Fishing Gift Ideas for the Special Angler in Your Life.

5. Retractable Lanyard

This is by no means a large gift, but damned if it isn't one of the more useful little gadgets on my vest and has saved me countless times from dropping my nail-knot tool into a river. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I am not. I am currently on my third nail-knot tool, with my first two lying on the bottom of Maramec Spring and the Current River, respectively.

A retractable lanyard simply keeps a tool clipped to your vest and prevents it from plunging into the depths below. Some are better than others, depending on if the string is made from fiber or metal wire, and I have had some break and the spring fail, but these are not expensive and hardly meant to last forever. Perfect gift to include with a card or a stocking-stuffer if you're closer to Christmas.

Available at: T. Hargrove's, Feather-Craft, Your Local Fly Shop

4. Magnetic Net Holder

My magnetic net holder is such a staple of my fishing vest, I honestly don't remember I used before I went out and bought this. Two fairly high power magnets, each with a different polarity, each attach to the back of your vest and your net handle, and when you're not using your net, you simply clip the magnets together, thereby taking the strain off of your net's tether and maintaining the tether for extended future use.

My only issue with this gadget is that often I'm fishing in a hoodie, and when my hood is down, it will block the magnet on my vest, and I will awkwardly try to maneuver my net behind my back until I hear the click of the magnets connecting. This is more user-error than design error though.

Available at: T. Hargrove's, Feather-Craft, Your Local Fly Shop

3. Filet Board

This was another gift from my wife that I never realized I needed, and now I don't know how I lived without. The sturdy flat board includes a large clip that holds the trout's tail in place and allows you to safely use two hands to clean your fish. This is obviously a messy affair, and you don't want to stick a slab of wood in the dishwasher, so I advise cleaning and sanitizing by hand only. This is particularly useful on camping trips if no cleaning station is available, or cleaning is not allowed in the stream.

Available at: Available at: T. Hargrove's, Feather-Craft, Your Local Fly Shop, Walmart, just about any sporting goods store

2. Bags, Boxes, Binders, and Jars

This is more of a gift for hoarders than anything else, but as I continue to tie flies and gather more and more (and more and more) materials to tie them, I'm always struggling to find neat and clean ways to organize the loose and messy materials.

I (like many fly-tiers of old) have found that old cigar boxes make the perfect containers for much of my thread, hooks, and pouches of fur. Amazon will ship many product in fairly sturdy ziplock bags that are much more durable than what I buy at the grocery store. These are perfect for holding feathers. I learned a great trick from Devin Olsen, who stores all of his various dubbing materials in binders full of plastic baseball card insert pages. So simple and yet so brilliant. Glass jars from salsa are great for storing pouches of beads, but mostly I just recycle them to drink out of.

Available at: Your garage and junk drawer. Liquor stores usually will sell you old cigar boxes for a buck or two.

1. Post Fly Subscription

I've written about Post Fly time and time before, and don't plan on stopping any time soon. Emily bought me a six-month subscription to Post Fly for Christmas, and now I'm begging her to renew my subscription for my birthday in May. Post Fly provides an all-in-one subscription box for fly-tying materials. They'll send you everything you need to tie a specific pattern (hooks, threads, feathers, beads, etc.) and a sample fly that you try to mimic tying. They also include instructional videos on their youtube page, but where's the fun in that?

On top of the tying materials, they include a different little gizmo every month (including a retractable lanyard as described above) and one of their sticker designs. I am a sucker for stickers, and struggle for weeks on where the best place is to stick my new Post Fly design.

On top of everything else, they ship the materials in a perfectly shaped sturdy flip-open box, which the pack-rat in my loves storing materials in. It's truly the perfect, compact package for a fly-tier. I cannot sing their praises enough.

Available at: Post Fly

Leave a comment below with any other fly-fishing gifts you enjoy. I'm always looking for future gifts to unsubtly suggest to my wife.


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