Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Top Five Gift Ideas for a Fly-Fisherman (That My Wife Has Already Gotten Me)

This past week, I celebrated my birthday with a bit of solo fly-fishing, and when I came home, my wife Emily surprised me with a few fantastic birthday gifts. Emily, historically, is a fantastic gift giver, and she's inspired me to put together this list of the great fly-fishing presents she's hooked me up with over the years.

That's her on the left.
Any and all of these gifts would be perfect for the special fly-fisher in your life, or if you want to give yourself something. Throughout the article, I have included links to spots where you can purchase these items. So, in no particular order, (sort of):


5. Wading Socks

When I first opened this gift a few years back, I wasn't 100% sure what the wading socks were, and I don't think Emily did either. If I had to guess, I think she believed you wore these under your waders to protect your feet. In actuality, you wear wading socks instead of full waders, for occasions in which you want to go wet wading. These come in handy if you're fishing a small stream on a hot day, and you don't mind, and possibly prefer, getting a little wet to cool off. Wading socks allow you to still wear your wading boots to maintain mobility and stability, but you also don't need to suffocate in the blazing sun.

I used my wading socks when I went fly-fishing with my nephew, Johnny, at Westover Farms, and they were perfect for that environment. For most of the day, I was fishing from the bank, but I did have to get into the knee and crotch deep water every once in a while, so wet wading in swimming trucks and wading socks was the perfect solution. It's nice to have a couple pairs of these in my waders bag. Speaking of which . . .

Purchase via: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's

4. Wader Bag

Honestly, this bag would be higher on the list, but the wading socks transition was too good, so here it is at #4. This massive, heavy duty bag was actually designed for duck hunting, but is perfect for a fly-fisherman. It has a plethora of both interior and exterior pockets for all of my loose fishing gizmos. Best of all is the massive, ventilated bottom pocket. The entire bottom of the bag unzips, and acts as a large pocket for wet waders. This pocket can be expanded to add additional ventilation, so if you keep your waders stored there, they will eventually dry off (although I do keep my waders hanging up most of the time, rather than folded in my bag).

Perhaps even better than the ventilation pocket is the changing pad that unfolds from the bottom pocket. This lets you change into your stocking foot waders without fear that you might accidentally puncture them standing on the ground or a parking lot. My buddy David joked that I'll be using this changing pad for diapers in the future, and honestly, he's probably right.

Purchase via: Cabela's

3. Nice Co. Pack

This gift was truly a surprise, as I had never heard of Nice Co. Packs before. This all-in-one fly fishing lanyard acts as an on-the-go replacement for a fishing vest. It includes a pocket for a smart phone, a foam wedge for flies, and plenty of ties and loops for tippet spools, pliers, and a nail knot tool.

The best attribute about my Nice Pack is its small size, and is perfect to shove in a backpack for long or short hikes. Even if you don't come across any fishable streams, its light weight means you weren't hauling around a ton of heavy fishing tackle in vane. While I don't use it for every fishing trip, I am certainly glad Emily found it and got it for me.

Purchase via: Nice Pack Co.

 
EDIT: Unfortunately, it looks like the good folks over at Nice Co. have gone out of business, so you can find some alternative fishing lanyards here or here. These aren't as neat though. Sorry, gang.

2. Leather Fly Wallet

Emily bought this gift for me last week for my birthday, and I am, as usual, stunned by her creativity and thoughtfulness. Not only does this fly wallet look amazing and have a sturdy felt interior for fly storage, she even had it engraved to let everyone know it's a Voss Fish joint. I'm very excited to tie up some ties specifically to keep in this wallet and have a nice selection ready for when I am on the go and keeping things light.

Like the Nice Co. Pack, this Fly Wallet is very light and portable, and is perfect for stuffing into a backpack for long hikes, just like. . .

Purchase via: Rustico
 
1. Tenkara Rod
Image via tenkarardoco.com
I have written about my Tenkara Rod Co. Teton Rod before. Tenkara style rods are a style of fly-fishing rods that have their origin in Japan. A Tenkara rod is a very long and very flexible fly-rod without a reel. Rather, there is a set length of line that attached to a short lillian at the rod tip. The rod itself telescopes, and when compacted, measures only 20 inches in length. Extended, my rod, The Teton, is 12 feet in length - much longer than the 8-foot rods I am used to fishing. The line is a thin, braided fly fly, 13-feet in length. The line attached to the rod using a loop that grips the lillian, and at the opposite end has a small ring where you attach a length of tippet.

For Christmas, Emily bought me a Teton style Tenkra rod from the Tenkara Rod Company. They make beautiful rods that are reasonably priced, and I could not be happier with the gift. When collapsed, a Tenkara rod is about the size of a lightsaber handle. Like the Nice Pack and Fly Wallet, the entire fly-fishing rod can fit easily into any hiking bag. If I lived in a nicer neighborhood, I would consider even leaving it in my truck, just in case. For the time being, I have my Tenkara gear in the side pocket of my waders bag, and it takes up virtually no space.

Any and all of these gifts would be spectacular for a fly-fisher to receive. I am incredibly lucky that Emily has bought into this hobby of mine so heavily, even though she herself has no interest in the sport, at all. What can I say? I'm a lucky guy.

Purchase via: Tenkara Rod Co.

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