Best Fly Fishing Gifts

And, just like that, we are on the verge of the Holiday Season. It’s a great time to re-connect with family and friends and enjoy comfort foods. And, it’s time to consider what are the best fly fishing gifts.

Family members and friends may want to give you a gift, but, if they don’t fish, will need guidance. You do not need socks or ties. You need fly-fishing gear!

Here are some gift ideas you can send to family and friends. These are all items I use regularly and really love, in ascending price order:

Frog’s Fanny (link)
$9. A great floatant, and I think is the best one out there. It’s particularly good for CDC flies, as regular floatant mats down the fibers.

This is a must-have, IMO, if you fish the Swift, Farmington and the Upper Connecticut’s “Trophy Stretch.” CDC dries work very well when targeting educated fish at such tailwaters.

Small Hook Sharpener (link)
$11. Makes a huge difference on hook-up rates. Noted angler George Daniel notes that it is his most-often used accessory on the river. I agree. You’d be surprised how nymph hooks can get very dull very quickly. I sharpen my hooks often. It’s cheap insurance.

Tippet Holder (link)
$11. This one is always with me on the outside of my pack. I use fluorocarbon for nymphing and for the termination end of my dry-fly leaders.

So, I always have some spools of mono and fluorocarbon with me, in various diameters, ready to go. No fumbling in pockets or the pack.

Stomach Pump (link)
$16. Often, what is in the drift is not what trout are eating. Sometimes, fish are really keyed in on one type of bug to the exclusion of everything else. Just use it on larger fish and watch a how-to video on how to ethically pump a fish’s stomach.

Tom Fuller’s Book (link)
$16. One of the best fly fishing books I’ve read. Detailed write ups on flies, access points and parking areas for countless waters in CT, MA and RI.

It is like having a guide with you at the house at all times. It’s how I started fishing the Farmington, Millers, Nissitissit, Swift, Squannacook, etc. I didn’t need a guide as a rookie. I still refer to it regularly as I search for new waters.

Frabill Net 3672 (link)
$20. This is a rubber net which is extremely durable. The rubber is easier on a fish’s gills, and nymphs don’t easily get tangled in the net. It’s very light, too. My old rubber net came with a wood handle; it looked sharp. This net is much lighter.

The 3672 is 13″ x 18″ and is big enough to hold larger fish. I like an ample net. After I catch a big one, I keep the fish in the net and water. I wedge the net among some rocks and let the trout recover at its own pace.

Umpqua Day Tripper Fly Box (link)

$30. Water-proof, light-weight, and holds tons of flies. It even has magnetized panels on one side for those tiny size 30 dries.

If I could have only one fly box, this would be it.

Fly Tying Light and Magnifier (link)
$99. People often ask me how I can make flies down to size 30. Here’s the answer! The quality of my fly tying went up dramatically after I started using this light and magnification lens.

I really like how easy to is to adjust the lighting and the lens. The lens also has a portion devoted to “super” magnification. Light-weight travel clamp included.

Montana Mongoose Vise (link)
$199. You won’t need to buy multiple vise tips. This one handles big streamer hooks and small hooks down to size 30. Full rotary, feather-size gauge, materials clip and bobbin holder, too. And, it comes with a light-weight clamp and travel case for trips.

Syndicate 10′ #2 (link)
$305. This is a competition-style Euro-nymphing rod that many competition anglers have embraced. I’ve written about the Syndicate before (here).

Tightline the fast water and hit the shallows by “floating the sighter.” In the winter, you can also fish heavy flies along the bottoms of deep pools and feel the soft takes from afar. A 10′ “regular” rod is different from a 10′ Euro-style rod. When you fish both, you’ll see. I’ve fished a Euro rig on my “regular” 4-wt. Yuck.

Thomas and Thomas Contact 11’3″ #3 (link)
$795. As I wrote previously (here), if I could pick only one fly rod, this would be it. I bring it to larger rivers, such as the Farmington and Millers.

I like the length for longer casting and the ability to guide nymphs down multiple current seams without moving your feet. And, the rod is very accurate. Target a soft seam from afar, and the rod does a great job.

This fly rod can do everything very well, from dries to indicator nymphing to all types of Euro techniques. It feels amazingly light, but, has a strong back end that lets you quickly bring in a fish. This is an All-Star stick and could be a gift to which multiple family members and friends contribute. And, the company is local, in Greenfield, MA.

So, hope this is helpful. Feel free to forward this post to a Secret Santa or family members.

Anything you’d add to the list?


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7 thoughts on “Best Fly Fishing Gifts

  1. Hemostats with a zinger would be on my list. Can’t have too many as I am always using/losing them for other projects!

  2. Can’t go wrong with fly shop gift cards. Now if only someone in my family would be inclined to read this blog…

    Not sure how many of you use a pair of premium nippers, but I was talking with a guy in an Orvis shop recently about what a great gift idea their $79.00 nippers would be, especially for the guy who wouldn’t spend his own money on a pair.

    1. I’ve read online about those new nippers. Man, I would be paranoid about losing them. FWIW, I got these tungsten snips a few years ago, and they’re great. $14.

      Edit: I just noticed Orvis has stopped selling them; mostly likely, they’re making room for the $79 snips. But, some fly shops online still have them. IMO, folks should take a look at them and possibly buy before the inventory runs out.

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