At Sweetwater Fly Shop, we believe that you can get the angler on your list something they’ll cherish without spending a fortune! On the other hand, if you want to really splurge, we’ve got that covered as well. This year, we’ve chosen a couple of dozen products that we would be proud to give to a friend or loved one, whatever your budget. Want to cut right to the chase? Check out the “Sweet Gift Ideas for All” link in our newly refreshed online store and shop away! I didn’t tell you this, but you can get 10% off your entire order of $100 or more by entering the discount code “GuineaPig10” at checkout! Place your order soon, so we can make sure to get it to you in time!
Want to hear our thoughts on all of our gift selections? Then just keep reading. To keep things manageable, for me if not for you, I’ll break the gift guide into 3 parts. Today, I’ll cover some fly fishing accessories, art and books, and clothing. Tomorrow in Part 2, I’ll cover the big stuff – rods, reels, waders, boots. Then to finish in Part 3, I’ll discuss gifts for the novice angler, as well as a few “less traditional” gift ideas. Your feedback and suggestions in the comments are always welcome!
Let’s begin with some items that would be great stocking stuffers, but also would be much-appreciated gifts for any fly angler. Nippers are a must-have tool that are used pretty much every trip to cut and trim leaders and tippet. Glorified fingernail clippers, perhaps, for which you can spend a little or a lot. Simms’ Guide Nippers ($49.95) are a good compromise that will be a much-loved upgrade for most anglers. Why pay more than the usual $12-15 budget nippers that most anglers settle for? They’re super sharp and durable, for one. The blades will stay sharp with tons of use, and can be replaced if necessary. If your angler might ever do any saltwater fly fishing, the Simms nippers will cut thick tippet with ease. And they’re light, have a no-slip grip, and look pretty stylin’. Another small item that most anglers don’t already have, but that they’ll rave about when they do, is an Amadou Patch (29.95). Made of a highly-absorbent natural material, the patch will quickly suck the water out of a drowned dry fly, readying it for another round.
Technically, books and art will require a rather large stocking, but will be a treat for anyone who appreciates the contemplative aspects of fly fishing. Chris Hunt’s “Catching Yellowstone’s Wild Trout” ($27) is both a guidebook and a memoir of sorts, and a perfect gift for anyone who fishes Yellowstone National Park (or who plans to visit). If you’ve got a youngster on your list, why not give them a copy of “Down By The River,” ($17.95) a beautifully written and illustrated book about family, fly fishing, and conservation, signed by author Andrew Weiner himself? Or give the gift of art, whether a cool vintage poster ($29.95) featuring the Yellowstone River or another famous area stream, or an amazing brown trout print on metal ($470) from former Livingston resident Derek DeYoung. More play than art, but any cribbage aficionados will appreciate Cliff’s Campfire Casino ($44.95) for it’s portable board, cards, etc…, all nicely packaged in a weather-resistant case.
Cold weather clothing from Patagonia and Simms will be welcomed by angler and non-angler alike! Whether it’s Patagonia fold-over gloves ($49) that allow the angler to uncover their fingers for dexterity and feeling, a warm and fashionable Patagonia hat for men or women ($45), or a cozy shirt from Simms that will keep any man (Simms Coldweather Shirt, $119.95 [I have 3]) or woman (Simms Sunset Flannel, $89.95) on your list warm through the winter, we’ve got the goods. And no angler can have too many brimmed hats, and we have quite the selection for kids, women, and men!
Every angler needs some means of carrying their flies and tools (and maybe a sandwich) while they’re fishing. There are tons of good options for fishing packs and vests, depending on angler preference and how much they like to carry. The Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack would be appreciated by any angler. It has plenty of room for fly boxes and all the other stuff we like to have with us on the water, but it is still comfortable and not going to get in the way. And the Ledges 500 has plenty of bells and whistles – water bottle holders, tool attachment points, etc…. What if the angler on your list is planning future fly fishing travel? The Fishpond Dakota Carry-On Rod and Reel Case will keep several rods and reels safe and sound in the overhead bin. No one wants to arrive at a remote fishing lodge with broken or lost gear!
Well, that’s it for today. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the “big stuff” that would make any angler dance around the tree – rods, reels, waders, and boots! Stay tuned!0