The Global FlyFisher
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We haven't ever done anything like this before. Lists of Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers are very common everywhere, but this is the first ever on GFF.
This is late November and even though my Holiday mood isn't even near setting in, I thought it would be fun to find a handful of not too expensive gifts for the fly-fisher and fly-tyer.
I have tried to keep prices as low as possible, and the ceiling is 25 US$ with a few added extras going higher than that. I still realize that 25 dollars a day in 24 days is overdoing it (yeah, right!), but you can stay with the inexpensive items or limit your stocking stuffing to a few select days during the holidays.
The gifts are generally useful, but I have marked them with symbols for the fly-fisher, general angler, the cook, the outdoors person and the fly-tyer so that the non-angler or non-fly-tying person can select proper gifts for the lucky receiver. Some of the things are most likely already found in some shape or form in the tackle bag of most anglers, but having a backup never hurts.
Should someone love someone else really, really much, here is 24 excellent gifts for the fly-tying, fly-fishing angler.
A real man's fly tying tool. For the fly-tyer who wants to tie deer hair bass bugs as hard as cork. Consider the combination of an instructional DVD and the tool.
The tool alone is about 23 US$ and the combo is 40 US$.
Available from the Super Fly Store and Bear's Den
Ceramic bobbin holder
The fly-tyer using cheap, indian bobbin holders is in for a treat. No more broken tying thread! Ceramic bobbin holders are generally available and prices go from 10 US$ to almost 50 US$.
Buff or HooRag
These neat tubular hoods are very versatile and useful under almost any conditions. Used for sun protection in the tropics and to get warmth when the temperatures are low. The Buff is 20 US$ and widely available while the HooRag is about 15 US$.
Buffs are here and HooRags here.
Posters and prints for the fly angler are widely available. We have our own, which can be had from less than 10 US$ per print depending on size. You can get beautiful fishing scenes or classic salmon flies.
From Learn Tenkara comes something a little different in the form of a poster showing some simple Tenkara flies. It's available for only US$ 4.95 and will be a nice addition to any fly-tying corner.
DVDs and books
There's a wealth of books and DVDs available, and prices start very low for older publications. Browse any site or fly-shop and I'm sure you can find a couple of offers.
If you go for low prices, try Welsh Coch-y-Bonddu which has both a bargain book section and a sub 5 UK£ (8 US$) section. Should I recommend one single book, try to locate The Curtis Creek Manifesto by Sheridan Anderson, a fantastic and inexpensive book available for less than 10 US$ most places.
We have a beautiful water bottle with a classic salmon fly print in our merchandise assortment, priced at 30 US$ and available in many colors. Another option is Simms' Derek de Young bottles, available from 25 US$.
Line clippers is a part of any angler's equipment, and most anglers already have one (or several), but adding one more to the collection won't hurt, and since they are both useful and inexpensive there's little to be lost. They come in all kinds of shapes and prices start from a buck for the cheap ones to maybe 10-20 US$ for the fancier ones. Check out Loon and Fishpond for great clippers.
Good, sturdy pliers can be very useful both at the tying table and when fishing. Try to get stainless ones when aiming for fishing pliers.
Many hardware stores have a large selection of generally available pliers while flyshops have ones designed for fishing at slightly higher prices but also more functions.
This one is pretty easy. Find a furrier or a hobby store that has fur. Most of them will have grab bags of mixed bits of fur in varying colors and textures. You may also find a bin with bits and pieces at low prices. Select whatever you fancy. Most fly tyers will be happy with almost any fur, which is useful for a lot of purposes.
Magnetic Fly Threader
Tightlines Enterprises specializes in magnetic stuff, and makes some pretty neat products. This magnetic fly threader is another of their smart products, aimed at the fly angler whose eyes and fingers are starting to find it hard to thread a fly. It's only US$ 10.75.
Magnetic Rod Guard
A thermometer can sometimes be handy. Anglers who write a diary usually want to record temperatures and just out of sheer interest and for the sake of knowing how fish and food critters behave, the temperature is nice to know.
Thermometers are easy to find in any hardware store, but get a reinforced model that goes from below freezing point to tropical conditions. The old fashioned, analog ones are available from less than 10 US$. Make sure it has a scale you are comfortable with: Celsius or Fahrenheit - or both.
River Bum has a few and we have an article on the matter.
Warm sock are always welcome. Buy good wool socks with some synthetic fiber added for elasticity and strength often called SmartWool, CoolMax or something like that. It doesn't have to be brand name angler's socks, but get a good quality hiker's socks and get the size right. Prices typically start at 10-15 US$ a pair.
Another option is thin lining socks, which are used to keep the feet dry from sweat. They are used under the thicker socks, and can really make a difference. Price for liners typically start at 5-7 US$.
We have an article on dressing for winter.
Waterproof phone bag
Those of us who have lost phones and cameras to the water gods, know to appreciate the many waterproof bags available for phones. Today's smartphones don't take much moisture, and a protective bag is a smart thing to have for your phone. The bags typically hang around the neck, but can also simply be stuffed in a pocket.
The bags are widely available, and come from cheap China models at 4-5 US$ to brand name bags at 20-30 US$.
Check the Waterproof Store or AquaPac for a large selection.
Like socks, long underwear is always useful. There's basically two kinds: synthetic and wool. Wool stays warm when wet, and don't be afraid that it scratches. Modern wool is very comfortable. Synthetics have a fantastic ability to lead away moisture and leave the skin dry. The wool is typically more expensive and harder to find, while most large apparel and department stores have synthetic underwear at reasonable prices, often down to 10 US$ for a pair.
Good fly-tying scissors
The average fly-tyer typically already has a bunch of scissors, but good scissors are always a nice gift. Old ones get used for coarser stuff while the new ones get used at the fine stuff.
Acceptable scissors for the fly-tyer come from 10 US$ and up to both 50 and 100 dollars. Stay in the 15-20 US$ range and you are fine, but shy away from cheap Indian and Chinese models and go for well proven brands.
A simple scarf available in almost any clothing store for next to nothing. Style and a dab of color to the otherwise well camouflaged angler. Should be available for less than 10 US$ and very likely much less. Buy a handful if they are really inexpensive.
Neck strap for the glasses
For those who wear sunglasses or reading glasses, a strap can make life a lot easier and save a pair or two when things get wild. Straps are available in fashion shops, by opticians, in flyshops and many other places and typically fit most glasses. Prices vary, but usually they start a a dollar or two while brand name straps can cost much more.
Folks who like to fish at night need light, and a headlamp that leaves the hands free can be a great help. The modern LED based lamps are compact and lightweight, and non-brand products are inexpensive enough to make this list.
Some really compact types clip onto the bill of a cap while others strap onto your head in the classic manner.
A good knife is always welcome in the angler's pockets. Excellent folding knifes can be had from as low as 10 US$, and just shelling 25 US$ will most likely yield an excellent knife with a good blade and a decent folding mechanism. Get one with a stout blade and a decently sized handle - and a secure locking function both closed and open. Look in hardware stores and online in the big general web shops such as Amazon.
GFF coffee mug
These stylish mugs are welcome in any fly fishing club or at any fly-tying table! The coffee simply tastes better when drunk from an original Global FlyFisher coffee mug!
Prices start at 14 US$.
Fish bone remover
If your gift receiver sometimes cooks a fish, a bone remover is a really smart kitchen tool. Designed to pull out the side bones from a filet, it can also serve as a feather stem remover for your duck, goose or turkey.
Large hardware stores and kitchen utensil stores has them and prices are low, typically starting at 5 US$ or thereabout.
What to cook when the bones are gone? We have a few recipes.
Forceps are primarily used to unhook fish. They are available in many models, shapes and colors, and are usually quite inexpensive. If you want something extra, look for Dr. Slicks Mitten Scissors, which are "automatic", meaning that they lock and unlock with the same motion, and can be easily operated with gloves or cold fingers.
Dr.Slick has a bunch of different tools.
Fingerless gloves are a winter life save for the angler. They are warm, but allow you to use your fingers and feel what's happening. Get a cheap, knitted wool pair. They cost close to nothing and are widely available. The difference between them and the super deluxe fleece, windstopper, padded, rubberized brand names is that they cost a tenth and stay warm when wet.