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12 days of Christmas gifts for the fisherman

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Ok we may be last minute shoppers but our gifts are WAY better than a pear tree and turtle doves.  We would like to thank all our friends, readers and guests for a great year.  We will work hard in 2017 to improve in all facets of the industry.  In the meatime if you need to get out and grab some last minute gifts or stocking stuffers for someone who loves fishing as much as we do, check our our gift guide for 2016 Christmas.  If nothing else the hobby of flyfishing is great for gadgets and new items that aren’t quite must haves but make things a lot of fun.


1)    Fly-agra: “Never will you have trouble keeping it up again” joins a multitude of other corny jokes. I was introduced to this stuff this summer and was very impressed. On large stonefly patterns for Babine, “The solution kept the flies floating high and dry. It took a long time for slime to weigh the bugs down. In the fall for steelhead, I treated skaters overnight as recommended and it worked great. Highly recommend it.”

2)    Simms Beer Holder ( Swinging flies is exciting because of the lead up to a take. It is like a perfectly scripted movie that takes time to develop and, when the action hits, you are fully committed. To keep the nerves under wraps while you anticipate a hard grab, we highly recommend a nice beer. We are hard at work inventing a new product called the Game Changer that keeps your beer perfectly positioned while fishing; however, until we launch our product, Simms is the next best option with its beer koozie.

3)    Fishpond Thunderhead Sling: As a longtime user of the Sagebrush Products that kept my stuff clean and dry no matter what, I was heartbroken when the 800 number went dead. There are roll-top bags out there for days, but pulling stuff out in torrential rain to find an item at the bottom is just not the same as unzipping an entire bag. Although the Thunderhead bag is not as large as a daypack, it’s the perfect bag if you’re not trying to take the whole boat with you. As a guide, I grab the things I need for a run from my boat bag, throw in the Thunderhead, and charge out in the elements.

4)    Leatherman Scissor Tool ( Fishing guides are a multitude of different professions rolled up into one. They are race car drivers trying to get to our favorite runs first, therapists working through fraudulent psychoanalysis for guests, and, of course, certified safety monitors. The Leatherman Raptor medical shears and multi-tool basically make us a legit emergency medical technician (EMT). If you have a heart attack, these scissors will cut through waders in seconds. In all honesty these scissors come in handy while salmon fishing. There are always things to cut through, and these scissors go through everything faster than your knife.  If your loved one likes to fish for salmon or is an EMT hobbyist, then this is a must have.

5)    Rushton Nets, “The Babine”: You wouldn’t want the angler in your life not to look his best out there on the river. I’ve used these nets for the last seven seasons and I get more compliments about them than any other piece of equipment I own. Necessary? Nope. Worth it? Yep. Is being the coolest fisher out there worth it? Well, yes!

6)    New Patagonia Waders (…). If you have worn Pata waders before and were disappointed, it is now time to try them again. These Rio Gallegos waders from Patagonia are finally the pair you were wading for. These bad boys are built with comfort and durability in mind with every stitch. If your man is over 60, consider tossing in the extra money for a zipper on the front. After hitting 50 years old, each new year brings one new bathroom break per day. At 60, the breaks in a day are high enough to make the wader zipper a very welcome invention. Nice work, Patagonia!

7)    Patagonia Triolet Jacket: I’m on my third Patagonia climbing jacket for fishing. Years ago while fishing with Yvon Chouinard on the Dean, I’d mentioned I hated jackets with super-pockets and retractors and bungees and all that stuff to get caught on. I’d also mentioned I was always having trouble finding a bombproof jacket without insulation. His suggestion? Climbing jackets. People have told me they are too long and get wet, but I’m not sure about these issues. My jacket keeps me dry and knocks back the wind.

8)    Magrath Cattle Stomach Pump: Let’s be honest, we spend more time in the boat watching our friends fish? This is the gift that you didn’t know you needed until you needed it!

9)    Infrared Thermometer: With the new “Star Wars” movie now in theaters, there is no better time to give your fly-fishing-obsessed loved one a taste of the future. As a guide, our light sabre days are over, but we can still feel cool about the William Joseph infrared thermometer. If you want to keep your loved ones from trying the LARP, then you need to keep them up to date with the modern toys in the hobby they love.

10)    Abel Pliers: These are absurdly expensive, and I don’t own a pair, but this is one of those gifts I’d never buy myself, but I am seriously jealous of people who have them! I’m always cold and my hands rarely work. My 99-cent hemostats require just a little too much strength to operate with blue fingers and then there are just those barbs that never want to come off…but with these pliers they do!

11)    Babine for a Benjamin ( Last year, the Native Fish Society held the best raffle in the industry, and we are doing it again this year.  For a $100 Benjamin, you can give your loved one a raffle ticket and the opportunity to go to a $7,500 fishing lodge in prime time steelhead paradise. This link is how it worked last year and, if you want one for this year, shoot us an email. This is an awesome stocking stuffer.

12)    A Guided Day on the Bow River Calgary, Alberta: If your loved ones enjoy trout fishing and happen to be spending some time in Canada, you will want them to enjoy a day on the Bow River. This world-class fishery runs right through Calgary. At nearly 2,500 fish per mile, you will be in trout nirvana and have all the wonderful amenities of a great city. Give Paula Shearer a call for an awesome trip with a passionate guide. Send her an email at Trips run around $650 Canadian per day with tips.

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