Fishing Christmas Gifts for Those that Love the Outdoors
Fishing is one of our favorite pastimes. There’s nothing quite like the outdoors, fresh air, and a body of water. Pair handcrafted beef jerky and you are living the dream!
We’ll be reel with you. Although we enjoy fishing, we’re definitely not experts on the subject. In fact, we’d be incredibly lost if we were stuck holiday shopping for a friend or family member that’s a die-hard fisherman or fisherwoman.
That’s why we partnered with our good friend and fishing expert James Park. Let’s just say, he let us off the hook!
He’ll be the first to admit, “getting started in a new hobby or sport can be very challenging. New terminology, equipment you’ve never heard of and technical information can be overwhelming.”
Good thing for you (and us), James has years of experience fly fishing and has worked in the fishing business for over 15 years. He’s made it easy for you by providing a list of everything you need to get started.
Keep reading to see his hand-selected fishing gifts that will make you the hero of the holiday (fishing) season.
Fly Rod, Reels and Combos
Fly rods have been around for hundreds of years. The first fly rods were simply branches cut from trees making it very difficult to cast and carry around. Through the years, the rods have gone through an evolution of their own. Bamboo, Fiberglass and eventually graphite materials have been used through the last hundred years and these days, you’ll find that a graphite fly rod is very dependable and fun to fish with.
We personally love the Red Truck Fly Fishing Company Fly Rods and use them for most of our fly fishing adventures. The most popular size rod is the 9 foot, 5 weight fly rod used for all-purpose trout fishing.
Like fly rods, fly reels have also evolved throughout the years. The most dependable fly reels are usually machined out of aircraft grade aluminum. With so many choices and options out there, we prefer Galvan Fly Reels made right here in the USA.
We like the Galvan Torque - 4 (T-4) to pair up with the Red Truck 5wt Fly Rod. This family owned business makes some of the highest quality reels we’ve ever fished with and their lightweight, ultra-dependable and will help you land your first trout.
Lastly, if you really want to make it easy, you can pick up one of the best “combo” outfits available on the market, the Leland Sonoma Starter made by Leland Fly Fishing Company.
These combos are great for beginners and a perfect way to get into fly fishing without breaking the bank. The rods are 8 foot 5 weights, they come with a machined fly reel that matches perfectly with the fly rod, and the fly line is designed to work specifically with the rod. It also comes with a leader for the end of the fly line to present your flies delicately with precision to hungry fish. All you need to do is tie on your fly and you’re ready to fish!
Fly line is a common term for the weighted line that, in conjunction with a fly rod and reel, delivers the relatively weightless fly fishing lure, or fly, to the targeted game fish in the sport of fly fishing. The fly line is what really sets fly fishing apart from conventional fishing. If you decide to get a rod and reel on your own, we recommend the Leland Fly Fishing Company’s Custom Pliny Fly Line. This floating line is designed to be an all-purpose fly line that newbies as well as seasoned anglers can use to deliver flies on the surface of the water.
Fly Fishing Leaders
In fly fishing, a leader is a length of thin, transparent line that is attached to the front end of the fly line and then to the fly, forming an important component of a fly angler’s terminal tackle.
Leaders are typically thicker towards the back and taper to a thin diameter front where you tie on the fly. This allows the fly to be presented to the fish with accuracy without spooking the fish. Grab a pack of three and get ready to catch some beautiful trout!
Trout like to eat small aquatic insects, terrestrial bugs, as well as other small fish, frogs and other creatures. Typically fish will eat what they are used to in their own environment so we recommend you stop by a fly shop near the destination you plan to fish. We encourage you to support your local fly shops!
Local knowledge and local flies will make a big difference when going after that next trophy (which come in all sizes!).
Waders and Boots
Waders and boots are very important components to your fly fishing equipment list. You don’t always need waders (when it’s very hot), but boots are essential to keeping you safe and comfortable. Boots come with sticky rubber or felt bottoms and oftentimes you can add metal screws to the bottom to add safety and security while wading on slippery rocks.
When selecting waders, it’s important to pick a pair that will keep you dry, warm and are waterproof. Our favorite waders and boots are made from our friends at Patagonia. Personally I’ve worn Patagonia waders for over a decade and have taken them all around the world, and they’ve never let me down.
Vest and Packs
We like to use either a vest or fly fishing pack when we go fishing primarily to keep all our accessories and tools organized and dry. There are a variety of packs and vests to choose from, but once again we love the equipment made by Patagonia. Not only is their product extremely reliable, but they have very well thought out designs with a purpose and they are extremely environmentally conscious and friendly.
There is a myriad of extra equipment you can purchase to make your time on the water easier and more efficient. Here are just some of them:
Conservation is a very big part of fly fishing. The fish we chase typically live in some of the most beautiful places on our planet. We believe it’s our responsibility to protect the fish and the places they live. There are several organizations and groups that help protect our waters, but we can all do our part as individuals to keep the environment safe, secure and clean.
There are so many other tools, gadgets and products we can use to go fly fishing and we can literally write a whole book about it. This is just a small list of the essentials you need to go enjoy a day on the water and hopefully catch some fish.
We recommend you check out The Curtis Creek Manifesto, a simple easy read that is fun to read and really makes fly fishing simple! And one last thing, don’t forget any fisherman’s essential item: beef jerky!
About the Author
Growing up on the beaches of Southern California, James spent most of his free time at the beach. Swimming, fishing and lifeguarding the beaches has been a huge part of his life, even after moving to Northern California to finish college in San Francisco. Nowadays he's happily married with his wife Regan and raising his two boys, EJ and Paxon in Roseville just outside of Sacramento. James has spent the last 15 years fly fishing around the globe in places in New Zealand, Labrador, Hawaii, Belize and Alaska. Currently he manages RedTruckFlyFishing.com, LelandFly.com as well as Nature Boy Designs.