It's Cyber Monday and I figured that I would put together a two part series of blog posts with a few ideas for Christmas. Part 1 will cover items that cost $100 or less. Everything mentioned in these two posts are pieces of gear that I fish, I read, I watch, I wear, and suggest you do too. There are a couple discounts in the post to take advantage of too. Here we go...
Cliff Outdoors - With fly boxes in various sizes and configurations along with some neat accessories, Cliff's offerings make great choices for both presents or stocking stuffers. The Snap Strap, if you can find it, is a neat addition to your lanyard which is a container of Wonder Dust with a strap/clip that attaches to your lanyard and a magnet on top of the container to hold your fly in place during changes. Neat.
Eagle Claw Featherlight Series - There may be no better bang for your buck than the 2010 Featherlight fly rod series. I particularly like the 6'6" 4/5 weight and 7' 5/6 weight models. $20-30 for a fiberglass fly rod makes this a great first fly rod for a child or the stick always to have in the trunk of the car for those "just in case" situations. They are yellow...and they are a lot of fun.
Fishy Kid Whistles - I've got 150 Fishy Kid whistles coming from Whistle For Life next week and looking forward to getting so they might end up in a few stocking this Christmas. These whistles are one part safety, one part fun, and one part repping your Fishy Kid pride. $10 gets you a Fishy Kid whistle and two Fishy Kid decals. Discounts for multi whistle orders. Send an email if you'd like to place an order.
Fly Lines - The industry is awash in excellent fly lines across all the price points. Since it's Christmas why not splurge on a Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Ultimate Trout (they make it in a Double Taper which I like very much) or the new Mastery Textured fly lines (T.F.M. review coming on a couple of these fly lines too). Cortland 444 Classic Sylk works great on glass and a T.F.M. favorite for several years now. The Airflo Ridge Lines are very nice and the couple double tapers that I have are durable and excellent casting fly lines. I am keen on the RIO Products Trout LT fly line and if you need to stay organized look at the new Head Case which will work for both shooting heads and fly lines equally.
Hook & Hackle are discounting their Hi-Floater and Rise fly lines through December 10th for all those that call in orders and mention that you saw the holiday post on T.F.M. The Hi-Floater lines are $25 each and the Rise lines are $38 with $3 shipping. This is a great time to stock up on needed fly lines that cast superbly and last. Ask for Russ when you call in your order.
Goertzen Adventure Equipment - The Fly Fishing Lanyard is perhaps the coolest piece of gear that I came across this year and the couple of dozen people that I know that now have lanyards rave about them too. $50 is a reasonable price for a Montana made craftsman item that holds all your fly fishing tools, flies, and accessories perfectly. Jon Goertzen also does custom work and the fly patch can be replaced to hold your point and shoot camera instead. Genius.
Landing Nets - Need a new landing net? This one is a tough one for me since I really like the offerings from both Blue Ribbon Nets and Brodin Landing Nets a lot. Give them a look. The durable clear rubber netting is a huge difference over fabric netting and much lighter than you'd think it would be. No more frustration in untangling your flies hooked into the netting.
Montana Fly Company - Fly tying materials and River Camo Tools and fly boxes in plastic and aluminum might be the perfect items for the stocking. I am especially fond of the Midge Thread which really makes some excellent midge bodies.
Recycled Waders - I've put hands on a lot of bags and the Nook Sack and Messenger Creel are both in my top ten list of best fly fishing gear bags. The Nook Sack is great for minimalist day trips and the Messenger Creel can hold fly gear, lunch, and a DSLR camera if needed. On a side note...both bags are a natural match with the Goertzen Adventure Equipment Fly FIshing Lanyard too.
River Road Creations - Tired of cutting foam with scissors and razors for your favorite coldwater, warmwater, or saltwater patterns? Check out the individual and sets of foam body cutters offered by River Road Creations. The STP Frog, in all three sizes, is an effective topwater fly and fun to experiment with too.
TroutHunter Leaders/Tippets - I've got a long week in Montana and a few local trips in now using the nylon and flourocarbon tippets from TroutHunter and I am impressed. The half X sizes might not be needed by everyone but those that fish small flies on pressured waters may really see the advantage of using 4.5X, 5.5X, or 6.5X. The leaders and tippets are top quality and it's a neat tippet system.
William Joseph - Simply put the MAG Series is money. The Current and Amp chest packs and the Surge lumbar pack are well thought out and magnetic closures instead of zippers makes access easy as can be.
Eastern Rises - Perhaps no fly fishing film has been teased and waited on like Eastern Rises but when it was finally released it was certainly worth the anticipation. Solid work by the Felt Soul Media boys and the adventure to Kamchatka is worth watching over and over again.
The Drake - One of three magazines I asked for a subscription to for Christmas and seriously hope that I get. Each issue of The Drake is full of great writing and is fly fishing's indie voice.
The Flyfish Journal - Long form essays and stunning photography make this magazine worthy. Through midnight on December 3rd enter the promo code "GREENFRIDAY" to receive a free TFFJ t-shirt with your one or two year subscription and save over purchasing the magazine issue by issue off the newsstand. That is...if you can find it at all.
Fly Rod and Reel - I've been an off and on reader of Fly Rod and Reel but have noticed that the magazine going in a positive direction in design and content. During a recent interview of Joe Healy, editor of FR&R, on the Itinerant Angler podcast he confirmed an upcoming new look and quarterly issues for 2011.
The Lost World of Mr. Hardy - I thought there was a chance that this film might be stuffy and boring. It certainly wasn't. Full review coming but this was one of the top three fly fishing films I watched this year. The story of the Hardy brand from start to present with interviews, old film footage, photographs, and it is a primer for those that have wondered about the story of the Hardy brand.
METALHEAD - The AEG boys did it again and wrapped up their final film with an epic journey in search of steelhead. Well done and enjoyable to watch. Idaho Joe at Castaway Fly Fishing Shop is offering all four of the AEG DVD's with a F3T t-shirt for $49.99 on ebay. 40% of the proceeds from these sales will be donated to Trout Unlimited. The ebay auction ends on Wednesday so take advantage of this almost $100 in savings for the DVD set.
Buff - Simply put a couple Buffs are essential if you fish outside during day light. Many a sunburns on my face and neck have been saved by my religious Buff use. The Buff Angler Gloves are worth a look at well. Great stocking stuffer idea.
Bug Slinger - Inspired designs continue to come out of the brain of Rob McAbee of Bug Slinger and I enjoy wearing his threads almost as much as my T.F.M. gear. Between now and Friday, December 3rd, use the code "SLINGERFRIDAY10" to receive a 10% discount on your order.
Patagonia - Does Dad need some new underwear? Skip the tighty whities and pick him up a couple pairs of Capilene Boxers. Yeah...they are expensive but believe me when I tell you that they are comfortable and just don't wear out.
Skinny Water Culture - So far I've picked up a long sleeve t-shirt, cap, decals, and plan on adding a Microfiber Ambush shirt soon from the S.W.C. crew. Stellar saltwater mojo in their threads for sure.
T.F.M. Gear - Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't mention picking up a T.F.M. t-shirt or several of the decals. Chose your favorite T.F.M. from the T.F.M. Trout, the GLASS IS NOT DEAD, or the soon to be announced 2011 T.F.M. t-shirt featuring the art work by Jeff Kennedy.
Backwater Paddle Company - The Predator and Piranha paddles are one of the most inexpensive kayak accessories out there and essential for the angling kayaker to use for changing positions without having to put the rod down. I especially like the Piranha paddle form using it all summer long in the kayak.
YakAttack - I've used my VISICarbon Pro during both day and night on kayak trips this summer and I am seriously impressed with this kayak light and flag setup. Great for being seen on the water and I feel safer for having it up on the kayak.
WHEW. Part 2 of the T.F.M. Holiday Gift Guide will entail all the big ticket items and a couple more discount as well that you might want to take advantage of.
Happy shopping. If you have any questions or need further information about any of the products listed please feel free to send me an email.