We’ve all been there. It’s approaching that ‘special time’ of year where we’ve got to wrack our brains and think about that special someone.
If you are gifting someone who’s full-on into a sport or passion, it can be hard to know what’s right.
Well, don’t worry, I’m a fisherman, and I know what I’d like someone to buy for me. I’m going to share that info with you! I’ll talk you through some of the best fly fishing gifts I’ve seen to make life so much easier.
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What do You Get for Someone Who Loves Fly Fishing?
Knowing how to choose a fly fishing gift for them is half the battle.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you.
There are a few routes you can go down when buying a gift for someone who loves fly fishing. Ask yourself the following questions. Once you’ve got the answers, you’ll be in a much better place to choose the ideal fly fishing gift.
How Serious are They About Fly Fishing?
This might seem like an odd place to start, but it is the most important thing to think about before going any further.
Look, I’ve spent thousands on rods and reels in my time (sometimes in a single purchase). Do I have the best fly fishing gear? Probably. Would I trust someone else to pick it for me? Probably not.
But, that said…
If I had been getting by for years with a cheap fly rod and reel, or I’d recently discovered the sport, I’d be delighted with an upgrade!
It’s up to you to decide where your gift recipient sits on the above scale. One of the hard parts about choosing fishing gear for someone else is that you don’t know what’s good and what’s not.
Trust me when I say this.
You’ll find plenty of good ideas below.
How Often Do They Fish?
Look, I’m going, to be honest.
There is no point splashing out thousands of bucks on someone who will use something once or twice a year. It just isn’t worth it.
If you know someone who loves fishing, just infrequently, then maybe go for something smaller. That way, you won’t feel aggrieved if it ends up in the corner of the garage.
Is it a ‘Big’ Birthday?
This might be an exception to the two considerations above. If you are looking for fly fishing gifts for dad, and he’s coming up to one of those ‘big’ birthdays, you might want to consider pushing the boat out a little.
There’s nothing worse than opening a present to find some tacky trinket that is neither useful nor attractive. Especially when you’ve just turned 60!
Novelty or Functional?
This all boils down to you knowing the person who you are buying for. Would they prefer something they can use when they are out fishing, or would they be happy with a ‘Big Mouth Billy Bass’?
Sometimes you can adequately combine the two. A pair of novelty fishing socks still keep your feet warm after all, and I’d never say no to fishing clothes.
In the below fly fishing gift guide, you’ll find both functional and novelty gifts. There might be the odd bit of crossover, but choosing will be super easy once you’ve thought about the above.
Gift Ideas for Fly Fishermen (The Ultimate Gift Idea List)
Let’s start with the things that we, as anglers, REALLY want… More tackle! Take a look at some of the ideas below for gifts that I would love to receive as a real fisherman.
If there is one thing that every single fly fisherman in the world wants, it is more flies.
Trust me… The number of flies required is always one more than what you have. Always! This is a great gift as it will provide your beloved with enough flies to catch fish anywhere. The fact that there are 122 of them means they’ll be spoiled for choice.
There’s a whole range here, and there is bound to be something that will work in their local water. As a nice aside, the set comes with two durable boxes, so they won’t need to make room in their existing sets. If you want to look for a dedicated fly box, I’ve got a great guide here.
This is an awesome gift for fly fishing. I’m a little jealous of whoever you are going to give it to!
At first glance, I was so tempted to put this into the ‘novelty’ fly fishing gift list. But actually, while ‘novel’ is a really smart idea!
It’s got a tape measure along one arm, meaning you’ll always be able to tell what size fish you catch. It has an eye-catching design with a large trout motif on the chest. Even if they decide not to use the included ‘arm tape-measure,’ it will still act as a nice thermal underlayer if they are fly fishing in the cold.
What do you get for the angler who has everything?
This survival kit is jam-packed full of useful tools. This smart set includes a folding knife, a compass, an all-weather pen, a flashlight, some karabiners, and a folding ruler. Oh, and a flint stone scraper with steel.
It’s a pretty manly gift, and it’s small enough to be squeezed into the bottom of a fishing bag. This is proper Rambo stuff!
As the years start to add up, you may have noticed that your significant other has started to get a few ‘crow’s feet’ around their eyes.
Also known as…
This is a relatively cheap gift that will be appreciated. Polarized sunglasses cut down on glare significantly. Less squinting equals fewer fine lines, keeping you looking youthful for longer!
And that’s not all…
Polarized glasses let you see under the water. This should allow your birthday boy (or girl) to catch more fish! They are pretty trendy looking and are purpose-built for fishing! You’ll even be able to choose a color that suits them!
I bet you’ve never heard about a tippet head gate before.
Lucky you are here!
This little device allows a fisherman to store multiple spools of line on their person and have them easily to hand.
Believe me when I say…
This is one of those things that I didn’t know I needed until somebody gave me one! I’m now paying it forward. It isn’t much and wouldn’t be considered a ‘big’ gift, but they’ll get loads of use out of it and will be lost without it!
This is one of those ‘big’ purchases that aren’t repeated yearly. If you’ve seen my article on fly fishing jackets, you’ll know that I really rate Orvis as a quality brand.
This wading jacket would be considered a treat. Make no mistake! As waterproof fishing clothing goes, it is about as good as it gets. It’s warm, completely waterproof and dare I say, a little bit designer too.
How often has dad come home claiming that he caught a whopper, with nothing but how far he can hold his arms to demonstrate.
Here’s how you sort that out.
An action sports camera is a great way to record all of the action. They are lightweight and take photos as well as videos. GoPro also happens to be waterproof, so you needn’t worry about your investment disappearing into the lake!
And there’s more…
This is another one that can be added to year on year. With a choice of chest mounts, head mounts, and other camera accessories, the hardest bit in the years to come will be choosing between them!
Ok, now this one is just a little bit special. This is strictly a ‘one-off’ purchase that will have any self-respecting fly fisher squealing with delight.
I mean that literally.
If Ferrari made fly fishing rods, it would look something like this.
Unless you want to start talking crazy money, this is pretty much the best fly fishing rod on the market. It isn’t cheap but provided it is taken care of, they will never need another. You’ll see this rod featured in a few of my reviews, and I always give it top marks.
It is exceptionally high quality, and it also happens to be one of the lightest around.
But… And I’m being transparent here… Fly rods are a personal choice, and they need pairing up with the right reel and line. If you want to know how to do it, check out my ultimate guide!
Alright, so you’ve pulled the trigger and decided you will really treat that special someone.
Good for them! (And you!)
Buying a good fly fishing rod is only half the battle. You wouldn’t put a clapped-out engine in a brand new Mustang, would you? The reel is almost as important as the rod, and if you are looking for something special, you can stop right here.
The Mirage LT range is absolutely superb. Budget, this isn’t, but again, you’ll be buying something that should last a lifetime. Consider it the ‘diamond ring’ of flyfishing gifts. Don’t buy a cheap one! It’s up to you whether you get down on one knee when you present it.
If the above is a little beyond your budget, I get it.
But here’s the good news.
You can still kit your fishing friend out with something that is phenomenal when it comes to fly fishing. This is a combo deal that behaves like some premium fly fishing rods without costing a premium budget.
It’s made by Orvis, one of the best brands in fly fishing, and is jam-packed full of features that any fly angler appreciates.
Oh, it’s lightweight, easy to cast with, and can pull in big fish!
If you are looking to buy someone a rod and reel for fly fishing, you might not have the time (or knowledge) to choose a perfectly balanced set up in the right weight. If that’s the case, then this is for you. It comes from the manufacturer perfectly paired and ready to fish! There’s plenty of other great fly fishing combos here too.
Now I know it’s not always about birthdays… this one, in particular, would be a great retirement present for someone looking for something new to fill their time.
The thing about Simms is that they make good quality gear that is affordable at the same time.
Want an example?
This vest. This is one of the best I have seen. It has plenty of pockets, room for fly boxes and is cool and lightweight. Oh, and it looks pretty smart too, so they won’t be embarrassed to wear it!
It also comes with a few clever devices that you don’t find on standard fly fishing vests. Things like rod holders and preinstalled tool retractors will leave them cooing with delight and give them space to stash all of their fly fishing bits and pieces.
Speaking of bits and pieces, let us take a look at a few smaller fly fishing gifts that could act as ‘stocking fillers.
You’ll see other guides referring to fly fishing ‘nippers’, which are essentially nail clippers rebranded for fly fishing. If you want to get your favorite fly fisherman something a little bit different but is something that they’ll really appreciate, then take a look at this.
This little tool allows you to cut lines and change flies with ease.
This is one of those things that you might not be able to justify buying for yourself, but if you got it from somebody else, you’d be thrilled.
As an additional benefit, it stops your loose flies from getting lost, which happens frequently (hence the reason why I’m forever buying more flies… See my first suggestion)
This is another one of those little fly fishing ‘gifts’ that I, as an angler, probably couldn’t justify buying for myself.
I would love one as a fly fishing gift.
For the uninitiated, this handy little device acts as a sort of retractable safety rope for your tools. You can attach pretty much anything to them, such as a nice fishing knife, fishing pliers, scissors, line holders, or even your landing net! They are often called fly fishing ‘zingers’.
If you are looking at the price, let me tell you this…
These things see a lot of action and have moving parts inside. What this means is that unless you go high quality, they tend to break with alarming regularity. This little beauty is made of aerospace-grade aluminum. It’s light but also strong and heavy-duty at the same time.
Remember a while back, I was talking about never having enough flies? This could be the answer!
Is that special angler in your life always miserable when they can’t get out fishing? While you can fly fish in winter, opportunities are scarce.
So, what to do?
Well, how’s about you give somebody the means to make their own flies? Fly tying is a separate sport all of its own, and as with some of my other fly fishing gift suggestions, this will keep on giving!
Fly vices form part of a ‘workbench’ (or, as I like to call it, my “fly creation station”). This is the backbone of the setup, and it really does pay to get a high-quality one straight off the bat.
This also opens up a world of opportunities for other gifts down the line. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to buying fly tying tools, making your fishing gift ideas future-proofed.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been stood up to my waist in water and had nowhere to put a beer can.
And here’s the thing…
Beer and fishing go together like peas and carrots! This leaves your hands free to fish while kicking back and chilling with a cold brew. It doesn’t have to be used for alcohol either. It works just as well for water bottles and soda.
Just be sure to warn whoever you buy it for not to wade too deep. I once thought I had a never-ending bottle of beer. It did taste a little like the lake I was fishing in by the end of the day!
Novelty Fly Fishing Gifts
Perhaps you aren’t confident enough to buy fishing gear for a serious enthusiast, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to meet someone who’s got a great sense of humor?
Sorry, I must stop talking about myself. (Now that’s a joke).
Regardless of the reasons, you can still get somebody a great fly fishing gift even if you know nothing about fishing. These are all safe bets that they will be sure to love.
Whenever I see gifts like this beautiful glass, I imagine myself in some wood-paneled room with a roaring fire reading a book (probably about fishing). This image normally includes me with a full glass of something particularly strong.
Sure, you can grab a hi-ball glass from the kitchen… You could also drink champagne out of a teacup, but I bet you don’t’.
As glasses go, this is really nice. It has a really heavy weight to it and a quality feel. While I’ve said it’s a novelty, it is actually really classy. The glass is emblazoned with a silhouette of a trout fly. I feel it is important to note that this design isn’t printed… It’s etched. This means it isn’t going to wash off in the dishwasher.
If you know someone who fishes and want to get them something pretty laid back and casual, this is a beautiful gift.
It is pretty great value, and I think the silhouetted fly angler against a setting sun is a really nice touch.
I’m not going to go bananas here. It’s a t-shirt at the end of the day. But it would be useful as a themed base layer if they are out fishing or just to wear down to the bar while they talk someone’s ear off about the fish they’ve caught (or not).
If you know the kind of guy who has his own ‘man cave’, they will be pretty particular about their own personal space.
However, something that includes both fly fishing and their own name has to be a winner, right?
I think this fly fishing gift is really clever, and each one is almost certainly a one-off.
Here’s how it works…
You submit a name like say…”Bob”. And a few days later, you’ll be presented with a beautiful multi-framed wall hanging with various pictures of fly fishing paraphernalia. Like a sort of montage.
But, here’s the thing.
Those images are pictured in such a way as to spell a name! Clever, right?
This could be a really great value gift if you know someone with a short name, if you are buying someone called ‘Alessandro’, it might be cheaper to look elsewhere (but, hey, you could just call them ‘AL’)