Put these on your list for a Merrier Christmas season.
101 Fish: A Fly Fisher’s Life List
Lefty Kreh has been an outdoor writer for more than 45 years and is fly fishing’s most recognizable celebrity. He is the author of dozens of books, most of them instructional references that rely on Lefty’s depth of experience and expertise. 101 Fish: A Fly Fisher’s Life List ($25, stackpolebooks.com) is not that kind of book. This is a book of entertaining stories revolving around 101 different fish—from bluegills in farms ponds to peacock bass in the Amazon—and Lefty has a witty, insightful story about each one. The 6"x9" book is 208 pages and illustrated by Florida guide Bill Bishop.
Derek DeYoung 16oz Pilsner Glasses
A great beer is like a work of art. A Derek DeYoung fish painting is a work of art, so why not pair the two in one of Derek DeYoung’s 16-ounce Pilsner glasses? The glasses are available in three prints: brown, brook, and rainbow trout either individually ($20) or in a set of all three ($53, canvasfish.com). If you’re more of a morning person, DeYoung also has coffee mugs and other gift items like decals, notepads, and coaster sets.
Spite Hill Guide Pack
Can’t decide between a lumbar pack and a sling? You don’t have to. The Spite Hill Guide Pack ($99, www.clearcreek.net) can be worn as either one. Just release the waist belt and you can swing the pack to the front like a sling where you have easy access to all your stuff. It’s comfortable, and has the compartments you need to stay organized, but without the hassle of so many pockets so you can’t find what you need. It also has a YKK heavy-duty zipper, magnetic closures on front flap, magnetic dividers inside, and expandable water bottle holders on the exterior.
A “regular” cooler isn’t really much better than the disposable Styrofoam coolers you get at a gas station. They might keep your drinks “cooler” for a few hours, but they don’t keep them cold all day, and they don’t last. Yeti coolers are built with 2 inches of PermaFrost insulation and have an interlocking lid with a gasket that seals all the way around. In other words, when you put ice in here, it stays ice longer. The Yeti Roadie ($200, yeticoolers.com) is 20"x13"x14" (approximately) and the smallest model in the Yeti product line. It’s perfect for lunch in the drift boat or a sixpack of beer.
Westwater Boat Bag
The Westwater Boat Bag ($220, fishpondusa.com) brags 1,400 cubic inches of storage capacity with an adjustable Velcro divider system and three clear interior zippered pouches to help keep everything organized. A molded top and bottom provide a stable platform while making it easy to open and close. The adjustable strap lengthens to carry over your shoulder, or tightens into a carry handle. Extra features include exterior hemostat, knife, accessory, and tippet attachment points for easy access, and four heavy-duty tie-down points for rafting.
LifeProof iPhone Case
LifeProof cases protect your iPhone from water, dirt, snow, and the shock of impact from drops and spills. “LifeProof” also means it’s “fishingproof,” so it’s protected from water, fish slime, silicone floatant, dry-shake powder, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and whatever else you might pack with you on a fishing trip. We tried this waterproof case on a weeklong fishing trip and found that while keeping in close contact with the office, the case offered clear voice communication (both ways), a highly functional touch screen, and allowed us to take underwater fish shots, and keep casting through summer rainstorms. iPhone 4 cases ($80, lifeproof.com) are available in four different colors.
Form Game Rod
Teaching a young person to cast is tough if the only chance you have is on the water where there are distractions like sharp hooks, trees, wind, and moving water. Redington’s Form Game Rod ($40, redington.com) is a fun way for everyone to improve their casting technique, but unlike other miniature fly-casting tools, this 2-piece, 50" graphite rod is not a toy with a yarn line. It comes with a custom RIO 30-foot fly line with an integrated leader and mock fly so budding fly fishers can feel the rod loading. Available in Lava Red or Wave Blue with easy-to-follow instructions for casting games for anglers of all abilities.
Sage Travel Tubes
Made using an aluminum extrusion process, Sage Travel Tubes ($80-$150, sageflyfish.com) use alternating convex and concave curves for a sophisticated look you don’t get with off-the-rack tubes. Its distinctive octagonal shape also keeps the container stable on smooth surfaces—so it won’t roll around on the bottom of the drift boat, or the back of your truck or SUV. The upscale rod “safes” have oversize, rubberized end caps to help prevent scratches and dents, and a bottom cap with a custom ID area to write crucial contact information. A quarter-turn tenon-style cap clicks shut to form a tight seal to keep dust, water, and grit out, and protect your rods no matter what abuse you dish out. Offered in three diameters of 2", 2.25", and 4" (to hold one, two, or four rods respectively), and three lengths of 33", 44", and 55" for a total of nine sizes to hold everything from your favorite bamboo dry-fly rod to a bundle of saltwater sticks.