Check out these top 2020 Father's Day Gift Guide picks for the fishing dad on your list, including many new fishing products any angler would love.
Simms Flyweight Wet Wading Shoe
These trail-ready hiker-inspired wet-wading shoes are for hot summer days and for getting far away from public access points. When you are going without waders, it doesn’t make sense to use the same oversize boots. These shoes get you fishing faster, whether you’re picking up supplies at the grocery store, jumping in the drift boat, or hiking to the Second Meadows of Slough Creek.
These low-profile water sneakers are designed to be worn next to skin. A sock is not necessary. They are true to size, which means if you wear a size 10 street shoe, buy a size 10 Flyweight Wet Wading Shoe. They aren’t made to be worn with bulky neoprene booties.
The comfortable high-cushion midsole allows you to go for miles and get there quickly. If you’ve read about the Flyathlons that have been growing in popularity the past few years—friendly, competitive events where you run a 5k course with a fly rod, and deduct time for each trout you catch—you have an idea of where these speedsters are appropriate. [See “Run. Fish. Beer.” in the Jul.-Aug. 2018 issue.] I realize not everyone is going to run a 5K with a fly rod in hand, but wouldn’t all of us like to carry just a little less weight on our feet, and get to where we’re going with less effort? That’s what these shoes are built for.
The nylon web lacing system cinches up smoothly and stashes neatly inside the tongue of the shoe. A Vibram IdroGrip rubber outsole gives you traction to handle mud, clay, wet grass, rocky trails, and anything else nature throws your way. The mesh upper drains water weight quickly, and it’s coated with a TPU film in high-abrasion areas for added durability. $170 | simmsfishing.com
Orvis PRO Approach Shoe
Orvis’s new all-day all-terrain PRO Approach Shoe is the kind of thing you put on when you’re leaving the house in the morning, and they are so comfortable, you won’t feel the need to take them off until you’re home again. This is a light, rugged, quick-drying multipurpose shoe that is at home in the mountains, in boats, on airplanes, and on saltwater flats. The light weight stems from the seamless polyurethane perforated foot cage that allows water to squeeze out of the shoe almost instantly. Inside, an integrated Ariaprene sock prevents debris from entering the shoe—you can wear this barefoot or with a thin synthetic liner sock for extra comfort. A removable 3D molded OrthoLite insole gives you all-day comfort and performance when you need it—OrthoLite is the same company that makes insoles for highperformance running brands like Hoka, New Balance, Reebok, and Asics, so don’t be surprised when you slip these on and they remind you of your favorite pair of sneakers.
The shoe exterior is a non-marking version of the Michelin Outdoor Extreme rubber outsole found on Orvis PRO Wading Boots—it has excellent wet traction in the water, grinds through all terrain out of the water, and it’s comfortable for all-day standing and casting in a boat. An integrated lace hood allows you to easily tuck the laces away so your fly line doesn’t snag on them. $150 | orvis.com
Simms Dry Creek Z Backpack
Waterproof zippers have been around for years, but the TruZip toothless waterproof closure on this new submersible pack from Simms is not something we’ve seen before.
A normal zipper has hundreds of tiny teeth, and each one has to lock perfectly onto the next to create a waterproof seal. If just one of those teeth breaks or deforms—or if sand and salt jam the teeth—then the bag leaks, or more commonly, the zipper won’t even close. The Dry Creek Z Backpack avoids these hundreds of potential problems with a toothless zipper that is silent, dustproof, and reliable. The bag is constructed from 300D ripstop polyester with a PU coating on the face of the bag, and a TPU coating on the backside. With a 35-liter interior plus a water-resistant exterior stash pocket, this backpack is at home in any boat, rainstorm, or wherever you wade deep. It has exterior cam-strap lash points, a centered D-ring net holder, and a loop field for wet flies. The interior organizational pockets for passports, wallets, keys, and iPhone make this perfect for travel abroad as well. Available in cloud camo (shown) and tan. $300 | simmsfishing.com
Ross San Miguel reel
The classic San Miguel is instantly recognizable because of its high-gloss black finish on a solid frame, and the “flower petal” porting on the spool. This is the reel that built the Ross brand more than 20 years ago.
The new San Miguel has the same design aesthetics, but the updated version has a smooth, wide-range sealed drag system constructed of stacked disks of carbon fiber and stainless steel. The new San Miguel also has an updated canvas Micarta handle, a material used in knives to improve grip when wet. We’ve used the same type of handle on larger Ross saltwater reels, and the material provides more traction—especially when wet—than machined aluminum or plastic handles.
The San Miguel has a large-arbor spool with a stainless steel push-button release and is available in three sizes: 3/4, 4/5, and 5/6. $595 | rossreels.com
The new Yakima DoubleHaul Rooftop Fly Rod Carrier solves the potential disaster of broken rods and self-loathing while getting you to your honey hole more quickly. It’s a great addition to a fishing vehicle, especially for guides or for your own multi-day fishing trips where keeping your rods strung and ready for action saves precious fishing time.
Security on this rack is top-notch and convenient. The Yakima Single Key System (SKS) locks the roof rack as well as the reel case. The locking case is easy to open and the lid stays up, which is a nice touch for sliding the rod out of the case. Sliding the rods back into the case is easy with no hangups.
If you’re in the market for fly rod roof carrier system, the DoubleHaul not only looks great, but performs above expectations and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. $699 | yakima.com
This award-winning small-batch traditional bourbon is made from non-GMO ingredients sourced exclusively from a single farmer in the Bighorn Basin near Thermopolis, Wyoming—a special place if you enjoy open ranchland and rising trout. Wyoming Whiskey’s mash bill is made from 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley, using water pumped from a mile-deep aquifer just outside of the Yellowstone Caldera.
It’s a dark amber bourbon with a floral nose and a hint of vanilla bean and caramel pudding. On the palate, it tastes like browned butter, baking spices, toffee, and a finish with just a hint of mint.
Cofounded in 2006 in Kirby, Wyoming by fly fisher David DeFazio, Wyoming Whiskey is aged in 53-gallon barrels. The 88-proof bourbon is five years old. The same company also makes bonded Outryder whiskey with locally sourced ingredients, but instead of wheat, Outryder uses 20% winter rye. $45 | wyomingwhiskey.com
Orvis Helios 3 rods with custom Tim Johnson artwork
The ultimate and incredibly accurate bonefish fly rod, the Helios 3D 908-4, customized by a remarkable artist into a beautiful piece of functional angling art—this custom rod from our Artist Collab line delivers. Famed fishing artist Tim Johnson is working with Orvis, hand burning a magnificent image of a bonefish pursuing a shrimp or crab into the cork grip. Each image in this special edition series is different as Tim makes subtle changes to make them even more unique. The identifier flag on the blank is ocean blue and the blank itself is matte black. The rod tube is a matching matte black with a glossy black tonal Helios 3 logo. Made in the USA. orvis.com
Predator Fly Gear UPF 50+ Longsleeve
The new Cool Air Series from Predator Fly Gear offers UPF 50+ protection against UV rays, yet is super lightweight, comfortable and breathable. Exclusive designs by award winning artists Nick Mayer and Chloe Salomone highlight apex species such as sharks, GTs, muskies, etc. in this unique series. $38 | predatorflygear.com
We know dads love to cook outdoors . . . what Father wouldn’t dream of spending a day fly fishing while slow cooking with wood-fired flavor wherever you go. The pellet feed and Digital Pro Controller on the completely portable Scout Pellet Grill means your food is always perfect, and never burns. We’ve used this streamside for perfect NY Strip steaks, but it’s also perfect for tailgate burgers, picnics in the park, and smoked ribs at the beach. $300 | traegergrills.com
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Packable waders
Patagonia's lightest, most packable waders are perfect for the traveling. Adjustable suspenders, a Secure Stretch no-snag wading belt, and front and rear belt loops provide security in fast-moving water scenarios. An interior TPU-welded waterproof pocket protects dad's keys and smartphone, while the heavy-duty scuff guards at the ankles protect his boots from boulders and brush. The Swiftcurrent Packable Waders roll up into their own compact 8" x 13" stuffsack and weigh just 36 ounces. $399 | patagonia.com
Yeti Roadie 24
The original Yeti Roadie was a stroke of genius—it's a down-sized cooler you can sit on the seat beside you for long hauls. Pop the lid with one hand and you’ve got a cold drink without ever slowing down. Whoever came up with the Roadie knows how important it is to get to the river in the morning ASAP, and how grueling it can be to drive home late at night after hitting that hatch right at dusk.
While the Austin-based company has put a lot of research and development into soft, portable coolers in recent years, there are undeniable advantages to a hard cooler design: They are easier to get in and out of while you are driving, rowing, or otherwise on the go, and the Rotomolded construction makes them tough as hell. Because you can stand on them, they also serve as steps, benches, seats, table tops, stools, and cutting boards.
While the original Roadie was good, the new Roadie 24 ($199, yeti.com) has a fistful of design changes that make it even better. This one has more volume and holds 24 pounds of ice, although the overall weight of the cooler itself is about 10% lighter than the smaller original. The outside dimensions are 16 1/2" long by 14 1/2" wide by 17 1/2" high, so it has a smaller footprint. It's even easier now to find a spot in your boat for the Roadie, and it easily fits on the floor of a small commuter car.
Inside its 12 1/2" long by 13 1/4" wide by— 10 7/8" high, so it's tall enough to hold a bottle of wine or a 2-liter soda bottle. The old Roadie couldn't do that. More importantly, it holds 18 cans with a 2-to-1 ice-to-can ratio.
If it's lighter, and holds more beer, you might assume that it doesn't keep ice as long. Well, you'd be wrong. The Permafrost Insulation in this one is more efficient and keeps ice 30% longer. There's no drain plug, but you don't need one. The Roadie 24 weighs just 12.9 pounds so it's easy flip and dump any ice or water.
The Heaftyhauler Handle is more comfortable than the old metal handle, and it stows nicely. The new Quicklatch fasteners give you easy, one-handed cooler access, and unlike the old T-shaped rubber fasteners, these won't catch your fly line. In almost every way this is a better cooler for your boat, and for day trips almost anywhere. If space is an issue, the Roadie 24 has that problem solved.
For more information, or for accessories like a perfectly sized dry-good basket or a seat cushion, visit yeti.com