Once we started finding the first 15 best gift ideas for fly fishers, we just couldn’t stop adding fly fishing gifts! Are we obsessed? Definitely. Is fly fishing itself an obsession? Always. Are fly fishermen fanatics? Usually. Yes. (They will be once they catch their first monster trout.)
In any event, finding great gifts for fly fishermen seems hard, but finding fly fishing gifts is easier than you might think. There are a lot of fly fishing gifts that do not require you to know exactly what kind of fly fishing your fisher is doing. For instance, we’re steering you away from finding the perfect sinking fly line. Why? You probably don’t know what weight is needed or whether the sinking line should just have a sinking tip instead of a full sink.
What we have below, though, are fly fishing gift ideas that most every fly fisherman can use and appreciate — delivered with a reasonable mix of quality for the cost.
Of course, if you missed our first fly fishing gift guide, check out 15 Best Gifts for Fly Fishing Fanatics!
16 More Fly Fishing Gifts for Fly Fisher Fanatics!
1. Practice Casting Rod
Fly fishing is more about timing and rhythm than brute strength — just because you swing your arm harder or faster, it doesn’t mean you’re going to cast farther. In fact, you might just end up with a tangled mess. Enter a practice casting rod. These mini rods let you practice the basic motions of fly casting just about anywhere. And while you won’t be using one to cast to a rising trout, the motion and rhythm has a soothing effect on the angry bear inside of stressed men everywhere. Oh, and it’s a great learning tool for newbies and kids, too, which makes it a particularly good fly fishing gift for anyone starting out.
2. Fishing Jacket
A great fishing jacket will help a fly fisherman keep fishing when the weather turns cold, as well as work well for tooling around a camp or hiking back to the truck. More importantly, a fishing jacket is a symbol — it reminds a man that this is part of the gear you have that calms your mind and puts you in position to catch some fish. If your fly fisher goes after steelhead or salmon or doesn’t let bad weather stop the fishing, a fishing jacket is a great fly fishing gift.
- Frogg Toggs Cascades Sportsman’s Wading Jacket
- Wright & McGill Essentials Big Horn Wading Jacket
- Simms Challenger Jacket
- Orvis Wading Jackets — several price ranges, all great
3. Tenkara Fly Rod
All this zen prep wording about calming your mind in the previous two fly fishing gift descriptions was just a warmup for a tenkara fly rod — these rods come from a Japanese heritage of simplicity. Instead of packing gobs of modern gear, a tenkara fly fisherman uses an insanely long and super light telescoping rod with a fixed amount of line tied to the tip. The rod is about as bendy as wet spaghetti and the special tenkara flies are soft-hackled blobs that represent nothing in particular but look tantalizingly alive. Fish love them. If your fly fisher is a bit stressed out and could use a switch to a very basic — but artful — form of fly fishing, consider a tenkara rod as your next fly fishing gift.
4. Stripping Basket
Stripping baskets are at once outstandingly utilitarian tools and sort of dorky at the same time. They are, however, fantastic fly fishing gifts for those who fish from a boat. Why? They collect fly line and let a fly fisher zing out a long cast without the line getting caught on pieces of a boat. Stripping baskets also work great when fishing in fast water or spring water that’s full of debris. They help keep your line out of the weeds and out of fast grabby water. If you have seen video footage of your fly fisher getting tangled up in his own line, a stripping basket is a good fly fishing gift!
5. Waterproof Camera
If your fly fisher isn’t into creating a bunch of videos, a GoPro is overkill. But a waterproof camera? Spot on. A good waterproof camera will let a fly fisher shoot video of a beautiful fish — including underwater release shots — as well take photos of the brilliant landscapes they visit. We can’t recommend waterproof cameras enough. They are rugged marvels of engineering that capture memories and let you share them, too. The Olympus TG-870 is our current favorite because it offers a sweet blend of easy-to-use features and an optical zoom lens. Snag the Olympus Tough Sports Holder for on-the-water access. Waterproof cameras make great fly fishing gifts for active fly fishers. (Note: If you want a waterproof camera that can also shoot 4K video, check out our best waterproof camera guide.)
6. Wading Staff
If your fly fisher is getting on in the years, a wading staff is a critical tool for helping him wade into rivers, as well as get up and down banks without falling. Of course, even adventurous (sometimes dumb) young guys can use a wading staff. On some rivers with poor visibility, a wading staff can find hidden holes and drop offs, and on shore, help fend off rattlesnakes. In addition, one of the most dangerous things a fly fisherman can do is fall down in the water while wearing a pair of waders without a wading belt wrapped snugly around their waist — water rushes into the waders, filling them and sinking the fisherman. Tragic. A wading staff helps reduce the chance of falling, and a lot of fly fishers don’t invest in one until they’ve had a spill or missed a fish. Consequently, wading staffs make excellent fly fishing gifts.
- Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff
- White River Fly Shop Collapsible Wading Staff (spring-open design)
7. Waterproof Backpack or Sling Pack
Just because you’re on the water, it doesn’t mean you want everything to get wet. Ever tried to eat a soggy sandwhich? Don’t. A waterproof backpack or sling pack can keep your lunch or smartphone dry, as well as just protect your gear. They are, of course, more important if your fisher stays out in rainy weather. A lot of guys hesitate to spend on waterproof bags — but later wish they had, making waterproof fly fishing gifts a welcome choice. Oh, one more thing: If your fisher falls down a lot, throw an extra pair of socks and underwear inside the backpack or sling pack before you wrap it up.
8. Ultralight or Heavy Duty Fly Rod Combo
Chances are, your fly fisherman primarily uses one favorite rod for most of his fishing adventures. That’s cool. But there’s a decent chance that he would like to try something radically different — like fishing with a super ultralight fly rod for skittish fish or small creeks . . . or going big for coho salmon or steelhead. In this case, the best way to encourage a different kind of fishing is with an inexpensive fly rod and reel combination. Choose a 7.5-foot 3-weight for ultralight action or a 9-foot 8-weight for a rod that’s heavy enough to take on salmon or steelhead. (Of course, you could go even larger with a spey rod if your fly fisher is going after big fish on big water.)
- Cabela’s Three Forks/Prestige Plus Fly Rod/Reel Combo
- Orvis Clearwater Series — options for small creeks to wide open saltwater
9. Fly Fishing Books
Here’s what’s great about fly fishing . . . when a fly fisher is stuck inside and can’t be out fly fishing, reading about fly fishing is the next best thing. Newbies can use some how-to books while veterans can dream about new places to throw a line, making these a versatile fly fishing gift option.
- Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die: Fly-fishing Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations
- Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide
- L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing
10. Inflatable Life Vest
Remember the wading staff? Fly fishermen tend not to wear life jackets. Foolhardy? Maybe. A great compromise is an inflatable life vest. These blow up instantly with a tug on a cord if a fisherman gets into trouble . . . or they can be manually inflated in case the instant CO2 method fails. Either way, fly fishermen often fish in frigid water, and an accidental dunking can get dangerous fast because it’s hard to swim in cold water. For older, younger, or adventurous fly fishers, inflatable life vests make surprisingly good fly fishing gifts.
11. First-Aid Kit
Aside from occasionally hooking themselves, fly fishermen require bandages for scrapes on rocks and falls into bushes. It’s not that fly fishers are clumsy, it’s just that they are so excited about what’s in the water that they forget to pay attention to where their feet are going. So yeah, bandages. Of course, a smart fly fishing gift giver will stock a first-aid kit with some extra ibuprofen, too.
- Adventure Medical Sportsman Series Steelhead First Aid Kit
- Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Medical Sportsman Grizzly Kit
12. Fly Fishing Shirt
Fly fishing works its way into a guy’s identity, which means he’s usually game for a wearing a shirt about fly fishing. Our current favorite is a Monster Trout ‘Obsession Beats Within’ Fly Fishing edition shirt, available only from Teespring. The design comes in a variety of colors and includes t-shirts for both men and women, warm hoodies, and long-sleeve tees.
13. ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Device
Mosquitos can ruin a good fishing trip, no doubt about it. While traditional mosquito repellant sprays and lotions work pretty well, it’s not the only line of defense. The ThermaCELL line of devices heats up a specially scented mat to release a vapor that repels mosquitos. Works great for fishing camp, hanging out while having lunch, or for those times where you stay in one spot, patiently working an area of water. If your fisher seems to have everything, ThermaCELLs can be pleasant fly fishing gifts you’ll get thanked for after they save the day.
14. Fishing Pants
A great pair of fishing pants will be lightweight but durable and made from a fast-drying synthetic fibers. Zip off pant legs for a conversion to shorts are a bonus. More importantly, fishing pants let your fly fisher step into the water without fearing a long, cold dry out process.
15. Hoppers, Hoppers, and More Hoppers
There are not many types of flies that you can safely buy for most any trout-focused fly fisherman, but one of the safest is a set of hopper patterns. Most every fly fisherman uses hoppers for summer fly fishing at some point during the year. Not only do they bring big trout up from the bottom, they are particularly effective when used with smaller dropper flies tied to the end of the hook — the hopper attracts attention but a small nymph dropper fly seals the deal. The point is, because hoppers are versatile and get used, they make great fly fishing gifts. (For warm water or saltwater gift options, L.L.Bean has a good assortment of fly collections.)
16. Fly Tying Tool Kit
A fly tying tool kit is a good way to get a fly fisher into tying their own flies. For some, fly tying becomes a life-long passion. The trouble with fly tying kits is that they generally aren’t made from the highest quality tools or materials . . . but they are good enough to give a fisher a taste of what it takes to tie flies. If they catch the fly tying bug, they’ll begin to learn what tools and materials they will want to invest in — better hackle, a better vice, etc. If you wanted to get a lot of high-quality fly tying gear right away, you could drop several hundred dollars in the blink of an eye. So fly tying tool kits make excellent fly fishing gifts for any fly fisher who wants to learn a little about fly tying . . . but has hesitated to make the leap.
- Scientific Anglers Deluxe Fly Tying Kit
- Cabela’s Beginners Fly Tying Kit
- Orvis Fly Tying Kits
- L.L. Bean Angler Fly Tying Kit
And the same goes for an Orvis Email Gift Card — most fly fishers will find something useful from Orvis!
Need More Fly Fishing Gifts?
Check out the post that started it all:
How About Fly Fishing Stocking Stuffers?
There are a lot of small fly fishing accessories and gadgets that make good stocking stuffers for fly fishermen. A good set of pliers, a fancy nipper, strike indicators, or fly floating are all accessories that will get used and make good fly fishing stocking stuffers. Browse the fly fishing accessories and tools sections of these online stores below:
- Cabela’s ‘Fly Fishing Accessories’
- Orvis ‘Fishing Tools & Accessories’
- L.L. Bean ‘Tools & Boxes’
- Fishwest ‘Fly Fishing Accessories’
- Bass Pro Shops ‘Fly Fishing Accessories’
Plus, if you think a new fly rod is in order, check out “The Best Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money.”