I thought I would throw together a quick list for all those out there who are looking for gear for the fly fisher in the family this holiday season. Some of these products I own and some are items I would like to own, but all win the Fishkamp seal of approval.
C&F Design – Waterproof Boxes – around $50
These boxes are amazing. There are small grooves that you can slide the bend of the hook back into so you aren’t poking holes into foam every time you remove or replace a fly. My less expensive boxes that you poke the sharp part of the hook into are fine but after a year or so there are so many holes in the foam that several flies fall out while I am walking and then when I am on the river I see the loose flies fall out and drift off. The Large size box with 12-rows seems a good fit for Oregon as it is made to hold size 8-14 flies. Someday I will replace my Scientific Angler fly boxes (which are not waterproof despite what they say)
with C&F boxes but for now I will have to do with my streamer C&F box.
Patagonia – Men’s Active Classic Boxers – $32
That’s right underwear. Nothing says comfy like gettin water over the top of your waders and having your underwear dry out so your legs don’t get chafed on the four mile hike out of the Descutes River. And guys, don’t forget your ladies. No women likes to wear hot cotton boxers when she hikes with you in the rain for 12 miles in and 12 miles out—just ask my wife.
I have a 3 weight 8’6″ Sage VT2 that I have paired with a Bauer MacKenzie SuperLite M1SL and it is great. The rod has a great light touch for gentle presentations of the smallest dry fly. The reel is perfect for the 3 weight line and I mostly just palm it instead of using the drag. This set up is a great for smaller fish. If you want to step it up the Sage TXL is a really great rod also, I just got a killer deal on the VT2 or I probably would have stepped up to the TXL.
Patagonia – Guidewater Jacket – $400
I have one of these and man is it comfy. I put it through it’s paces recently on some of our rainy days here in Oregon and it shines. The pockets are plentiful and large enough for several fly boxes and my camera. There is a D-ring on the back for connecting your net and a small area up high on the chest for attaching a zinger and your forceps. Plus there is a flip out rod holder so you can stick both hands in the up-high fleece lined pockets on those cold days. There is also a ladies version.
Orvis – Safe Passage Reel and Gear Case – $59
This falls into the category of not being necessary but sure being handy. I would love to have all my reels and boxes organized like in the picture instead of just thrown into my Patagonia Guidewater Duffel (which I love). There are more expensive versions out there from Patagonia, Sage, and Simms but they are mostly for use in a boat and since I don’t have a boat I will settle for the $59 version.
Clackacraft – 16′ Low Profile Fly Pod – A lot
Since I am on the idea of a boat I will take one of these also. Santa can just stick it in my garage—or better yet just hook it up to my vehicle and I will take it out bright and early the next morning. It can’t hurt to dream big, right?
Tiemco – Ceramic Bobbin – $19
Only $19 and I still put up with my bobbins. Ahhh, a new ceramic bobbin. Makes fly tying me happy.
Olympus – Stylus Tough 8000 – $379
I actually have last years version of this camera, called a 1030 SW, and I love it. Slim enough to use every day but having the BIG plus of being waterproof. Almost all the photos you see on this blog are taken with this camera. The only downer is that it is slow between taking one photo and the next. Maybe they fixed that in the newer version. There is also a less expensive 6000 version that slips in $100 less.