What is it about anglers and Christmas? Most of them would rather be casting out than staying in for the annual dose of festive telly and inlaws. Buying presents for fishermen can be tricky too. To the non-angler, ours is a confusing world of Di-6 lines, furled leaders, Woolly Buggers and other funny terminology. So what on earth do you buy an angler for Christmas? Here are some ideal gift ideas for fly fishers this year, from top books to stocking fillers:
Top Fly Fishing Books
For anyone who daydreams of fishing when indoors around Christmas, books are the next best thing to fishing. Even in the digital age, many of us still pine for great angling reads. They not only tell great stories, but transport us away from TV repeats and back to the water! 2016 has been an excellent year for fishing books too, whether you want to be informed or entertained.
1. Haynes Fly Fishing Manual (Mark Bowler RRP £22.99)
Known for their no-nonsense approach to all kinds of subjects, Haynes Manuals have a reputation for clarity and thoroughness. A fly fishing manual was perhaps overdue, with the mammoth task of compiling such a work entrusted to Fly Fishing & Fly Tying editor Mark Bowler.
Books like this can be highly practical, but sometimes run the risk of being very dry. So it is excellent to see that the author has not only done a thorough job but injected humour and readability to make this a very user-friendly reference work. Furthermore, the book should be commended for going well beyond the realms of traditional game species to cover coarse and sea fish, as well as a bang up to date primer on all modern fly fishing tackle and techniques.
This is a very well-crafted book indeed. Perhaps no such thing as the “complete fly fishing book” exists, but this is comprehensive enough to be pretty damned close. Highly recommended. ORDER HERE
2. Nymphing- The New Way: French Leader Fishing for Trout (Jonathan White, RRP £20)
Another blooming text book about trout fly fishing, you ask? Well, not exactly. This new volume is a feast of technical knowhow and beautiful photography, written in consultation with top international fly anglers. The whole French leader phenomenon is one that often turns off anglers- after all, really bloody long leaders can be hard to manage. This book puts expert techniques in plain English, along with engaging stories and examples to get the average angler up to scratch. A great volume for the keen river angler. ORDER HERE
3.Crooked Lines (Dominic Garnett RRP: £9.99)
Tired of rather traditional, prosaic angling literature? This book delivers a welcome shot in the arm to the genre, with a whole host of exciting stories that take the reader to all manner of unexpected corners. Full of great lines, sudden twists and gritty humour, this is a fishing book for the 21st century. It also contains suitably crooked illustrations by Lord Bunn and a foreword by none other than Matt Hayes. Refreshingly different and excellent fun. ORDER HERE
4. The Healing Stream (Laurence Catlow, RRP £20)
For anyone who assumed that fishing books had a certain “safe” territory to stay within, this is a book to challenge and delight. Following the author’s deep relationship with two rivers, it is a work that contrasts the redemptive power of nature with the darker nature of human experience. Not always an easy read, but ultimately a redemptive one with some sparkling prose and no shortage of talking points. ORDER HERE
5. Fallon’s Angler (£28 for 4 issues)
For those who enjoy a great angling yarn, this quarterly is somewhere between a book and a magazine. But it is so thoroughly readable and packed with great stories and contributors we had to bend the rules and include it in our roundup!
Whatever your tastes as an angler, a terrific variety of material can be found in each and every issue, from classic chalkstream angling to wilderness adventures across the globe. If you’re after articles to help you catch more fish, this might not be the title for you; but if you’re looking for a fantastic read then look no further. ORDER HERE
Top Fly Fishing Stocking Fillers & Xmas Gifts
Besides great fishing books and the bigger items like rods and reels, it can be tricky to pick out those smaller but desirable gifts for the fly fisher. Here are five of our most popular choices to put smiles on faces without breaking the bank this year:
1. Sportsman’s Bumper (RRP: £14.99)
Fishing rods and cars enjoy a jaded relationship at the best of times. Tackling up and packing away are especially risky, as rods fall over or slip- and many of us will have crunched one or two in the slam of a door or boot. This clever device keeps them upright and safe with minimum fuss; and because it sticks via magnets you won’t need to drill or modify your car. Just pop it on and pop it off, it’s that simple! The easiest rod holder for cars we’ve ever seen. BUY IT HERE
2. Turrall Fly Pod (RRP from £24.99)
The Fly Pod is one of our bestsellers year on year and no secret to see why. Each features a healthy number and variety of fly patterns in a quality, double-sided box. Selections include everything from grayling flies to salmon and stillwater patterns, at a terrific price. ORDER YOUR FLYPOD HERE
3.Fly Tying Starter Kits (RRP from £39.99)
There is nothing more satisfying to catching on your own flies. These kits allow you to give the gift of a new hobby! Featuring a well-chosen selection of tools and materials plus instructions, the kits contain all you need to get tying.
4. Turrall Bamboo Fly Boxes (From £19.99)
Fly anglers always need containers to store their patterns; but there are very basic fly boxes and then there are those built to last a lifetime. Our Bamboo range fall into the latter category. Anglers tend to covet them because of their beautiful split cane finish, but the looks are matched by longevity in this case. Still many anglers’ favourite fly box on the market. Available in various sizes, from handy smaller pocket size to our “grande” version. ORDER HERE
5. Turrall Thingamabobber Strike Indicators (RRP from £3.99)
Light, bright and so easy to use, these indicators continue to be extremely popular with fly fishers. Ideal for suspending even weighty nymphs, they are simple to put on your leader and show up beautifully. Smaller sizes can also be used to incorporate into your large dry fly patterns. BUY HERE