How to Buy Gifts for a Fly Fisherman

Have a certain loved one in your life that lives for the river? You’re in luck, your pocket-book isn’t.

Welcome to the sport of fly fishing. Where spending $80 for a pair of toenail clippers (read on, they’re worth it) and $600+ on a rod doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

And if you want to try understanding it, don’t even start.

How to find the perfect gift for a fly fisherman (or woman)

This process really starts with things they have. If you know absolutely nothing about fly fishing and you want a little one on one assistance, feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.

To be clear, these gifts would be on my Christmas or Birthday list and I prefer gear that’s quality first.

That means, forget the price tag.

All jokes aside, these fly fishing gifts will knock his/her socks off at your next celebration, so let’s dig in.

A new fly fishing vest: the Fishpond Wasatch

Have a chance to check out their stash of gear yet?

We’re looking for key brand names like Orvis, Redington, Fishpond.


The Fishpond Wasatch is on the upper end of fly fishing vests without being a $300 Orvis, and a step above their Vaquero model (which I’m a little hesitant to recommend as they do have a couple 1 star reviews on Amazon.

This vest has everything a hardcore fly fisherman wants. Space for a water bladder, excellent pocket space, fly benches, the whole nine yards. If you’re looking for a solid vest, this is it.

Buy on the Fishpond Wasatch on Amazon.

Already has a nice vest? Try a sling.


For a lot of fly fishermen, it’s either one or the other.

Sling, or vest. Or backpack.

Personally, I enjoy the flexibility a sling offers. A perfect use case is day two of your fly fishing trip, you’re already settled in to camp and you’re fishing within walking distance.

You don’t always need to carry around a vest. Especially if you’re just out catching dinner.

Many fly fishermen use solely a sling no matter where they’re headed and I don’t blame them. They’re comfortable, they won’t wear on your back. It’s easy to handle and the Summit Sling by Fishpond offers their molded fly bench in addition to a water bottle holder.

Buy the Fishpond Summit Sling on Amazon.

Another great option, look at stocking stuffer gifts for fly fishermen

Stocking stuffer like items are great because you can’t really go wrong here. Buy one or two for a larger gift or just stick with one if you’re unsure.

Tacky Fly Boxes

This one is important that you check their outfit.

If they’ve got a couple, skip over this. Chances are they’re set. However, if you see just one and a couple other small boxes, a couple of these Tacky Boxes could be an excellent gift (as they’re probably thinking about buying more anyways).

These boxes aren’t as spendy as some of the other competing options on the market and in my opinion, they’re better.

The big advantage here is that they’re small and they hold flies extremely well. Each Original Tacky Box holds up to 168 flies and they last an incredible length of time. Highly recommend if you’re running out of gift ideas.

Buy the Original Tacky Box on Amazon.

Why you shouldn’t buy boots or waders as a gift

Alright, this one’s a bit tricky.

If you’re going for the element of surprise, I wouldn’t recommend that you spend a ton of time trying to get the waders and wading boots thing figured out.

It’s a little tricky, we are working on a few wader sizing charts but that’s to come down the road.

The problem here is you’re supposed to buy boots a little bit big for two piece wading systems, but it’s mostly personal preference. If you’re not worried about surprising your angler, then by all means buying boots or waders can be an excellent gift!

For the purposes of this guide, however, we’re leaning towards things you can buy that’ll be perfect no matter the circumstances. With that same thing in mind, stay away from rods and reels as well. No because you’ll buy the wrong rod, but because once you see the price tags you’ll want to end the fly fishing hobby altogether.

Gotten to this point and you just feel like buying something different?

Virtually any Yeti product will do just fine. And while you’re at it, ship an extra to me. I like the 18 Oz. Rambler bottle because it seals (perfect to tuck into the pack) or a Yeti Cooler.

Should you decide to spend big dollars on this gift, you’ve got a couple different options as far as coolers go.

First, you could buy a traditional Yeti Cooler (hard walls) like the Yeti 20.

The next option is going for a soft sided cooler, like the Hopper Two by Yeti.

The Hopper Two is an excellent option simply because of it’s portability.

Honestly, I prefer it just because you’re not sacrificing wall space for cool and the shoulder strap makes it incredibly easy to haul in and out.

The thing with Yeti Coolers is you’re never going to end up with tremendous amounts of cooler space (without paying dearly for it). If you decide to go with one of these, buy one you can afford. They’ll appreciate it, no explanation necessary.

A cheaper alternative to the HT by Yeti is going to be the Rtic 20, although I haven’t tested it personally it claims to keep beverages cold for up to 5 days.