Best Fly Fishing Gift Ideas

Fly fishing is an elegant sport. It requires skills that can take a lifetime to develop and yet beginners can find joy in their first outing. It has inspired novels and movies which have inspired even more people to discover and fall in love with the craft. We all know someone who has at least tried their hand at fly fishing.

Unfortunately, for those not in tune with the sport, coming up with fly fishing gift ideas for their angler friends and loved ones can be complicated and intimidating. It’s for those generous types that we’ve put together a fly fishing gift guide that not only points to specific gear but can also act as a stepping stone to making better gift-giving decisions all year round.

Fly Fishing Vests

When picking out a fly fishing vest, pick a vest that ends at waist level. Any longer and it will drag in the water, soaking any gear resting in the bottom pockets. It should also cover all of your layers of clothing comfortably.

The material should be a mesh if they like fishing in the summer. If they like fishing in the winter, cotton is a better choice. The color should blend into the background like any camouflage so they don’t scare the fish.

There should be ten to twenty pockets with at least two D-rings. It should also have a foam fly holder.

The BASSDASH Strap Fishing Vest Adjustable for Men and Women checks everything off the list. A custom-fit is possible with its adjustable suspension system.

Its eighteen pockets meet the criteria and there are plenty of loops for rods and extra gear and their fishing net can be attached to the D-ring on the back.

Here are the best fly fishing vests.

Fly Fishing Packs

Fly fishing packs are used to organize extra gear. They’re used along with a vest. The three criteria to look for when buying a fly fishing pack are comfort, ease of use, and total capacity.

A fly fishing vest with a chest or fly box is the old-school method and is still very popular. The box can feel heavy by the end of the day, but this combination meets all the criteria. The main drawback is using more types of flies means there are more problems with organization.

The chest pack is evenly distributed. It can feel a little bulky if it isn’t packed correctly and some people find it uncomfortable resting on their chest all day. 

The sling pack can be hard on the casting arm after a long day, but it has gained a lot of popularity. It has the largest capacity of all types of fly fishing packs.

A great example of a sling pack is the Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack

The hemostats and tippets can be carried on the outside. As it’s designed to be carried on the back, there’s a D-ring for the landing net, since trying to use the D-ring on the back of the vest itself may become cumbersome when using a sling pack. It has lots of pockets for organizing their gear and it includes a built-in fly patch and a sleeve for their water bottle.

Waist packs are not recommended if you’re planning on waiting in high water. Otherwise, they stay out of the way and can carry a lot of gear.

Don’t enter the river without these fly fishing vest essentials.

Fly Rod and Reel Outfit

While seasoned anglers will want to pick out their own rods and reels, a full kit is a great fly fishing gift for those just starting to gain interest in the sport. These kits usually have everything needed for a novice to start fishing.

The Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9 foot Fly Rod Outfit is a prime example of such a kit. This kit includes the Encounter fly rod and fly reel. It’s also rigged with WF floating fly line, tapered leader, and CORDURA rod tube.

Check out more fly fishing rods under $500. See our guide on the best Tenkara rods on a budget.

Fly Fishing Waders

Waders should be chosen based on comfort, warmth, and durability. Gore-Tex fabric is durable, waterproof, and breathable, and considered a top-of-the-line fabric. Toray QuadraLam is the runner-up choice. 

Simms built a reputation on the quality of their waders. For those just starting out, their men’s Tributary Stockingfoot Waterproof Chest Fishing Waders are a budget-friendly alternative to Gore-Tex. The Tributary Stockingfoot fly fishing chest wader is made with Toray QuadraLam and offers a breathable and waterproof 3-Layer upper and 4-Layer lower.

These waders have seasonal versatility. For cold days, there’s a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket. For warm days, the suspenders are designed to be converted to waist-high waders.

The stocking feet are made with neoprene, which is one of the best fabrics for keeping warm. Neoprene actually works better when there’s a layer of water between it and the skin, so there’s little to worry about if water makes it into the boots.

Simms includes a 38-millimeter nylon waist belt with two belt loops. A front zippered pocket keeps gear accessible.

Recommended reading: 2022 Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Waders

Wading Boots

Wading boots come with different levels of traction and ankle support. Lighter-weight boots are good when there is a lot of hiking involved. If there’s a lot of rocky terrains, heavier ankle support can be the difference between a good trip and a bad one. Some have interchangeable soles, which may be needed for use on different types of terrain. Because they have to go over thicker material, they are usually bought one size up from a regular dress shoe.

The Orvis Men’s Ultralight Wading Boots and Orvis Women’s Ultralight Wading Boots are made with a microfiber material that’s quick drying. Vibram is making its mark in wader footwear. Orvis adds it as a midsole in this ultralight model. The sole is designed to be optionally fitted with metal studs, and an abrasive spray also helps with traction.

Fly Tying Vise

There are two basic styles of fly tying vises. The pedestal style has a heavy base to hold the vise in place. A C-Clamp vise clamps to the work table. The two basic styles of vises are true rotary and non-rotary. A true rotary vice holds the hook and line with the arm. The hook stays in the same spot while spinning.

The Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise is a rotating vise with a C-Clamp. It rotates 360 degrees. The jaw capacity is 28 to 4/0.

The Odyssey includes a bobbin cradle and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s a great vise for beginners to start tying their own flies.

See our complete guide to fly tying vises.

Fly Fishing Landing Net

The landing net is the most important piece of equipment for landing a fish. If it fails, all the work in catching the fish is wasted. It can be made of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. While wood looks nice, it probably won’t last as long as the other two. The Nomad Native Fly Fishing Landing Net by FishPond is made of carbon fiber and fiberglass. It is lightweight and durable, making it a popular choice among anglers. It’s waterproof, floats like a champ, and comes with a rubber bag.

Fishing Flies or Lures

A variety of flies can’t be overlooked, and a box containing a new assortment of flies is always welcome. Boxes are packaged according to the type of fishing being planned. 

If they’re looking for just a few flies, streamers work for saltwater anglers while dragonfly nymphs and muddlers are popular for freshwater fishing.

This fifty-piece assortment of flies from Outdoor Planet is a great starter kit. These are premium hand-tied flies. The kit includes nymphs, wet flies, and dry flies. The box is quite sturdy, too. Be sure and grab the bundle that includes pre-tied loops and floating.

Find excellent discount fly fishing flies.

Fly Fishing Accessories

Like any great hobby, fly fishing uses a lot of accessories. Here are some great fly fishing gift ideas that every fisherman will find useful.

Leader/Tippet Straightener

The Dr. Slick LS Leader-Straightener is a great tool for getting the kinks out of the leader and tippet. Make their life even easier by buying a hook with a retractable cord. Then, they can attach it to any available d ring on their vest.

Line Cutter and Eye Cleaner

Every fly fisherman uses a  line cutter and eye cleaner. A tough multipurpose tool like this one is with its weight in gold. Besides being used to tie fishing knots quickly, it also functions as a jig eye cleaner, loop tying tool, hook sharpener, tuning tool for lures, and a tungsten line cutter.

Seine Net

A seine net is a smaller net that attaches to the regular net. It’s used to scoop insects from the bottom or surface of the water. This is a great indicator of what the fish are currently eating. The angler then chooses a fly that is similar in color and weight to the insects in the net.

The Quick Seine by Angling Designs is a popular fly fishing gift idea.

Utility Knife

A pocket knife is invaluable to every outdoorsman, but a utility razor with snap-off blades can be used with one hand.

Fillet Knives

Any fisherman planning on keeping their catch should know how to clean fish properly. Fillet knives are just as important as any other piece of gear.

A fillet knife should be made of stainless steel. It should also have a full tang where the metal runs through to the end of the handle. There should be a small amount of bend to the blade and the handle should be comfortable with a good grip to prevent slipping while cleaning fish.

There are three basic sizes of fillet knives that fishermen use.

  • 4 to 6-inch blades are good for crappies and yellow perch.
  • 6 to 8-inch blades are good for trout.
  • 9 and 10-inch blades are great for most saltwater fish and larger salmon.

Of the three most common lengths available, the 7-inch blade is a good place to start. The BUBBA 7 inch Tapered Flex Folding Knife is excellent for cleaning medium-sized fish like trout and small walleye. It has a full tang, stainless steel blade running through the non-slip handle. The handle has a hole for a lanyard and has built-in safety lock features.

Multipurpose Camp Keychain

Anyone who has been on an outdoor adventure longer than twenty minutes knows that the more you can lighten the load, the more you’ll enjoy the trip. Multipurpose tools fill the bill.

This 5-in-1 survival key chain has the essentials that anyone may need in a pinch. It includes a carabiner so you can hook it onto any loop available.

It also includes the following.

  • 550 Paracord
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Flint Rod
  • Flint Scraper/Cutting Tool
  • Keyring

Wrapping It Up

We hope we’ve opened your eyes to some new fly fishing gift ideas and that you’ve gained some confidence in buying fly fishing gifts for your favorite angler.