We have all stuffed the Turkey and gorged to our hearts content. Thankful. Let the shopping BEGIN!! My wife often asks me for a list of ideas for Christmas, which is difficult, because we acquire the things we need as we need them. But- I make small lists with things like bird feeders and warm wading socks so my Aunt Carol, or whomever drew my name for the Koz Christmas party can surprise me. It is really tricky. I don’t really ‘Need’ anything for fly fishing- but, every year, industry R&D professional produce something that will cast further, faster, stronger and better. We must have it. So here we go. Remember, THIS is a WISH LIST, if you don’t want to read about the latest in the fishing industry, or hope to find a cool fly box in your stocking, then please pass this along to a friend and save yourself the turmoil of plowing through this post like the 13″ of snow we are about to get.
SANDILL COFFEE– I don’t drink, but I truly enjoy a great cup of coffee. I met Phil Wingo a few years back at a BHA event. He was kind enough to send me blind samples of beans and we chose a roast I liked. He then made up a small batch of True North Trout Camp Coffee, which I serve on all my guided trips. Great Coffee, flavor profiles to match any mood. I really Like the San Miguel, Papau New Guinea and the Kula Peaberry. Give them a try and host a coffee party. They are dedicated to the environment and giving back to conservation. I applaud and support these small businesses. Roasted coffee $14-17 Gift packages $25.00
FISHEWEAR– If you have not noticed, 2019 was the YEAR of WOMEN. Really, in a cool way. Orvis 50/50 on the water campaign and clothing lines are starting to take notice, the rivers are not ‘Men Only’. It is AWESOME. Enter Linda Leary, who a few years back wanted to make a comfortable, yet colorful line of apparel for female anglers. From legging, belts, jackets, hats, neckwear and lately boots- Fishewear has taken the Fly industry by storm. and for good reason. Her goal was to instill confidence, and many agree, the colors and patterns are perfect for this otherwise multi-shaded khaki fly community. This line of clothing appeals to many outdoor activities, from yoga, hiking, biking and even mountain climbing. Check out their entire line on Facebook or Instagram. Leggings $110.00 Groovy Legacy Grayling Boots $145.00
GRAPLRZ– made in Michigan by a young couple who is making a mark in the eyewear retainer game. What sets them apart? First of all, the silicone break away attachment to the lanyard is secure and long lasting. The Wire attaches to a multi barbed insert(think stingray tail) which securely fits inside the silicone tubing. They have also begun the re-purposed fly line series of lanyards, which are perfect for anglers who wear Hoodies that seem to inevitably push sunglasses forward while rowing or moving about. They have a great line of outdoor apparel and lifestyle hats and t-shirts. Be sure to check out the full line of colors(9 in wire and 3 in fly line) and hope one finds its way into a stocking near you. Price $12.95-15.95
RIVERSMITH RodQuiver~ What is better than a 3 rod carrier? 4 banger rod carrier from RIVERSMITH. But WHY? I can have 2 five weights & 2 eight weights set up and ready to roll, or 2 fours & 2 seven weights, whatever, makes sense. I have had mine for about a year and personally applaud all improvements made on the other version of Rod carriers. Riversmith has 2 & 4 rod versions, stronger plastic reel housing with a inner lip that closes more securely than competitor version. Mounting is a breeze and the lack of a bracket across the top of tubes makes for a more solid mount. The reel door opens to the side, which is a beneficial move. Opening reel carrier to top caused the housing to crack and prematurely deteriorate on the other version. Customer service has been top notch and the variety of key sets used in locking the Rod Quiver makes me feel better when I leave my rods in the tubes. Other guides have reported that their version of rod carrier were broken into simply by prying at the latch with a flathead screwdriver. Don’t jeopardize your most valued possession while you are attending a Fly Expo this spring, get the security and solid design features from Riversmith USA. Available in Matte Black or Silver in 10’4″ or 11’4″ lengths. Check them out at a dealer near you. Price $400-719.
FLYVINES– Repurpose your used fly line for some second life. Bracelets, lanyards, key fobs, coasters and so much more. Erin has been busy collecting line from anglers across the country and finding a great use for gently used line that also makes a fashion statement. Based in Missoula MT, Flyvines is at the heart of fly fishing and also support The MAYFLY Project. She showed off some really cool items at IFTD, ornaments for decorating your Holiday Tree and the Fly shop along with some good looking dog collars. Shop here Price $6.99-29.99
ADIPOSE BOATWORKS– Hey, while perhaps you may have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, I have visions of ripples and seams cutting along the chine of a sparkling new Adipose Flow. One night it may be the Charcoal gray with Simms Orange accents and the next it might be the drab Olive with silver highlights. Anyway you choose, Adipose can customize you next drift boat to your desired color combo. Both the FLOW and the RUNOFF are designed by anglers and it becomes readily noticed how well they handle when you begin to cast from the bow. I have had many clients comment on how well set up the storage is, ease of getting in and out, how stable the boat is, and how comfortable the boat is for full day trips for some anglers who may have hip or knee issues. The layout makes sense to me, the ease of maneuverability and control while posting up on feeding fish has always been impressive. Price will vary depending on how many add-ons, upgrades on trailer, and other small details- but I would heavily consider the Teflon* coating for the hull on my next boat. Price $9500-$13500.
UMPQUA FEATHER MERCHANTS– I would be a fool not to point out a few of the great things Umpqua has put out this season. The UPG LT PAYLOAD fly box- whether for Salt or Freshwater, this is the box for your destination trip or just need one box to carry your Lunch $ and Swim Coaches. The number of anglers I heard ask for a good design on a box to take to Cuba/Bahamas/Belize so they could pack in plenty of Deceivers, Crazy Charlies and Bonefish Bitters and Aphlexo Crabs without bringing a boat sized box was amazing. These are perfect to fit in your small duffle and carry a metric tonne of flies. For Freshwater guys, jam in Midnight Mullets, Clousers, Murdich Minnows on one side and double down with Morrish Mice, Mercer’s Lemming, Waking Wounded and some Bass Poppers on the flip side~ you are ready for whatever the river may throw at you. Price $60.
The much anticipated ZS2 Waterproof Boat Bags Large (17″x 11.5 x 10.5) and Medium (13″ x 9 x 9.5) have been revised and getting great accolades from guides and shops across the country. Solid structured lid with reinforced dry-lock rim keep water out when you simply flip the top over the enclose, Zippered clear and mesh compartments on underside hold tippet and maps while the Velcro internal dividers allow for organization for angler, photographer, and kayaker alike. These are multi-purpose bags that will be used for many outdoor adventures. Get out and explore. #tiedtothewater Price $220-300
BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS & ANGLERS– There must be someone in your family who has everything, What do you get them? How about a membership to the fastest growing outdoor active sport group on the planet. BHA- uniting Hunters, anglers, campers, hikers, kayakers, birdwatchers, etc. (you get the point) to get involved and save the last WILD places we have left. I have a PUBLIC LAND OWNER sticker on my truck, and a teacher at my child’s school asked me what it was about. I found it interesting because I later found out her son is a CO with the DNR. Public land belongs to all of us, and when the State decides we have a ‘surplus’ of land in the UP and they prepare to auction it of to the highest bid for oil/mineral exploration, BHA can step in and help gain public interest, ultimately saving the land we hunt, hike and recreate on. Access rights for rivers and legislative issues on state level are always a big contention for companies and BHA has the manpower to get in the battle to fight for the people. Join BHA for a Pint night near you and see what they are up to. It only makes sense that we would want to protect where we go to unplug. Michigan has a very active chapter. #keepitpublic #accessourrivers Membership varies depending on Individual/Business one year or three year. $15-100 JOIN HERE
SIGHT LINE PROVISIONS– from the talented hands Edgar Diaz, comes the workmanship he found when he was looking for an accessory to match his passion for the rivers and mountains where he found peace and represent his love for the outdoors. He is always working on developing new ideas and collaborations with outdoor groups and companies that share his passion, evident though the Yeti Tumbler collection and SAVE BRISTOL BAY collection. There is a variety of leather products from key fobs & steel badges for coolers to necklaces/pendants and rings for anyone’s lifestyle. Make someone’s Holiday special with a leather bracelet from Sight Lines in their stocking and receive a free Trout Badge 2.0 hat. Price $25-145.00.
CATCH & RELEASE Print from FISHPRINTSHOP.com A few years back I was attracted to the idea of having an attractive print of one of my Hex browns from the year before on my wall. Coincidentally, my wife was not privy to having dead animals hanging from the living room wall- I then met Michael Emerson through social media channels and was immediately attracted to the idea of a Tomerelli brown in my den. The classic details he adds to each fish with an ID stamp of date, time, place and fly the fish was caught makes for a perfect gift idea for the angler who went on a trip and has only an image of a great catch on his phone. Check out his Saltwater collection of marlin and sharks- very impressive. Prices range on variety of species. $125-155 and up for special orders.
TEMPLE FORK OUTFITTERS– There is a small buzz in the fly industry regarding the TFO AXIOM II-X. Born from the much acclaimed TiCrX predecessor, this rod is carbon fiber with a double helix of Kevlar for fast action and quick recovery. Very light and deadly accurate in the right hands, this rod will deliver flies on target with minimal effort. I cast an eight weight all day throwing streamers and was very impressed at the action and amazing capability of this rod. It packs a lot of punch for a rod in this price range. Check one out at a show near you. Price $359
The BVK SD reel is new and features a completely sealed drag. Noticeable soft pewter in color is a small contrast from the green previous BVK, which will look stunning with the sky blue Axiom II-X. The BVK-SD is machined aluminum and anodized for use in fresh or saltwater. Large arbor design allows for great line capacity and quick line retrieve for the angler. This reel is available in 4 sizes priced from $199-229.95
CODY RICHARDSON’s CREATIONS– Who wouldn’t want a really cool license plate Trout or Permit hanging in the office/den or fly room? Cody Richardson is a Colorado native who grew up exploring the rivers and streams of the Rocky Mountains. He switched gears from a career in fire fighting to pursue a personal passion for fly fishing and unique artwork. Starting out by creating personal designs in his home shop for friends and family, these pieces caught on through local Colorado fly shops, and are now carried sold in shops around the world. Check out his awesome work at local fly shops. Price ranges from $300-850
Guide Trip with TRUE NORTH TROUT– Obviously a day on the water is on everyone’s wish list. Gift certificates available upon request. Next year is already filling up. Limited availability due to sales meetings and dealer visits, but I would love to get you on the river in between and show you some of northern Michigan. Price $275 half day $375 full day
These are obviously not in any particular order- merely to give some good ideas and conversation. Thank you for reading and keeping up with True North Trout. Please enjoy time with your friends & family, treasure the things than mean the most. Happy Holidays!!