5280 Angler Guides’ Guide to Holiday Fly Fishing Gifts


Fly Fishing Gift Ideas from the 5280 Angler® Guide Staff.

Good fly fishing gifts are special. Finding the right gift to share with the angler(s) in your life can be very tricky! Gear preferences and needs can REALLY vary from person to person. That’s why we’ve compiled suggestions from our pro guides and created a list of what we consider to be a wide range of awesome fly fishing gifts to fit anglers of all ability and experience levels. We’ve also tried to share independent ideas that fit the full spectrum of holiday gift giving budgets (Tom even has a homemade gift idea for the crafty back country angler).

We hope you find our list as much fun to read as it was for us to create – GOOD GEAR RULES! We also hope that you’ll find the perfect gifts for your fishing buddies this year, a few for yourself, and, most of all, more time to fish together!

To that end, the greatest present any of us can give to one another and to future generations is the gift of fish. Thanks to all who practice catch & release, take kids fishing, and help to keep our rivers cold, clean, and beautiful!


STOCKING STUFFERS –  A good pair of nippers, a solid pair of scissor clamps, and a range of thingamabobber strike indicators are all really useful. Also, a flask – there are lots of great styles out there to choose from!
SUN PROTECTION – Buffs come in a WIDE range of styles and are pretty inexpensive. Sun screen and lip balm are both also a great way to say: “I care about you – protect your skin!”
FLY BOX WITH MAGNETIC COMPARTMENTS  – The tiny tailwater nymph patterns we use all the time are tricky to slide in and out of the little foam slits. A box like Umpqua’s UPG FLY BOX MIDGE has a thin profile and two magnetic compartments to securely and conveniently store the little bugs.
NOMAD NETS – Fishpond has a great series of fly fishing nets. These lightweight nets, with long handles, large hoops, and rubber baskets are the way to land and handle trout. I’ve had mine for years. They’re a great way to keepemwet.
 fly fishing gift card
5280 ANGLER GIFT CARD FOR A 1/2 DAY GUIDED TRIP – Treat someone special to time on the water with one of the professional members of the 5280 Angler® Guide Staff.


FLY TYING ACCESSORIES – I love new fly tying tools & materials to add to the arsenal on my desk. This might require looking around her or his tying desk to see exactly what’s needed or should be replaced. If in doubt a nice ceramic bobbin or a new scissors are both great ideas. Or, a jug of hand lotion – dry skin and small fibers don’t mix.


A 5280 ANGLER HAT – I don’t know if they’re lucky, but I wear one and my wife thinks I look incredible.


On Demand Fly Fishing - Denver Outfitters Rod Vault

On Demand Fly Fishing – Denver Outfitters Rod Vault

DENVER OUTFITTERS ROD VAULT – The Rod Vault is a SWEET way to travel to the river with fully rigged fly rods. I love my rod vault for its convenience, security, and efficiency. It not only keeps my rods protected and riding on the roof in style, but it also keeps my three-year-old son’s fingers away from any hooks while we’re riding to the river. They’re currently taking discounted holiday pre-orders now.
YETI COOLERS – Hunger and thirst will end a day faster than the worst weather. I never leave home without my YETI well stocked with sandwiches, waters, and beer. I personally love the Tundra 50, and I also recommend the HOPPER FLIP 12. Built to last, and true to YETI’s motto, these coolers are “built for the wild.”
GOERTZEN ADVENTURE EQUIPMENT LANYARD Handmade in Missoula Montana, I can’t say enough good things about this lanyard. I personally use the flip down (fly patch) style, which offers an ideal staging area for flies. The wide neck strap is comfortable all day long. The belly strap keeps things nice and tight, even while bending over to remove a hook. The license pouch keeps me legal, and the six attachment points offer all the storage I need for tools like nippers and such. Finally, the location of the tippet bobbin could not be better! It’s right in tight where I work when tying, so I’m ultra efficient when rebuilding rigs.
LEADERS, TIPPET, AND WEIGHT – ALL ARE GREAT! Equivalent to the way soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper are essential household items, leaders, tippet, and weight are essential components to a fly fishing pack. AND, just like those home goods, they always seem to need replacing! I guarantee a few tippet spools, a tin of Super Doux, and pack of leaders will never go unappreciated -swing into your local fly shop and they’ll have it all!
COFFEE – Most fly fishermen I know wake up early. The only thing that gets me out of bed besides the hope of catching a fish is coffee. Give your fishing buddy some go-juice and send them to the river fully caffeinated.
NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED-GET-OUT-OF-OBLIGATION-TO-GO-FISHING-PASS – This is like one of those ‘back massage’ or ‘cook you dinner’ type homemade coupons. It’s free! And it will be cherished by its recipient. Give the precious gift of more time to go fishing!
PRO TIP: No dirty looks when you’re handed the coupon on the morning of your friend’s co-ed baby shower…
LIFEPROOF CELL PHONE CASE – None of us WANT to take our phones with us to the river, but most of us do. Besides, most phones are really just a camera that can text and post pics on Facebook. And we ALL want to take pictures of our epic moments on the river. The waterproof case by Lifeproof ensures that when I drop my iPhone in the water while trying to capture the latest insta-famous moment on camera, I can still call home when I’m done to mention that I’m running late…




A TRIP TO BOXWOOD GULCH RANCH – Nothing is finer than a trip into the premier private water fly fishing destination in the West! Close to Denver and complete with a full service clubhouse, Boxwood is awesome. The fish of Boxwood Gulch are a legend and a day there makes a really fine gift! Call Jay and say, I wanna give the gift of BOXWOOD this year!
DRY SHAKE & FLOATANT – Nothing is worse than finding yourself out of shake & lube in the midst of an epic hatch. Give your fishing buddy some gink & powder and encourage them to match the hatch!
A BOX OF BEADS –  Let’s be honest here. We’ve all heard people call Trout Beads dirty. They can call them whatever they want. Beads don’t smell, they don’t taste good to trout, and they don’t hurt the fish. So, I’m not afraid to get nasty. dirty. egg-ffective. Fish eat eggs, so I fish egg imitations, and only the best! (Disclaimer, I do not target trout while they are on redds, nor should anyone). Trout Beads come in all sorts of colors, but I recommend the ROCKY MOUNTAIN SELECTION (#RM01) for Colorado anglers. I also like the beadhooks in sizes 10 & 12. Pegged eggs are like little holiday ornaments attached to the end of my leader. If Forest Gump were a fly fisherman instead of a shrimp boat captain, he would have said, “Life is like a box of trout beads. You never know which one is gonna catch a fish.”
GNARLY STREAMERS – For whatever reason, a lot of anglers are too timid to walk into a fly shop and ask the staff to point them in the direction of the BIGGEST trout streamers they’ve got – even though that’s what they’ve always wanted to try. Here’s your chance to do the dirty work. Head into the shop with confidence and find the big nasty stuff for your fishing friend or family member – I’m talking ‘Sex Dungeons’ & ‘Home Invaders.’ (maybe even something crazy the shop guys have locked inside the backroom streamer vault) Woolly buggers are cute and effective, but fill those stalkings with some MEAT!


SMITH CHROMAPOPS – I love my Smith Sunglasses for their awesome style, fit, and their unsurpassed ability to show me the fish clear as day. They’re my number one sight fishing tool!
It's COLD out there. A good jacket is key!

It’s COLD out there. A good jacket is key!

PATAGONIA GUIDE JACKET – An item often overlooked and underestimated by both professional anglers and weekend warriors alike. A good wading jacket will keep you warm and dry in the worst conditions. The awesome pockets, tethers, and other options allow for easy and safe storage of all my most needed items – wear I can still access them when weather conditions go south.
ALUMINUM BOOT STUDS – Great stocking stuffer!  Whether added to new boots or old, these studs come in handy. Upgrade your rubber to the next level for additional grip. Soft aluminum allows the rocks on the river bottom to bite INTO the stud, offering improved traction in slippery situations.
TROUT PORN CALENDAR – Visit TroutPornNation pick up your calendar for a friend, family member, or, even better as a special gift to one of our troops (option online). There’s no better way to make sure you hit the water more often in 2017 than to get those trips scheduled on the calendar! In the meantime, stay psyched with all the great pics of fly girls and super fly fish!


yellow dog fly fishing

Do you BELIZE in Santa?

TROPICAL FISHING GETAWAY – Bonefish. Permit. Tarpon. They all live in warm & sunny places…

FLY TYING EQUIPMENT – I’m with Jeremy on this one. There are endless options. Maybe a new vice? If you’re not sure, go for every color of chenille in the rainbow…San Juans for days!

FISHING GLOVES & WADING SOCKS – If the tropical getaway isn’t happening this year, treat your fishing buddy to toasty fingers and toes. Good pairs of gloves and wading socks keep me fishing through winter. I won’t be in Belize either this January, but at least I’ll be warm as can be while chasing rainbows up on the South Platte.


HOMEMADE BACKCOUNTRY TIPPET TENDER – All you need is a small carabiner (any hardware store will have them) and a hairband. Simply thread your tippet spool(s) onto the hairband and then clip it to the biner. The other accesories (nippers, floatant, shake) clip into the bottom of the hairband loop, securing your tippet spools. Voila – backcountry (lightweight) tippet & tool tender!

Tom’s Tippet Tender

PERFECT ANGLER’S DAY PACK – I love the REI FLASH 18 pack for day fishing trips. I added a couple fly box holders on the front strap on my personal one (from an old orvis pack). Bring a lanyard and you’re ready to fish. This pack is incredibly light and holds bunch of stuff (lunch, first aid, rain jacket, extra fishing supplies, tp, etc). Since it has a waist strap and also chest strap not all the weight is on your shoulders. It also allows for a hip pack since the waste strap isn’t bulky. For backcountry /backpacking I bring it along for the day for fishing.

STILLWATER FLY FISHING BOOKS – Getting into stillwater fly fishing can be a real challenge, but it’s also very rewarding. Two of my favorite books are Hatch Guide for Lakes by Jim Schollmeyer and Stillwater Presentation: A Fly Fisher’s Comprehensive Guide for Planning and Executing a Presentation System for Catching Stillwater Trout by Denny Rickards. Both texts are an excellent way to break into the lentic environments!

Fly fishers we know always smile upon receiving even the smallest (#24 midge small)  fly fishing gifts! The team at 5280 Angler wishes you all a happy holiday season, and we hope you enjoy time (on the water) with friends and family.

fly fishing gift guide