Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Fly-Fishing Gear

The great thing about Father’s Day for dads who fly fish? The day happens to be right in the meat of the best part of fly fishing season (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere). This means, of course, that any gear given—to use on that purling trout stream or on that endless tarpon flat—can be put to use right away. Does he need (or want) a new rod or reel? Some fly fishing apparel? Fishing sunglasses? A book? Maybe even a guided day on the water? I have some ideas. Below, a list of 9 items for the father who fishes with a fly.

Orvis CFO III fly reel

Orvis has revived the 1971 classic designed by the reel-making legend, Stan Bogdan. A quintessential click-and-pawl trout reel that is pure delight to fish. $329

Hardy Zane Pro fly rod

To my mind, this is the best permit/tarpon rod on the market. It has the backbone to fight the biggest fish and cast into any wind, yet remains light in hand. $950

Bajio Roca sunglasses

Perhaps the most important part of sight-fishing is, well, the ability to see the fish. The Roca’s excellent coverage (and side vents that prevent fogging) keeps the light out, which makes finding the fish in the water an easier task. Comes with either polycarbonate or glass lenses. I’d suggest the glass. $249 (for glass lenses)

Simms Flyweight Access Boot

Weight and traction are the two most important features when it comes to a wading boot. The Flyweight Access has perfect scores in both. It’s one of the lightest boots in its class, but doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to gripping slippery river rocks. Great for anglers who like to hike-in to isolated spots. $250

Free Fly Bamboo Lightweight Shore Hoody

Fishing shirts are all about feel and protection. This offering from Free Fly feels great on your skin and offers an SPF of 40. Bonus: This hoody has uses off the water, too, for hikers, bikers and even golfers. $68

Lone Bison Heritage Fly Table

Has your dad taken it to the next level and started to tie his own flies? The Heritage is a killer portable table that dad can place in his lap and tie flies as he watches A River Runs Through It for the 30th time. The table has holes for every tool he’ll need and magnets to keep hooks in place. It’s as much a work of art as the flies dad will create on it. $315


A stunning coffee-table book, beautifully written (by Tom Rosenbauer, with a foreword by Callan Wink) and shot (by Brian Grossenbacher), featuring trout waters from all over the globe. $50


When shopping for dad, may I suggest that you make your purchases at a local fly shop rather than on Amazon or at one of the big box retailers? You can check your local listings, but here are three good ones: Tailwaters in Dallas, Urban Angler in New York and Bear’s Den in Taunton, MA. Another idea: Head over to Geartrade to buy or sell used gear. Prices vary.


Give Pop on a day on the water with a top-level guide. Again, you should check those local listings, but here are three suggestions: Paul Weamer in the Yellowstone National Park area, Brendan McCarthy for Long Island and Brian Dopirak in the Tampa-Clearwater area. Prices vary.

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