Hints: What To Get Your Fly Fisher For The Holidays
Home on the coast for the holiday? Stumped on stocking stuffers? Need some ideas for the sporting person in your life? We talked with Dave Hayward, the Manager of Swan Point Landing Fly Shop in Rockport, home of the biggest collection of fly-tying materials on the Texas Coast, and got some salty suggestions to help you out!
In addition to being an avid fly fisher himself, Dave has been an Orvis dealer since 1982 and has managed the Swan Point shop for 13 years, so he knows fly-fishing. During the cooler weather, Tarpon, Mackerel, and Jackfish head south but there is an abundance of Trout, Redfish, Drum, and Flounder just waiting to be caught this time of year. According to Dave, “Once you have sight-cast to a fish in skinny water, and it pounces on your fly like a cat on a mouse, you will be hooked on fly-fishing forever.” To that end, Swan Point has gifts in every price point to fulfill your fisher person’s dreams.
For stocking stuffers, Dave recommends nippers to trim knots in monofilament, and/or forceps, both of which are available for under $30. Note that these forceps are like needle-nose pliers-meets-scissors-meets-clamps and not to be used for surgical purposes! Also available are polarized sunglasses with brown, copper, pink, or yellow lenses, which run from $69 to $259; fly boxes for $20, and SPL’s best-selling Orvis open-air caster shirts in men’s and women’s from $79 to 97 that are embroidered with ‘Rockport, TX’ and a Redfish. Or consider the shoulder sling pack for carrying extra gear on your wade. (Orvis, Simms, and Patagonia all make great models.) Dave says, “Every fish loves feathers,” and Swan Point has fly-tying feathers, hair, hooks, and flash, and anything else you could possibly want to attract a fish.
For a beginner fly-fisher looking to get the best bang for a buck, Dave recommends a 9 foot, 4-piece, 8 weight saltwater outfit for Reds and Specks at $540, which includes an Orvis Battenkill IV reel, the new TFO Legacy 9 foot, 4-piece, 8-weight rod, and top-of-the-line fly line (RIO or Orvis) for $540, the best traction for your dollar. According to Dave, “this is a great outfit to learn and get better with, and it will even do a trip to Mexico or Belize as well.”
If your fish enthusiast is an intermediate level angler, Swan Point Landing offers a wide range of fly rods for salt or freshwater work, from the best of Orvis, TFO, Sage, Loomis, and Hardy at all price points. Imported rods usually run under $400 and Dave likes the Made-in-America Orvis Recon and Sage Maverick respectively, at $575. For the advanced fly-fishing person, premium models are $850 and up.
Waterproof layering garments are always a good choice. Simms waterproof wading jackets run from $299 to $600, and both Simms and Orvis 4-layer breathable waders start at $299. Orvis, Simms, and Patagonia all offer fleece and PrimaLoft under layers, in jacket or vest; they add an extra 20 degrees of warmth with very little extra weight and start at $129. Dave tells us, “The shop can order almost anything for your Holiday shopping list, from Orvis, Simms, Patagonia and others, but order early to have the best chance of getting it under the tree!”
Alternatively, Swan Point also offers gift cards in any denomination, and private 2-hour fly casting lessons with Dave by appointment. They run from $50 for a single person, $75 for 2, and up to $100 for 3 people at a time. All gear is provided, and Dave has just the place to learn in Little Bay Park.
So, if you don’t know a fly from a flounder, don’t panic, ’cause Dave has you covered with fishy gift ideas from clothing to gear, and even artwork and coffee table books. Your fisher can hang out their ‘Gone Fishing’ sign and celebrate the holidays with their favorite activity, while you get all the credit for finding the perfect gift. No need to thank Dave.