A month from today is Christmas Day! So, if you are like me, you are beginning to think about buying some gifts for your friends, or possibly dropping a few hints about some new hunting and fishing gear you would like to find under the Christmas tree this year.
It is often hard to choose that special gift from among the wide assortment of equipment that is available. If you are shopping for friends who hunt and fish here are some suggestions.
Hunting and fishing has a lot of neat equipment associated with it, from knives and binoculars to dip nets, hats and camouflage. A small flashlight is a great gift to help get safely in, and out, of the woods in the morning and evening, and a compass also makes a practical gift. One of the many fine books or DVDs on topics ranging from duck calling to fly tying or fly casting would be welcomed under the Christmas tree by any angler.
The Nova Scotia Map Book which has topographic maps of the province will be a big help in finding your way to that back woods spot where the big bucks are, especially if you combine it with a geographical positioning system, or GPS, unit.
A membership in an outdoor organization would also be a welcome gift. Pictou County has two excellent groups, West Pictou Wildlife and the Pictou County Rivers Association, which work hard to ensure the future of hunting and fishing and the health of habitat fish and game require.
Everyone can use a new fishing rod and manufacturers continue to turn out some excellent products. While you can pay a lot of money for a high-end fly rod there are also some excellent values available in both spinning and fly rods. If your friend already has a good selection of fishing rods consider buying them a rod case to transport them in. After breaking several rods over the years I can attest to the benefits of a well-made storage case.
The new reels are also light weight and have very good drag systems so they also make a very nice gift. If your friend already has several fly reels consider an extra spool or two to allow them to carry different fly lines. New lines, either spinning or fly will be welcomed by any angler.
While most anglers replace the line on their spinning rods fairly regularly we expect to get several years from a fly line. A good line is an investment that will pay off in longer casts and improved performance.
Anyone who fishes regularly will lose a lot fishing gear, such as lures and flies, over the course of the season. As a result a selection of spinners, spoons and flies makes a great gift. A tackle box, with enough room to store all the equipment you accumulate, is also a good choice.
If they don’t tie their own flies, a fly tying vise, and a few tools, will start your friend on a lifelong hobby which will provide hours of enjoyment. One of the best gifts you can give is to offer to take a friend on a hunting or fishing trip next year. That’s a gift that will benefit not only them but you as well.
Don MacLean is an outdoor writer and biologist who lives in Pictou County.