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The first of December comes every year but coming up with a list of Christmas ideas for my wife seems like it comes every month.

What to get your fly fisherperson spouse makes buying presents sometimes difficult.

I thought this year I would ask Santa for a new vise to tie my flies. I have been using the same fixed vise for about 30 years and it isn’t worn out but I thought a rotary vise would be interesting to use and help a little with my tying. I don’t recommend a rotary vise for beginning tiers because it’s too easy to assume that a rotary vise will help you tie better flies. The reality of tying is that the reverse is true. Beginners should learn on a fixed position vise so that they can get the basics of tying down pat before they move to a rotary. Some of the best tiers in the world tie on a fixed position vise because their techniques are so good.

Picking out gifts can be a chore so I asked several fly fishermen who seem to have everything, what they would like to have for Christmas this year. Some fishermen would like to keep an accurate record of fishing conditions and the fish that they catch. A fishing journal is a great idea for these people. Another great idea is to find a newly published fishing book. There are several published each year. Other ideas include coffee mugs; fly lines, new leaders, T-shirts, hats, waterproof fly boxes and fishing shirts.

I like to replace my fishing nippers almost every year because they become dull with use during the fishing season. I have tried to sharpen several pairs but I have had limited success. It is best to have a new pair often. Another item that I have found invaluable is a waterproof cell phone case. I ruined one phone when I fell in the river and the next day I found a case that I could use for years to come. 

One of the nicest gifts I have received is a gift certificate. If you give one as a gift the fisherman can go to his/her local fly fishing shop and pick out the items that might be needed or wanted. I have given and received several gift certificates and they are a hit whether given or received.

Fishing on the Bitterroot continues to be good if you are a nymph fisherman. Streamer fishing has not been very good. The fish are lethargic and waiting for some food to drift right in front of their noses. They aren’t going to waste a lot of energy to chase something through the water unless they are sure it will equal or better the energy they spent to get it. The main river is pretty good throughout the system. There is plenty of water so you can find many places to fish without traveling very far. One of my favorite places is the Wally Crawford access site. There is plenty of room to fish up or down river.

Good Fishing,

Bill Bean.

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