For the past few years we've put together a staff "Fishmas" list to help make your life easy with ideas for Christmas and the Holiday gift giving season. If we don't have it all, neither does the flyfisher on your list. Since we're always dreaming about new gear to accompany us where ever we may cast a fly and fly-fishing is our life, it's pretty easy for us to come up with a wishlist for ourselves of for those in need of that perfect Holiday gift. Check out our latest staff "Fishmas List" for some great ideas. If you're not seeing what you're looking for here, give us a call, check our website or if you're in the neighborhood stop by, coffee is on! We're good at helping you find the right gift, even for the flyfisher who you might think has everything.
Kigen runs Western Rivers Walk and Wade Guided fly-fishing service. He's often referred to as Doc due to his degree and his approach to solving the many challenges were confronted with in the shop or on the water. When he's not on the water fishing, or guiding you'll find him behind the counter at the shop. He's a student of the game in the true sense of the word, an ardent and skilled fly tier, and like most of us can't get enough outside time.
M's Patagonia Reversible Bivy Down Vest - $189: Many moons ago I owned a previous version of the Reversible Bivy Down vest, unfortunately it was destroyed in " The Great Laundry Incident of Westminster Ave". This vest was a favorite of mine during Winter, offering ample insulation while leaving the arms free for fishing, working, shoveling, or any cold-weather activity. Ever since my loss, I have been eyeing these vests on the rack, and this year's version with the reversible camouflage interior has me drooling.
Presentation 2000 Vise - $325.00: Renzetti vises are my favorite for two reasons: 1) The jaws allow great access when tying flies on small hooks and 2) The vises are cleanly built, creating a tidy space for tying flies. Of the vises we endorse at the shop, the Presentation 2000 is my favorite. The rotary tying function, customizable jaw angles, and the large pedestal base, make this the vise I want for cranking out technical tailwater dry flies for next years guide trips.
RL Winston Pure 9' 4wt - $850: Of this years new fly rods, the Winston Pure is at the top of my list. I love the feel of the Pure when casting. It is lightweight in hand and offers a deep bend that provides feedback to help me dial in my casting. Because this rod offers such delicate presentation, it is what I want to hold while hunting sippers on the Henry's Fork, stalking slurpers on the Green, or fooling fussy fish on the Provo River.
Nick is our resident casting champion, literally. So he knows a thing or two about rods and fly lines and how they match up. He also teaches many of our Western Rivers Classes, which you can find online. Since his late teens he's been perfecting his game at Western Rivers and has become probably the most well rounded fly-fisher in the shop. Regardless of how you like to present a fly, Nick's skilled at just about any fly-fishing technique.
Fishpond Arrowhead Retractor - $29.95: This is an accessory that is worth every penny! Made in the U.S. out of machined aluminum, and sporting a nearly “bullet-proof” braided nylon line, the Arrowhead Retractor is made to last. The carabiner attachment also makes this retractor capable of being used on virtually any vest, pack, shirt, and wader, it is as versatile as it is dependable.
Sage 590 Trout LL Rod - $800.00: We carried the original Sage LL back when the shop opened in 1986, and it is still considered one of the best rod series that Sage has ever built. In 2019 Sage introduced the Trout LL; a modern dry-fly rod with roots dedicated to the original legend. I was pretty skeptical when they put the LL moniker on this latest offering, but it only took one cast for me to realize that the new Sage LL is the real deal. One can never have enough rods, and the 590 Trout LL, is perfect for the many of the waters we have here in Utah, and for other technical dry fly rivers and streams across the west.
Simms G4Z Waders - $849.95: This is a wader that I would LOVE to see under my tree this Christmas. Why? These waders are more comfortable than the originals, just as tough, and made with all new Gore-tex material that makes them more “breathable”. In short, these waders are much more comfortable to fish in year-round. Considering that my original G4Z’s have never leaked, even after five seasons of use and abuse, I’m excited to put these new waders to the test!
We all have our niche's here in the store, and Spencer's is fly tying. On quiet days when you come in you'll often find him at the vise twisting up one of his creations. He's taken over the ordering of all the fly tying material in the shop, and his knowledge and skill not only helps when he's fishing, but also when putting good materials on our shelves. He's a good stick, and his beautiful flies are coveted by all of us who work at Western Rivers.
Scott G Series 8’8 3wt - $845.00: The G Series of fly rods from Scott are without a doubt my favorite trout rods. These rods are some of the smoothest casting rods I have gotten my hands on. They are perfect tools for presenting dry flies to rising fish. The Scott 8’8 3wt is one of the sweetest in the line. It is a perfect rod for fall and winter midge and baetis fishing which is some of my favorite fishing of the year. It's also an ideal rod for many of Utah's beautiful small trout streams.
Patagonia R2 TechFace hoody - $189.00: The R2 TechFace Hoody is a great piece for any time of year. It can be worn as a stand alone piece for those cool fall and spring mornings, or is an excellent layering tool in the winter when temps get really cold. The fit on the hoody is also very comfortable with great mobility in the arms and shoulders.
Danner Patagonia River Salt Boots - $449.00: The Danner Patagonia boots are a total game changer. The River Salt wading boot is the most comfortable boot I have worn. They have incredible traction and I never felt a need to add studs when I have had a chance to use them. This boot also has great ankle support to help in tricky wading conditions. For those looking for the most durable boot on the market, the Foot Tractor, would be another boot and option that I would be delighted to receive at $499.00. Patagonia again has changed to landscape when it comes to wading boots, and I'm excited that they have.
Steve started Western Rivers with Emmett Heath and David Lattimore back in 1986. Since opening the shop he's fished and traveled much of the globe. You would think after being in the shop for over thirty years, and casting flies on many of the worlds great waters he'd have it all, yet he doesn't. He still has a wishlist. There's so much cool and great gear out there these days, like everyone else in the shop there's always something he's looking to add to his stuff.
Patagonia Expedition Waders - $649.00: These waders have been a long time coming and after getting to try them out, I am very excited for their December arrival. For the avid angler the added features, solid design, and the beefiest wader Patagonia has built a bonus. These are also the first waders to be made from recycled materials. Until now all waders have been made from inert materials that virtually never degrade. The Expedition Waders and new line of Patagonia waders is a significant step forward in reducing our footprint as anglers. We'll have them available for Christmas, which I'll be grateful for.
Grayl Filter Bottle - $64.95: The entire shop uses these filtration bottles, instead of carrying water when they go fishing. Over the years Western Rivers has offered a variety of filter bottles, but I”ve found none that are more convenient or easier to use than the Grayl filter bottles. Other bottles have you sucking, sometimes till you’re blue in the face through a straw. Grayl bottles work like a french press. Once you push the water through the bottles filter, you just drink the water like a glass of water. For anyone who fishes, hikes, or spends a lot of time outdoors, these are awesome. I rarely leave home without mine. I could use an upgrade, however to the new lighter Grayl Filter bottle.
Patagonia Snap Dry Shirt - $129.00: The problem with Patagonia shirts is they never wear out. That creates a problem; you’re always wearing the same shirts, year after year, unless you’ve got a son you can pass them off to. Since I wear a lot of Patagonia shirts, I could use a new shirt or two to brighten up the wardrobe most years. Patagonia’s Snap Dry Shirt, is a relatively new technical offering that would be a nice addition to my fishing wardrobe. Although this shirt can be worn on any casual occasion, it’s truly an incredible fishing shirt. Never needs ironing, that’s a big plus, but more importantly it will help keep you comfortable under most fishing conditions. And, for a change, it’s not a flannel shirt, which my closet is filled with.
We are fortunate to have a great crew of guides and staff at Western Rivers. Blaine is one of our team members who graciously lives in both worlds. His infectious laughter and easy going attitude makes him a pleasure to be around, and an excellent guide to spend a day on the water with. But, don't let that easy going demeanor fool you too much, when it comes to fishing he's a serious stick, who knows his stuff, and like the rest of us in the shop is constantly learning and sharing his experiences with those he spends time with on the water with.
New Fish Pond Tacky Catch-All Box - $34.95: The new Tacky Catch-All fly box is a great addition to both the Fishpond and Tacky line-ups. I really like the fact that they crafted a double sided option, finally. I prefer silicone inserts in a fly box and doubling down just seems to make it twice as effective and efficient. The convenience of being able to use one box just helps cut down the bulk in my pack, and makes it that much easier to locate the fly you’re looking for.
Patagonia R2 TechFace Hoody - $189.00: This hoody seems like the perfect addition to the fall/winter/spring wardrobe. I think it would make a great packable layering hoody for just about every season given the changing weather we have here in the west. Nice and warm, but still stylish enough to go out for drinks with friends.
Hardy Perfect 3 1/8" - $599.00: This reel is at the top of my list because of its classic look and durable feel. This traditional reel has withstood the test of time and is one that I’d love to use. The simplicity of the Hardy Perfect's click and pawl has always impressed me with its smooth and reliable drag. I also, like the sound of this reel when a good fish is taking line from the reel and I would love to hear it scream while hooked up with a fish.
Nicole has many talents, fortunately for us, one of them is fly-fishing. In short, she's a skilled writer, horse trainer, and outdoor enthusiast. On a daily basis you'll find her applying her diverse talents in the shop, but during the heart of the season when she's not behind the counter, she's teaching women how to fly- fish and helping them to get the most from their time on the water. Looking for a great gift for the women in your life, you might consider a gift certificate for one of Nicole's women's classes in addition to what she's got here on her wish list.
Mountain Khaki Compass Backpack Cooler Tote - $99.95: This season of fishing, if I have learned nothing else, I have learned the importance of culinary ambiance. So, the Mountain Khaki Compass Backpack Cooler Tote would be a top-tier addition to my kit. While keeping my lunch chilled, beer cold, and any other libations protected from getting smashed - I get the opportunity to enjoy delicious snacks my while exploring Utah’s small streams. The only way this piece of gear could be better is if it came with elk summer sausage and session IPA.
Mountain Khaki’s Laramie Long Sleeve Shirt - $69.95: Mountain khakis continues to impress me with their versatile, comfortable and fashionable clothing options for women. I have a strict code for my clothes, it must be able to: go to the barn, go fishing and go to dinner. Mountain Khaki’s Laramie Long Sleeve Shirt, and their Swagger Bomber Jacket check all the boxes, and have not disappointed me in any of my arenas. From breaking ice on water troughs -to slinging loops to rising fish- to sitting down for a glass of white wine, I love my Mountain Khakis tops.
Livingston Fiberglass Rod- $675.00: Nothing has taught me more about casting then a fiberglass rod. The “Livingston Glass” line-up continues to impress me with their look, and performance. The “glass” rod has her quirks and demands attention to perform her best, which is why I find them so rewarding. Casting well, is part of the Western Rivers ethos, and by choosing a tool that provides such immediate feedback has been part “tough-love” and part “love-affair” and I would recommend it to anyone in-love with the “game”.
Although Kyle isn't on the official payroll, he's an integral part of the shop and it's workings. From an angling perspective, he has an affinity for good and vintage gear. He also knows how to use it. Most mornings if your in the shop you'll find him centered among the coffee crew tying a fly or two in preparation for his next outing or trip before heading off to work. Were fortunate to have him as our chief consultant. He's also quite fun to fish with, if you're fortunate to be able to do so.
Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody - $399.00: This warm jacket is a great option when the biting winter cold hits us in the mountain west. The Macro Puff Hoody is new for Patagonia, and typical of Patagonia’s function, this puffy lightweight and highly packable fits into a pack or slips on easily and comfortably when you need to keep the winter chill off.
Scott Sector 9 foot 8 weight - $985.00: Scott Fly Rod company is on a roll. Their new Sector Saltwater series of rods are one of the first new saltwater graphite rods I have cast and then felt compelled to add to my quiver. It has an amazing feel, throws a variety of lines really well, and covers handles a number of casting scenarios from in close to 60+ feet with ease. It is going to be my new go bonefish and permit stick and may get use stripping mice or streamers on bigger waters close to home. If I get my hands on one of these, I'll be looking for a reason to fish it.
Rio Technical Trout DT - $85.00: This fly line has become my go-to line for fishing with my fiberglass and cane rods on local waters and beyond. I prefer the double taper Technical Trout for fishing bigger waters like the Henry’s Fork or the Green but the weight forward has it’s application, especially in the smaller line weights on smaller waters. A few others in the shop prefer this line for their graphite rods as well. It's a great line, and in my mind the best taper design in a DT line that's available on the market today.
We are very thankful that early on in our relationship with Logan that he was patient, which is a noticeable skill he applies also when fishing. When he first tried to get a job at Western we told him if he was patient we could make that happen. For him, I'm sure it took longer than he wanted to become a member of the team at Western. He's now a key component of what makes us work, however that patience he exudes isn't such a welcome attribute from the fish he pursues, here in Utah and on his ever expanding landscape where he cast a fly. He's also a pretty mean guitarist, and can lay down a lick as well as he lays down a fly.
Fishpond Dakota Carry-On - $189.95: Everything Fishpond is making these days seems to be well thought out, high quality, and aesthetically pleasing to boot. Like Patagonia, there also one of the more environmentally conscious companies we are fortunate to deal with, which is even more reason for me to like their stuff. The Dakota Carry-On has everything you need and nothing you don’t when it comes to organizing your rods, reels, and tackle for travel. On my Christmas Island trip this February, I’ll be taking ~5 rods, ~4 reels, multiple fly-boxes, leaders, tippet and more; all of which will fit comfortably in this carry on sized “violin case”.
Patagonia Black Hole (70L) - $159.00: I acquired my first Black Hole bag about two years ago and since, it has been with me on every trip; every overnighter, weekend camping excursion or travel trip, and not just limited to fishing trips. The Black Hole series of luggage is simple without lacking, durable, lightweight, comfortable & easy to carry (includes backpack style straps) and made from 100% recycled material. The 70L is larger than my previous for those more gear-intensive outings, and the bright Peppergrass Green color makes it easy to spot in a pile of luggage, or coming off the carousel at the airport.
Hatch 7+ Mid Arbor Reel - $650.00: Regardless of the size, who wouldn't want one or a few of these amazing reels. Since I'm leading a group to Christmas Island in 2020, I'm not going to want to travel all that way and not have a reliable reel. In my mind, there's no better reel for saltwater fly-fishing than a Hatch 7+ Mid Arbor Reel. This is an ideal size for tackling the big bonefish at Christmas Island or in any destination where these amazing fish live.
Western Rivers FlyFisher
1071 E 900 S
Salt Lake City, Ut 84105