an image of two wading anglers holding nice rainbow trout from the Fall River

Gifts for anglers

We asked some of the fisher folk at ODFW for their favorite gift-giving ideas. Here's what they said.

Michelle Weaver, ESA program specialist, Salem

A comparison of three different kinds of multi-tools
Multi-tools come in a variety of sizes with a variety of tools.

  • A multi-tool. Get one with pliers (for getting fish off treble hooks) and scissors (cuts braid more easily than a knife).
  • A flask. Especially in the winter month, a little nip of something can help celebrate a steelhead catch, and/or help you endure the cold, wet days.

David Banks, district fish biologist, Hines

  • Flasher-style fish finder. This is a must-have piece of gear for a committed ice angler. A flasher is similar to a fish finder but shows a real-time image. This let’s ice anglers see how a fish responds to their lure, and where in the water column the fish are holding. It also lets you see if the fish are active in a spot so you can move on quickly if you don't see any fish in 10-15 minutes.

Mike Gauvin, recreational fisheries manager, Salem

  • A boomerang-style snipping tool. One tool to cut fishing line from 4x tippet to 50 lb braided line. Use in in all types of fishing situations by clipping it to your waders, to the zipper on your pontoon boat, and of course to your tackle bag.  It’s attached to a retractable cable so it’s always easy to access if you’re standing in the middle of a stream changing out a fly, or floating on a lake or river and changing out a lure.

Mike Gray, district fish biologist, Charleston

A fishing tackle box loaded with tackle.
With this style bag you can swap out the individual boxes based on what you're fishing for.

  • A lightweight tackle bag with a shoulder strap. This one carries several smaller tackle boxes. Offers mobility when hiking the river banks, easy access to gear, and flexibility to change out gear boxes when changing species.

Justin Miles, fish biologist, Lakeview

  • Money or a gift card. If the angler in your life is picky about their gear, a gift card to their favorite tackle shop or sporting goods store let’s them select what they want. And they won’t have to pretend the gift you gave them, while close, isn’t quite what they had in mind.

Jessica Sall, web communications coordinator, Portland

  • Wading staff. In moving water, a wading staff improves your balance and lets you move more quickly, safely and confidently through the water. They vary from simple trekking poles to folding staffs that you can wear on your belt.
  • A marine whistle. If you get in trouble on the water (or in the field) a good loud whistle may bring you help. It also can help you find a far-flung fishing partner.

Amanda Boyles, angler education coordinator, Salem

Vintage photo of a young girls fishing with her parents.
Making memories can begin at a very young age. A young Amanda Boyles.

  • Memories. Not all gifts are physical. Memories are free yet last a lifetime. So this holiday, why not give an IOU for making a special fishing memory. Offer to take a friend, child or coworker fishing. Plan a special outing and share time with your fishing friends. Promise yourself a one-of-a-kind fishing treat that you’ll be sure to remember.

If there's a hunter on your gift-giving list, check out these ideas in Gifts for hunters, v. 2021.

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