Tis the season for gifts and gift ideas. We know that anglers across the board can be “finical” or “particular” when it comes to gift-giving. Of course, whatever they receive they should be grateful and you as a good person want to make sure you’re at least going in the right direction. To point you in the “right direction” we thought we’d asked some of our Deneki Outdoors Team members to give us some insight on their favorite piece of gear or gear they can’t do without.
Finally, please remember all the locally owned, small businesses in your area. We’ve all been challenged with our current pandemic. Small business is the heart of America and we need to do everything we can to support them. I know in many areas across the USA, you can find each of the items listed here at a local, small business. If the business doesn’t have what you’re specifically looking for, purchase a gift card to use at a later date.
Chad Bryson, Head Guide, Rapids Camp Lodge – My favorite piece of gear might be a little different than what you would expect it to be. In a sorely corked world of fly rods and reels that exceed well over the four $$$$ mark, my one favorite piece of gear is my backpack. I simply can not get my job done without a good pack. A good backpack will comfortably carry everything I need to 1) make a day of fly-out fishing happen and 2) keep everyone safe in the event of foul weather or unforeseen events. Gear is never important until you need it and don’t have it. I make a practice of having what I need every day. At Rapids Camp Lodge, we have the luxury of the airplane staying with or near the angling group at all times. However, life hasn’t always been so “Cush” as it is now. I can’t begin to count the number of times that a one day fly out turned into a multi-night tundra sleepover due to unforeseen weather conditions. The first time it happened, I was only marginally prepared with a small waterproof fishing backpack containing minimal survival gear…and I mean minimal. Three wet, cold and demoralizing days later, upon returning to civilization I rightly ordered every piece of survival gear I wished that I had during the last three days along with a backpack suitable to carry all of it. Less than two weeks after I received my now treasured pack, I was stuck out in the bush again. This time for almost 5 days. The biggest difference was that this time, everyone just felt a little inconvenienced as opposed to feeling miserably consumed by notorious Alaskan bush weather. After that, I never left the dock without my backpack ever again.
Rick Sisler, Operations Manager, Alaska West Lodge – My all-time favorite piece of gear has to be a Simms Bulkley Jacket. For me, this jacket and the use of it have made it possible to comfortably experience some of the best fishing of my life. I know that when I am headed out fishing and I need this jacket I’m about to have some fun. This is the kind of jacket you need when wading waist-deep down a cold British Columbia river for steelhead, or trout fishing the Kenai in the middle of winter. It also fits in nicely for the beginning and end of the season at Alaska West! It’s like wearing a waterproof sleeping bag when you have this jacket on. It keeps you warm and dry! Add in some good layers underneath and you are good to go in a blizzard if it comes to that, and sooner or later it does. Probably my best use of the Bulkley jacket was a short moose hunt this past September where I slept in a bivy sack each night. The only thing I did not have was a good pillow so I proceeded to turn my jacket inside out and roll it up into the form of a pillow the best I could. It was one of the best impromptu camp pillows ever. And anyone that has “bivied” out knows how nice it is to have the pillow dialed in.
Bryan Burke, Guide, Sales & Marketing, Deneki Outdoors –“My favorite piece of gear for fly fishing are my sunglasses. Mine are not only polarized, reducing glare but, mine are also prescription lenses so they sharpen my vision and allow me to see in the water. Most importantly they also protect my eyes from stray objects or wayward hooks that are not on the right path. Sunglasses are good for anglers of all abilities, to protect from harmful UV rays but also is important when casting flies.” Click here to learn more about picking the right lenses in our Sunglasses Lens Guide.
Dan Herrig, Guide, Owner & Operator Deneki Outdoors – “My favorite tool is absolutely necessary for guiding, the outdoors and life in general anywhere around the world. The Leatherman. They come with various configurations and accessories, but in general, most Leatherman tools have the necessary basic set of tools for an all-around must-have for living and breathing in the outdoors. From repairing a fuel hose on your boat motor, to tighten a screw on your reel while your fishing on the flats, to slicing a nice crisp apple and aged cheddar, It can do it all.”