The good news for folks shopping for fishing fans is that most of us are pretty easy to please. If a gift has anything to do with fishing — which often includes beer products—we’ll be happy.
Most anglers love fishing shirts, silly coffee mugs, the latest gadgets and reels, guided trips or weeklong stays along the shores of a High Sierra lake. Since it’s the thought that counts, we appreciate you realizing we’re often thinking about fishing, even if the General Season Opener is still several months away.
While local fishing shops like Kittredge Sports and the Trout Fitter have great options, the most entertaining help always comes from Rick Flamson of Rick’s Sports. Rick has been in the fishing business for over three decades and not only knows the best places around Mammoth Lakes to fish but also what that will make anglers happy. Here are three great gift options for the fishing fan in your life.
Price Range: $20-$50
“Sick of all the lies and fish tales you don’t want to hear—again?” Rick asked. “Then get them a digital scale.”
There are lots of digital scale options for any budget or angler. Try Berkley’s Big Game Lip Grip digital scale. It’s quick and easy to use, lifting up fish by the lips to be weighed, and allows anglers to release fish without injuring them.
Another trick Rick passed along was to weigh your net before catching a fish. And then when you catch one, you can weigh it while it sits in the net. This is even less stressful on the fish and helps promote healthy releases.
Digital scales may cut down on exaggeration, but they will also give your favorite angler proof when he—or she—lands a monster!
Price Range: $30-$80
Catch, measure net, release…repeat often.
That’s pretty much the slogan for Measure Nets. The nets are lined with marks to measure catches up to 24” and come in a variety of sizes for everything from walk-and-wade anglers to float tubes to drift and motor boats.
Measure Nets are ideal for catch-and-release anglers, making it possible to measure fish while still keeping them wet. The nets are made of rubber, which is easier on fish than mesh and other materials. Keeping trout in the water and not handling them too much also helps increase survival rates for released fish, especially during the winter when trout build up protective slime layers.
“The great thing about Measure Nets is that you can find out how big a fish is and you’re not hurting it,” Rick said. “So you can release it, then catch it again later when it gets bigger.”
Price Range: $200-$900
If there’s a place for float tubes in heaven, it must look an awful lot like the Eastern Sierra. Mammoth Lakes and its expansive surroundings offer a variety of lakes ideal for fishing and exploring from a float tube. Any angler who loves to cast around the Eastside should have a float tube.
The single-person float boats come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and price levels. While some parts of the country like the fully enclosed donut-style float tubes, the open front horseshoe-style float tubes are most popular in the Eastern Sierra. Rick is a big fan of the durability and design of the Outcast Fish Cat models.
While most float tubes needed for local lakes don’t require oars, fins (and ideally booties and waders) are necessary to be able to kick around the lake. Float tubes are ideal for small lakes like Mamie and George, but can also be great for working sections of larger fisheries like Lake Mary and Crowley Lake.
“If you really want to access all we have to offer here,” Rick said. “You’ve got to get a float tube.”
No mater what you get you favorite angler, as long as it’s fishing-related you really can’t go wrong.
Award winning author and journalist Mike McKenna is currently working on his next book called “Casting Around the Eastern Sierra.” You can help by ordering advanced and signed copies of the book, or support the project by purchasing great packages all donated by the best shops, guides and lodges...