I put a simple question to a number of well know fly fishers and fly fishing personalities: ‘What would you like Santa to bring you this year if you were limited to three choices?’ The answers are interesting, amuzing and widely varied.
This is the first in what will be a three or four part series.
TOM LEWIN PROPRIETOR AT FONTIERS FLY FISHING AND A BAMBOO FLY ROD FANATIC
Well I guess if I’m going to wish, I’m going to wish big! My wish to Santa for Christmas….. A mint condition, all original Payne 201 bamboo fly-rod. This 8 foot, 3-piece, 2 tip bamboo fly-rod is considered to be the finest fishing rod ever made. Then I’m going to need a reel worthy of matching up with this snazzy piece of lumber and without any hesitation it has to be a 3 1/4 inch Bogdan – an original, made by Stan himself. And to round things off nicely, a double taper, 5-weight, Terrenzio hand-made silk fly-line.
Now I need to breathe deeply to slow my racing heart down!!
DAVE WALKER, SQUIRE OF THE VILLAGE OF RHODES
My wishes from Santa are:
1. That when doing the “Father Christmas-thing” the kids clear off and send their mothers to sit on my lap
2. That I could visit Rhodes as a holiday-maker
3. That I can go to St Helena by mail ship before the airport is completed on the island
Methinks that should do it – and in no particular order!
RUHAN NEETHLING, MASTER FLY TYER (ESPECIALLY OF SALMON FLIES)
My list would be:
- Maui Jim Photocromatic Polarized sunnies
- Ronn Lucas hooks
- Any full bird skins, especially more unusual ones
TIM ROLSTON PROFESSIONAL FLY GUIDE, FLY TYER AND AUTHOR
I am not a tackle junkie, so there are not a lot of whistles and bells which I would care to receive but if you could arrange the following I should be most grateful:
I should like trout in South Africa to be declared a protected species and its environment to be left alone from development, poisoning, damaging agricultural practices and like.
I should like a magic wand such that all my clients can be suitably “knighted” at the commencement of the day and find that their casting has greatly improved, at least for 12 hours or so.
And I think that I would enjoy a nice new Regal vice. I tie all my flies on a cheap copy and far prefer the lever action style. I have been a good boy and tied thousands of flies on my cheapie so perhaps it is time for an upgrade.
CLEM BOOTH ENTREPRENEUR (LONDON) FLY FISHER AND THAMES PIKE HUNTER
I think top of my list would be:
1. A little more time than is currently the case to enjoy the beauty of our streams and camaraderie of those we encounter on the banks.
2. And then, although I accept that this is but a dream, another crack at that giant rainbow in Wall Pool of the Liesbeek in Cape Town; a leviathan of between 5 and 6 pounds last seen by myself in 1969! I happen to know the fate of this magnificent creature but perhaps Santa can turn back time!
3. A red-letter pike on fly day on the Thames with the prospect of finally cracking that elusive 20 pound mark!
GARY GLEN-YOUNG CURRENT MEMBER OF THE PROTEAS (SOUTH AFRICAN) FLY FISHING TEAM
As to fishing related, here goes:
1. Sage ESN 11ft 3wt
2. 10 day Seychelles trip
3. Simpler & more logical Fips-Mouche competition rules
These range from the probable to the possible to the highly unlikely.
CHRIS BLADEN RENOWNED BRONZE SCULPTOR ESPECIALLY OF SALTWATER GAME FISH
This is real tricky. Only three!!
1. All expenses trip to New Zealand – South Island brown trout fly fishing! (If tickets are sold out, sight fishing for Dorado in Bolivia would do just fine!)
2. A split cane fly rod by one of our home grown masters Steve Dugmore or Steve Boshoff.
3. A net by Mario Geldenhuys.
ANDREW FOWLER A FLY FISHING FANATIC FIRST CLASS
Off the top of my head:
1. J –Vice
2. One of Mario Geldenhuys’ quirky nets he is dreaming up for 2014….no pressure Mario…the kids come first!
3. A Stephen Boshoff 7 ½ foot 3/4 weight bamboo rod.
Keeping it local, but larny as you can see!
STANTON HECTOR RECENT DOCTORAL GRADUATE AND MAD KEEN FLY FISHER
It’s a bit of a tall order limiting me to just three items, because there are so many fly fishing related goodies I want. However, off the top of my head, if I had to choose three, high on my list would have to be a Stephen Boshoff bamboo rod. Ever since I toyed around with Craig Thom's centre-axis split cane rod (spectacularly crafted by Stephen) at the CPS River Festival a few weeks ago I've become a convert. I marvelled at the craftsmanship and the smooth and accurate casting only a bamboo rod can have. Now I have an image of myself fishing the runs of the Smalblaar at dusk with a split cane rod burnt into my retinas. I thought that a 2wt in the 7'6 to 7'9 range would do me just fine. My next item(s) would be a Sage ESN 10 ft 3wt and matching Sage 4230 reel. I simply love the delicate tips on these rods not to mention their versatility. One could easily use this rod for delicate French nymphing, Czech nymphing, dry fly fishing for yellows and trout all on the same day. Now that's value for money! Lastly, I would ask Santa for more fly tying time. I'll tell you why I wish for this in a second. The reason is simple, ever since our second daughter (Annah) was born our days are so consumed by our two little girls that in the evening both us are lights out by 9 o'clock. So, those are my three wishes I'm putting out there. I suspect the only that'll come true is time for tying flies...Our daughter's sleeping habits have been more regular as of late.
PIERRE SWARTZ FLY GUIDE AND COMMERCIAL FLY TYER OUT OF GRAAFF-REINET IN THE KAROO
My choice is simple.
First on the list is a J-Vice because it is made locally and as good as the best imported brands.
Second would be a Shilton SL6 reel for my 9wt. These reels are excellent, compare well with the best imported brands and they are also made locally.
Thirdly I would love to get a full range of Marc Petitjean fly tying tools from Switzerland. These are without doubt the finest on the market.
Hope Santa reads this.
MURRAY PEDDAR ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S LEADING FLY TYERS AND TACKLE DEALERS
A Garmin GPS, my wife tells me I must get one of these! I wonder why?
Any good bottle of single malt to keep my hip flask full.
The waterproof Sonia Experia. Great for taking shots of fish etc and posting to Facebook as it happens.
GERHARD LAUBSCHER CEO OF FLYCASTAWAY OUTFITTERS AND AN AVID PHOTOGRAPHER
My list gets progressively more expensive:
- Trouthunter leaders and tippet for a year. The Rene Harrop 14ft leaders are like an extension of you fly line, they are incredible for dry fly fishing. I’ll take a year’s supply with a smile on my face
- Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens to use to shoot my third choice…
- A day’s fishing with you on one of the bigger streams in Rhodes in autumn when the leaves are yellow, the stream clear and light flat.
SHARLAND URQUHART GREAT CHAMPION OF FLY FISHING AND WOMEN IN FLY FISHING
My wish is that all my fly fishing friends and their families have great health and happiness. (That is two wishes already!)
Lastly, continued wonderful friendships with all you sterling gentlemen fly fishers who have endeavoured to help me learn.
ALAN HOBSON FLY GUIDE AND PROPRIETOR OF THE ANGLER AND ANTELOPE IN SOMERSET EAST
Thanks for allowing me to dream for a brief moment:
- I am a fly fishing literary leech so any book related to fly fishing is good enough.
- The opportunity to travel to go catch a Clanwilliam largemouth yellow fish.
- The latest Jay vice.
Hope Santa is obliging to your bucket list too !
PETER HAYES AUTHOR OF ‘FLY FISHING OUTSIDE THE BOX’
A new right hip, received with grateful thanks 48 hours ago (I'm in hospital)!
Second would be enough money to fly first class to New Zealand and hire choppers.
Third would be a really good pole camera to record hatching fly and feeding fish.
No point in not being ambitious...
JAY SMIT MAKER OF THE FAMOUS JVICE
No. 1 on my wish list would be a fly fishing trip to Chilean Patagonia, I have always fancied a trip to Chile and to combine it with fly fishing in their mountains would be just awesome.
No. 2 would be to indulge my fascination with the fly reel and I would love to add an Ari T Hart reel to my meagre collection of reels.
Then 3 rd and not least would be another finely crafted bamboo rod add to the Steve Boshoff Rod I already own and cherish.