Gifts for anglers and hunters

Goodies for the Canadian outdoor enthusiast, including ice-fishing tackle, hunting gear, outdoor cookware, apparel and much more

Is there an angler or hunter in your life who's hard to buy for? We've got plenty of suggestions to fill Santa's (tackle) bag



If you hunt big fish on the fly rod—like steelhead, pike, muskies and saltwater species—you probably know just how lethal articulated flies can be. You also know that big, two-piece flies are a royal pain to store in traditional fly boxes. That’s why West Coast steelheader Dylan Stanley came up with his patent-pending Plan D boxes for securely holding articulated flies: you simply slide the eye of the fly onto the stainless steel hook, and insert the fly’s hook into the slotted foam. The boxes come in three sizes (below): Pocket (5⅝″ x 3⅝″ x 1”), Pack (8¾″ x 4 5/16″ x 1¼ ”) and Boat (10½” x 8½” x 3¼″). All are constructed of impact-resistant plastic, with a rust-proof hinge. OC’s Scott Gardner has been testing one this fall for his jointed bass and pike flies, and loves it. His only regret: not getting the biggest one. 

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RECON 5 and RECON 5+

Long known for ice-fishing technology, MarCum now has a pair of palm-sized underwater cameras: the Recon 5 and the Recon 5+. These lithium battery-powered “underwater viewing systems” both include a powerful camera with darkwater LED and infrared lighting, and a 110-degree field of view, a 50-foot cord and a five-inch, high-res colour screen. The Recon 5+ (pictured) adds a built-in DVR and the ability to take a screenshot, record to an external Micro-SD Card (up to 32GB), play back video and delete footage. And both units include a charger cable, soft pack and camera sack, all for a surprisingly affordable price.

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Don’t know what to get the fly tier in your life? You can’t go wrong with this top-quality, all-purpose thread set from Canada’s Superfly—so says legendary fly tier Gary Borger. And thread is the one component every tier always needs. The thread in this 18-colour set boasts a small diameter, impressive tensile strength and excellent grip on slippery materials. The set is available in three sizes 3/0, 6/0 and 8/0 sizes. If you’re new to the sometimes baffling world of fly tying, get size 3/0 if your angler ties pike and bass flies, 6/0 for trout flies and 8/0 for very tiny patterns.

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Dickies is a great name in workwear, but the tough, warm outerwear in the company’s new Pro line, is also ideal for outdoorsmen. A few of the highlights for cold-weather fishing include the Frost Extreme Fleece and the Jasper Extreme Coat (pictured separately and zipped together.) The Frost Extreme Fleece is a heavy-duty polar fleece that’s DWR treated to repel water. It has reinforced stress areas, and multiple inside and outside pockets, including one with a media port, and it zips into the Jasper Extreme. The Jasper is waterproof and breathable, with sealed and triple-needle-reinforced seams; a removable, adjustable hood, and an interior, non-chafing fleece collar. This is outerwear for getting things done in extreme Canadian conditions.

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Ideal for the minimalist yet active hunter (or angler), the Pursuit vest is a low-profile and sharp-looking way to carry essential items and water. Its four chest pockets, with internal organization, keep vital items within reach while the back compartment comfortably carries an extra layer or hydration pack, such as a Camelbak reservoir. Featuring a highly adjustable eight-point fit system, this pack easily expands or contracts to fit any body size.

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There are beautiful fishing reels, and then, in a class of its own, is the Peetz Outdoors 2016 Chain of Life reel. For 2016 Peetz is offering a limited number of mahogany and brass fishing reels hand-carved by renowned Kwagiulth artist and master carver Jason Henry Hunt. In the image, titled “Orca, Salmon & Moon,” the orca is represented as the primary totem, and the design depicts an orca hunting salmon under a full moon. The moon is represented by a beautiful piece of abalone shell (sourced as a by-product of the sustainable New Zealand pāua abalone fishery). There are 90 reels available for 2016, each individually hand carved using traditional tools, numbered and signed by Hunt. It’s an extraordinary item for collectors of fine tackle or West Coast indigenous art. More info:



Who doesn’t like a surprise in the mail? Get the angler in your life a gift that keeps on giving 12 months a year with a subscription to Simple Fishing’s Random Lure of the Month club. Every month, he or she will receive a box with new lures, baits, soft-plastics, hooks, scents and more. There are two options available, Aggressive and Youth, which correspond to the recipient’s skill level. More experienced anglers will prefer the Aggressive option, which has at least four items, while the Youth package comes with two items and is designed for novices. Prices for this made-in-Canada program start at $15.99 a month for the Aggressive package, $5.99 for the Youth and better rates for longer term subscriptions.

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While it’s an unofficial rule, every outdoorsperson should have a multi-tool. Indeed, you never know when one just might save a fishing or hunting trip, or even your life (just ask hiker and climber Aron Ralston who had to use one to cut off part of his trapped arm a few year’s back.) Leatherman’s new Signal has all the tools you normally associate with a multi-tool—pliers, knife, saw, awl, screwdriver—along with some unique additions, such as a fire-starting ferro rod, whistle and hammer.

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Need something for the camp chef? Featuring a durable one-piece design and riveted, heavy-duty handles, Seth McGinn’s CanCooker Companion cooks using steam for healthier, better tasting food in less than an hour. It’s like a slow cooker on steroids, allowing you to cook a lot of food without a lot of work. With a 1½-gallon capacity, the Companion easily feeds up to six people. Safety clamps hold the vented lid in place and the Companion's food-safe, non-stick coating makes for easy clean-up.

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This could be a great stocking stuffer for the gadget lover on your list. Featuring a unique key retention system that allows you to keep up to 14 keys neatly organized and quiet, the KeyBiner also has several tools to aid you in your daily chores. These include a flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, six different wrenches, a pry bar and file. Constructed from either aircraft-grade aluminum, copper or titanium, the KeyBiner has no sharp edges to cut you or damage your clothing. Say goodbye to jangling keys and hello to clipped-on convenience.

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Hey, here’s an idea... why not give friends and family the gift of outdoor knowledge, community and entertainment! All through the holiday season, Canada’s only national fishing, hunting and conservation magazine (that’s us!) has a trophy-class Christmas deal: if you buy one subscription ($19.95), you can get a gift subscription for only $13.95—and that's including taxes!

And for our Left Coast friends, our colleagues at B.C. Outdoors have a similar deal. We’d love to arrive in your mailbox all year long.

And many thanks to all our readers for a fantastic 2016, and we hope you'll join us for a bigger and better 2017! 



The latest title from award-winning blogger, author, and enthusiastic hunter Hank Shaw is a different kind of venison cookbook. Buck, Buck, Moose is a comprehensive, lushly photographed, full-color guide to working with and cooking all forms of venison, including deer, elk, moose, antelope and caribou, from nose to tail. The book features more than 100 recipes ranging from traditional dishes from six continents, to original recipes never before seen. It also includes instructions on butchering, aging and storing your venison, as well as how to use virtually every part of the animal. There’s also a lengthy section on curing venison and sausage-making. And peppered throughout are stories of the hunt, and why Shaw believes venison holds such a special place in human society.

More info: Buck, Buck, Moose on Amazon



As Outdoor Canada observed in our 2016 Fishing Special issue, the Williams Wabler lure has now been putting fish in the boat for 100 years. And in October, fishing editor Gord Pyzer posted a video explaining how he modifies this all-Canadian lure to make it even more lethal. So if you know an angler who fishes for any species, anywhere in Canada, he or she is bound to appreciate this 100th anniversary set of limited-edition W50 ½-ounce, 2⅝ inch-long Wablers, in the classic silver, gold, silver/gold and copper colours, as well as a stamped Williams logo. Plated with genuine silver or gold, these Wablers are almost too pretty to fish. Almost.

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Rapala’s new Sherpa ice fishing shelter in digi-camo colour features a hub-style design for easy transport, extra interior space and quick set-up (under 60 seconds). Its four oversized windows can be closed or completely removed with Velcro attachment, large doors mean easy in-and-out, even in a snowsuit, and the dual venting system keeps the air fresh. The entire unit packs up into a shoulder bag, and is available in two- and six-angler versions.

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