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An Angler's Journal: Fishing Gifts from Santa

By King Montgomery

One of the many great things about being an angler is that there are fantastic accessories out there that support your addiction to chasing fish. Rods, reels, line, lures, flies, vests, waders, hats, tackle boxes, nets and raingear … the list goes on.

Here are a few gift ideas for the fisher in your life (including yourself).

The Great Divider from Patagonia is a tough, soft-side bag that is padded and waterproof. I carry it whenever I'm on a boat. It holds my camera gear, film, cell phone, a spare reel or two, a light rainsuit and all the fishing gear needed for a day on the water.

I also use it as my carry-on bag for camera gear on fishing trips to Alaska, the Bahamas, Mexico and other fishing destinations because Divider is padded well enough to protect the sensitive optical equipment. The bag is available at most sporting goods outlets.

Costa Del Mar polarized sunglasses are a must for anglers, particularly to sight fish or need to see underwater cover through the surface glare. One product line I like is the new C-Mates, sunglasses for those of us who need prescription lenses. C-Mates are really cool: they have a bifocal feature with magnification to 1.75x or 2.50x. Thus, you can see distances or ties and knots close-up.

Many of Costa's frames and lenses can be ordered in your prescription. I use the Pescador (Spanish for "fisherman") model. It fits tightly and has side lenses that keep out unwanted light and glare. As you read this, I'll be fishing out of Boca Paila Lodge in Mexico and my C-Mates and Pescadors will be with me.

Boca Paila Lodge is a wonderful place on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula about two hours south of Cancun. The warm Caribbean shallows are home to bonefish, permit, snook, tarpon, barracuda and other fishes year round. The weather is almost always warm and pleasant so it's a great place to visit anytime of the year. The lodge sits on the beach with the Caribbean on one side and a huge estuary on the other. This little piece of paradise lies in a wildlife and world heritage site that is protected from development and pollution.

The lodge accommodates 18 people in nine luxurious air conditioned huts or palapas. The bar is well stocked and the food in the dining room features gourmet meals, many with fresh seafood from local waters.

When fishing at Boca Paila, two anglers are accompanied by one guide in a modern flat boat. Guides average 18 years with the lodge, and they are of Mayan heritage. Mayan ruins, such as the coastal city of Tulum, are nearby and are a nice place to visit during down time.

In the past several years when I go to fishing destinations, I only take five- and six-piece fly rods that easily fit into suitcases or rolling duffle bags. During my December trip to Boca Paila Lodge, I'll have a five-piece Sage SLT for an eight-weight, and a six-piece Redington Wayfarer also for an eight-weight line. Both rods are for bonefish, but each will be rigged differently; it's nice to have options for differing conditions.

Sage is a top name in fly rods. Redington, also a fine fishing tool, is priced a little lower than the Sages. I'm looking forward to giving both rods a fine workout in Mexico and elsewhere. The rods are in local fly shops and from online fly-fishing outlets.

Best wishes for the holiday season and good fishing throughout the New Year.

King Montgomery is an award-winning outdoor/travel writer & photographer. Contact him at anglersjournal@aol.com.

Issue 1.33: December 7, 2006