So, what do you get an outdoor sportsman that you believe has absolutely everything? (In truth, they don't have everything - they always need more stuff.)
Here are some interesting, a bit out-of-the-ordinary, suggestions for Christmas giving:
Ice fisherman Ben Scherg, of Waupaca, Wis., took note of how ice fishing tip-ups work. Often, a winter angler heads over when the flag goes up, only to find that the fish has spit the hook and is gone. So Scherg invented the Hook-Set Tip-Up, which automatically sets the hook when a fish strikes.
"If you truly keep track of every flag that goes up over an entire season, and the number of fish that end up on the ice, you will find that you catch somewhere between one-third and one-half of the fish that bite," Scherg said. "Now, you can expect to catch between 80 and 90 percent of the fish that bite."
It operates with a spring and can be set for small fish, medium fish and big fish. Scherg said it works on northern pike, walleyes, salmon, trout and bass. Once the hook is set, the tip-up plays out line just like any other tip-up.
The new tip-ups are not cheap at $43.99, but those catch rates may just make the extra cost worth it. Scherg said they'd be available at Scheels and Sportsman's Warehouse or by going to his Web site at www.hooksettipup.com.
Quigley Match DVD
High school students from Cody, Wyo., have produced a real gem. Last summer, as part of the Cody High School Summer Broadcast Initiative 2008, they shot video of the 18th annual Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match at Forsyth.
The end result is a very well-done DVD - well-done enough, in fact, that a short documentary from the video earned an Excellent Award at the Journalism Education Association's (JEA) Nationals in St. Louis recently.
The video - put together by students Brian Reavis, Brandon Reavis, Chynna Reed and Preston Randolph under the guidance of teacher Mike Riley - includes background interviews with historians on buffalo hunts of the 1800s, the history of the match and interesting interviews with the participants about aspects of the shoot and the guns involved. Even if you're not a buffalo rifle shooter, it's all great information and presented extremely well.
Copies of the video are available to the public. Send a check for $20 to CHS Wired, Cody High School, 1225 10th St., Cody, WY 82414. Or send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 307-587-4251, ext 5125, to order.
Bimini Twist Knotmaker
So much about being a fisherman entails knots. Unfortunately, some of these knots are not easy to tie. Enter the Bimini Twist Knotmaker.
The Bimini Twist is a knot that provides a loop for quick leader interchanges of a fly, lure or leader without having to tie a new knot while you're fishing. You just tie them in advance and you're ready to use them.
Dave Chermanski created the knot maker. With it, he said you can tie the perfect Bimini Twist knot in less than a minute every time. The Bimini Twist Knotmaker is handmade from red oak and hand-rubbed twice with tung oil for a lasting finish.
The knot maker sells for $39.95 and can be purchased through his Web site at www.chermanski.com. Chermanski also has a new book out titled "Flyfishing Knots & Leader Systems" that includes 30 drawings, 35 tables and charts and more than 200 photos that sells for $29.95. If purchased through his Web site, he provides free shipping and will even sign and date all books.
Rivers in Motion DVDs
Here's another interesting offering for Christmas - some time spent with your favorite river. Dry Fly Media of Bozeman has put together its "Rivers in Motion" DVDs and even has them on sale.
The DVDs are views of the river taken at different times of the day and from various perspectives with a track of the river sounds. As Dry Fly Media puts it, "Our river-loving friends have been using the DVDs in a variety of different ways. Besides simply watching the river run and transporting yourself to the riverbank, we've heard stories of the DVDs playing in the background during dinner with family and friends, in the background at parties, unwinding after work, as background on work station computers, commuting laptops, and in the classroom."
The DVDs run from 72 to 86 minutes and are available for the Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Missouri and Henry's Fork. Their sale price is $19.95 now ($23.95 normally), three rivers for $55 or all five for $83.
You can see short demos of the DVDs at www.dryflymedia.com on its Rivers and Fly Fishing page and order them on its Products page.
Contact Mark Henckel at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 657-1395.