Fishing, hunting for gifts?

  • Wayne Kruse / Outdoor Writer
  • Saturday, December 16, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Local shops offer unique holiday treasures

Wayne Kruse

Outdoor Writer

Still haven’t stuffed the stocking for that angler/hunter on your list? Don’t fret.

Following are some ideas, most from local retailers and most are in stock and available prior to Christmas. While this wasn’t a big year for innovative and envelope-pushing gear for the outdoor recreationist, there are some interesting items here:

Solid-wood folk art for the outdoorsman by Jim Strege (see accompanying photos) is top quality at a bargain price. Strege offers both whimsy and practicality in his hand-crafted selections: a good-guy, trout-catching, 16-inch black bear, made of cedar and with an exterior finish, which is equally at home outside or in, for $34; a friendly moose, doubling as an eminently useable coat rack; and my favorite, a solid oak coat rack decorated with an intarsia steelhead.

Intarsia is the art of forming images using small, individual pieces of differently colored wood — in this case carefully shaped and sanded bits of cedar. Sort of like wood inlay in reverse. It’s a piece of classy handiwork at a pittance of what it should cost, $45. At Triangle Beverage in Snohomish, 360-568-4276. There are fish and duck cribbage boards, and other good stuff.

Coleman "Black Cat" propane heater, UL approved for use indoors as well as out. Fire it up in a tent or garage without asphyxiating yourself. Works on the standard disposable propane bottles; $55 at Jerry’s Surplus, north Broadway, Everett.

Atlantis underwater camera lets you chart bass or walleye structure, see whether crab are coming to your ring, or just play around with all that interesting stuff on the bottom of the bay or your favorite lake or river. These boaters’ toys were $1,500 six or eight years ago, now available in the $500 range at John’s Sporting Goods, north Broadway, Everett, and at Jerry’s Surplus.

Great new Coyote spoon colors for the upcoming year include the "yellowtail" pattern of lime green and chartreuse glow, guaranteed by Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sport Center, Old 99 north of Lynnwood, to be a hot one. Cheap. Get a handful.

Gift membership in the National Hunting Dog Association is for those who love to hunt behind a good bird dog, and might like to extend their season with a little friendly competition. The trials are timed, with dog, hunter, two pheasant, two chukar, eight shells and 20 minutes. Divisions for everyone, including puppy, youth, and other rank amateurs. Membership is $35 per year; contact the NHDA at P.O. Box 40, Derby, KS 67037; phone 316-686-2505; or on the Web at

Breathable waders aren’t new this year, but have proven very popular. Choose your poison — a bargain-priced, lightweight Hodgman wader, stockingfoot, popular with fly fishermen, for about $100 at Jerry’s Surplus; or the upscale version for the hard-core lip-rippers, Simms stockingfoot waders at $360, with matching guide jacket for $325, at Ted’s Sport Center.

Penn has come out with a good quality baitcasting reel, at a reasonable price, to compete with the Shimano Calcutta. The "International Series" reels are a rich gold color, with stainless gears and all the other good stuff, and made in America. John’s Sporting Goods carries two of the three models, the 965 and 955 (sized roughly similar to the Garcia 5000 and 6000) at somewhere around $175.

Gerber’s multi-tool "Legend" is new this year and is being touted as the cutting edge of the genre. Not cheap, at $90, it’s a top of the line goody with tungsten/carbide cutter, scissors, files, saw blade, drivers, pliers and all the rest, and an ergonomic handle. Waiting for the right owner at Jerry’s Surplus.

The Ambassadeur "Eon" baitcasting reel could be next year’s must-have item with salmon moochers, steelheaders, and others. It will use the same superior drag system first tried on the manufacturer’s spinning reels with great success. The large-washer system is said to be the smoothest on the market, and easily accessible for cleaning or repair. The reel is also supposed to be extremely free spooling. It will cost about $110-$120, but won’t be available until just about Christmas or shortly thereafter. Buy your giftee a gift certificate at Ted’s Sport Center, Lynnwood.

Cabela’s Grand Slam Hunting: North American 29, is a new PC (that’s personal computer, not necessarily politically correct) hunting simulation game hyped as the "virtual hunt of a lifetime." It features eight unique 3D environments and challenges players to hunt the 29 animals that comprise Safari Club International’s famous North American Grand Slam. Sophisticated artificial intelligence and 3D technology allow fully diverse terrain, weather, and animal behavior patterns. Navigate the nine-square-mile maps by foot or truck, ATV, snowmobile, and boat. About $20 at

Romeos are still big, when you shuck your waders or hunting boots, and Fabian at Jerry’s Surplus has a superior brand, "Georgia," at about $53 a pair. "These are such nice looking shoes that Sandy even lets me wear them out in public," Fabian says.

Coffee, or the beverage of your choice, will go down a lot more smoothly from a classy Anglers Expressions mug. The Idaho-made cups have been around for a while, but recently improved their format and the quality is now outstanding. Decorated with whichever species you like to catch, non-tip design, and made of solid stoneware, not cheap plastic. About $13 or $14 at John’s Sporting Goods.

St. Croix "Avid" series steelhead rods are new, and the buzz is that they’re a real bargain at the price. State of the art Fuji guides, higher-modulus graphite, 81/2 to 91/2 foot lengths, spinning and bait casting, for something in the $170 bracket.

PHOTO CUTLINES: Photo took three shots of the wood-art items which lead off this column:

Whimsical fishing bear, folk art at a reasonable price, is made of cedar and is equally at home inside or out. Makes a good last-minute Christmas gift for the outdoor aficionado who has pretty much everything.

Friendly moose is hand-crafted by Snohomish tackle shop owner Jim Strege and will hang coats, hats, or smelly fishing vests with equal aplomb.

An "intarsia" steelhead, made painstakingly from small pieces of differently-colored cedar, decorates a solid-oak coat rack in this high-quality and bargain-priced piece of folk art.

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