Getting it Wrong with Christmas Gifts…

Our shooting guru, Howard Day, looks at the perils of giving (and receiving) sporting-themed festive gifts.

As the festive season rolls around yet again, devotees of the arcane sports (fly fishing, stalking, shooting) often find themselves in the sharp teeth of a dilemma: how to graciously thank a well-intentioned gift giver while gently pointing out their gift was just, frankly, wrong. And I’m not referring to ties of questionable taste.

For years I received cream sea-boot socks in lieu of shooting stockings, proving the adage that not all socks are the same - and teaching me that keeping quiet about bad gifts just keeps the wrong thing coming - ad infinitum!

Although I do have a lovely collection of pike bungs that were acquired by asking for wagglers I’m afraid that the disappointment showed on my face when unwrapping the distinctly boot-shaped box to discover a pair of Dunlop’s instead of the requested Le Chameau's.

2016 Christmas Gifts

But it was the smallest of stocking gifts, a pair of toenail clips, which brought the issue to a head. No one could understand why I was offended at what I perceived to be a slight on my personal hygiene practices. Didn’t I use them to cut fishing line on the bank? Ahhh…The fishing snips I’d requested.

So, rather than expose yourself to the perils of unsupervised sporting gifting, direct your loved ones to Farlows where the staff can help them pick out gifts that, if judged correctly, you’ll love and use for years to come.

From fishing snips to tasteful, fauna-correct ties; shooting stockings and Le Chameau's to Outside Days gift vouchers (which give the gift of great sport to novice and expert alike) it is possible to find the perfect gift for the most discerning (picky) sportsperson.

And failing that, of course, there’s always a Farlows gift voucher, well received in every season.

Happy Holidays and peril-free gift giving to you and yours.

Have you ever received an ill-chosen Christmas gift?
If you have, we would love to hear from you! Email your story to us at [email protected] and we will send a Farlows gift voucher worth £50 to the best entry we receive by midnight on 19th December 2016.

Ian Welch

A freshwater biologist by training I drifted into angling journalism and am now Farlows Group marketing manager. A hopelessly inadequate fly angler (the team are hoping to put that right.) I have fished all over the world and am now most at home fishing for River Test grayling, River Ebro catfish, Indian mahseer, or battling giant freshwater stingray on the Thai rivers. Away from my rod I do a bit of shooting and a lot of fruit and vegetable growing!

  • Andrea Alty

    I like that you have used my photo in your article!