- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2001

For the outdoors person in your family, here are a few holiday gift ideas for a variety of activities and price ranges:
For example, the boating fisherman has yet to be born who would not want a good electronic depth finder (also known as a fish finder). Sadly, many are far out of the price range of average income earners who must also worry about feeding the family, paying the rent and assorted bills. So imagine our surprise when the Computrol Company, makers of top-flight Bottom Line electronic depth locators (some with side-finding and GPS capability), decided to manufacture a reliable, quality unit that sells for an until now unheard of price of $79.95.
Small-boat owners and anglers on a budget will love the Bottom Line Tournament 1100. Now there's no excuse not to own a depth sounder. The 1100 features a liquid crystal display screen of 1,000 pixels per square inch for clarity that normally is found only in units that cost $200 or more. Not only will you see what the bay, river or lake bottom looks like, the 1100 also shows boat speed and digital surface temperature, depth readout of individual fish, an easy to use menu system, night light, low battery indicator and fish alarm. One heck of a deal, this Bottom Line unit. For details on this and other Bottom Line products, go to the Web at www.bottomlinefishfinders.com or call 208/846-9000.
Flyfishing trout fanatics who need help should seriously consider two 70-minute instructional VHS tapes, "Trout Fishing Essentials," and "Tying & Fishing the Four Stages of the Mayfly," featuring world-renowned fly anglers Barry and Cathy Beck. The "Essentials" tape is useful even for veterans in the world of trout fishing and, of course, extremely useful for novices. The Becks easily share 40 years of trout fishing inside knowledge from New Zealand to Wyoming to Pennsylvania.
"Tying & Fishing the Mayfly" shows Barry Beck, who grew up along Pennsylvania's spring creeks, share the techniques and materials he uses to tie the four stages of the Mayfly. The tape will greatly enhance your trout catching possibilities. Either tape offers a wealth of knowledge for the price of $29.95, plus $4.95 shipping and handling. From Northern Virginia's Reel Resources and the fine cinematographer, Fred Rehbein. Call to order, 800/661-5918.
From Eastern Mountain Sports (call 888/463-6367 or go to the Web site www.ems.com to locate a store nearest you), a great item for late-hour anglers, hunters who must walk through dark woods, or anyone who needs a light without using the hands, buy Petzl's or Black Diamond's headband lamps that are lightweight, truly bright and easy on batteries. Made to last a long, long time. Cost: $35 to $45.
EMS also offers global positioning units from Garmin that can be of immense help to hunters, anglers, hikers, even automobile drivers. The Garmin hand-held GPS is a lightweight marvel, powerful, and all the rage at $119.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission shows it is not all about deer hunting or wild turkey transplanting. No, the commission knows how to make a dollar with a line of wildlife-related items through its "The Outdoor Shop" on the Web www.pgc.state.pa.us or by calling 888-888-3459. PGC accepts major credit cards.
To commemorate Pennsylvania's first elk hunt in 70 years, the PGC has a limited-edition wildlife art print, a sweatshirt or T-shirt, all featuring a design by renowned Cumberland County wildlife artist, Gerald Putt.
The art print, titled "Return of the Monarch," is limited to 950 signed and numbered prints that sell for $125 for an unframed print, or $222.50 for a framed and matted print, but don't forget the 6 percent sales tax. The ash, heavyweight sweatshirt goes for $16.95 in sizes small through 3-XL. The T-shirt sells for $12, sizes small through 2-XL.
The commission also has wildlife calendar for 2002, priced at $8.95 (plus tax). It features a year's worth of dramatic wildlife photos, including hunting and wildlife-related tips. A forest green travel mug that features an imprint of an antlered deer costs $4.95 (plus tax).
Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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