Fly fishing.  If you’ve spent any amount of time chasing trout in tiny mountain streams or targeting bonefish in the Florida flats, you’ll know that there’s a culture that surrounds this sport that is truly unique.  I grew up in Western New York pursuing native, stocked and lake run trout in rivers and streams almost all year long.  I’ve recently moved to Miami, and I’m looking forward to transitioning to salt water… and getting after snook, reds, bones  and maybe even tarpon.

Regardless of what you fly fish for, you’ll likely recognize three distinct activities that are part and parcel of the culture: The fishing, the tying and then the story telling (read: lying).  They take place in three very different environments. One on the water, one at an old oak tying bench and one most likely at the bar.  So I think those require three different watches that work well in these conditions.

On-The-Stream – The Swiss Legend Lionpulse

The Swiss Legend Lionpulse
The Swiss Legend Lionpulse

This brand-new offering from Swiss Legend is perfect for on the water activity.  It’s truly Swiss-made, offering the level of time-keeping precision you would need to drop a dry-fly right in front of feeding trout.  The 200 meter water resistance is good enough to keep it safe, even if you briefly submerge it releasing your trophy fish.  The luminous hands and indices allow you to check the time in low light conditions, especially when entering or leaving your fly fishing destination.

Best yet, for a real Swiss watch, it’s incredibly affordable.  We all know accidents happen on the water, so there’s no need for your watch to be more expensive than your fly rod.

At The Fly-Tyers Bench – Bulova Accu-Swiss Gemini

Beauty, elegance, functionality – all hallmarks of a well tied fly.  The Bulova Accu-Swiss brand exhibits all of these, and for me, the Gemini Series is at the top of list.  And not just because I’m a Gemini.

Bulova Accu-Swiss Gemini
Bulova Accu-Swiss Gemini

From its stark black face, to its rose-gold tone hands and markers, the Gemini is built to impress.  It’s an automatic, meaning that you’ll be winding your watch while you’re winding peacock hurl down the shaft of a size 18 hook.  Bulova has a tradition of excellence, and they’ve been crafting watches since 1875.  So while they aren’t the oldest out there, they have a pedigree worthy of our sport.

And once again, it’s a fully Swiss-made watch, so the precision and dependability are built in from the ground up.

Telling Tall Tales – Raymond Weil Maestro

Per Webster’s Dictionary (no relation), a maestro is “one who is an expert at writing, conducting, or teaching music”.  We’ve come to use the term more colloquially over time, so it’s lost it’s musical overtones and refers to one who is really good at something.  Really, really good.

Raymond Weil Maestro
Raymond Weil Maestro

I’ve had some great friends over the years that excel at telling stories about their fly fishing trips over a scotch and a cigar.  And when I say “telling stories”, what I mean here is “lying”.  Of course, in every untruthful story there is a sliver of honesty.  Often a very small sliver.

So to sell that story, you need to project an air of authority.  The Raymond Weil Maestro series very much fits the bill. Bold roman numeral markers, a bright face, and a true feel of craftsmanship and luxury are all on exhibit here.  Couple it with Swiss precision, and you have a truly remarkable watch guaranteed to project you as the authority.  Everyone will get lost in your dazzling story and walk away believing every single word of it.

And that’s what you really want, isn’t it?


Tying it Together

All of the watches I’ve selected here retail under $1000. In many cases, they’re all less expensive than your rod and reel set up.  I hope that makes this post worthwhile for you.  Maybe you’re wearing a smart watch now, and are just discovering the joys of traditional watch ownership.  These selected models and many of the watches in our catalog are excellent entry points for a future watch collector.

I should also apologize in advance to our female fly fishing friends.  I didn’t pick anything for you, because as with most men, I’m fairly befuddled by what you want.  You do make up a growing and important segment of our family, so please feel free to share your watch loves in comments.  And so can the rest of you too!  We would love to hear what you wear on-the-stream or on-the-skiff.


Fly Fishing Image By Mike ClineOwn work, Public Domain,