Mother's Day gifts

8 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
for Alaskan Moms

by Melissa Norris

Are you looking for ideas to spoil your amazing Mom for Mother’s Day? Then consider these Alaska-style gifts that are sure to be useful and memorable for the Moms in your life. 

1. Xtratuf X Salmon Sister Boots XtratufOctopusSalmonSisters.jpg
Everyone loves the Alaskan sneaker also known as the Xtratuf boot, but even cooler are the newer styles from Xtratuf that fold down, showing off a colorful ocean-themed pattern on the inside liner of the famed Legacy boot. This spring Xtratuf is partnering with Homer-based commercial fishermen who have successfully launched an ocean-life-themed apparel, accessory and home goods brand called Salmon Sisters. Sibling entrepreneurs from Homer, AK, Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis created Salmon Sisters several years ago as a way to express their love of the ocean in an artistic way and their brand has grown to nationwide recognition. This year they are collaborating with Xtratuf boots to feature two Salmon Sisters styles; Octopus and Fish prints. The Xtratuf Salmon Sisters edition boots are found at Sweeney’s in Soldotna; Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware or LFS Kachemak Gear Shed in Homer; Big Ray’s in Anchorage, Kodiak and Fairbanks; B&J’s Sporting Goods and LFS Donalson’s in Anchorage; The Fish House in Seward; The Prospector Outfitters in Fairbanks and Valdez; Western Auto Juneau; and Alaska Sport Shop in Haines.

2.Fishewear Leggings or Dry BagFishewearGroovyGrayling2.jpg
If you read our magazine often then you have heard about FisheWear, which was founded by Alaska resident Linda Leary. The moms in your life would undoubtedly love a pair of FisheWear leggings designed by artistic fishing enthusiasts. They are extremely comfortable and the patterns are fantastic. New this year is Fishewear’s wool line, including skirted leggings, a quarter-zip pullover, neck tube and a sleek and chic hoodie-dress. They’ve alsoreleased their Troutrageous design on leggings, dry bag and neck tube, as well as a new Fly Pheasant legging and the Hooked on Grayling legging that are gorgeous. You can shop for FisheWear in their Anchorage show room from 10 to 5 on weekdays at 511 W. 41st Ave., Suite 101, or online at

3. Caddis Deluxe Breathable
Stockingfoot Women’s WadersCaddisW'sWaders.jpg
If Mom needs a new pair of waders or wading boots, check out Caddis for their comfortable and affordable women’s designs. In addition to their stand-out teal or pink waders in the Deluxe Breathable style, Caddis also makes a Natural Ensemble that is a traditional olive green color. Caddis waders are widely available across the state at retailers such as Fred Meyer, Three Bears, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Soldotna Hardware and Fishing, Western Auto Juneau and more.

4. Okuma Coldwater Ladies Edition Conventional ReelOKUMA-Coldwater-Ladies-Edition-Conventional-Reel_media-2.jpg
This is a premium line-counter reel at an affordable price. We’ve had good experiences with Okuma’s Coldwater reels and think the style of the ladies edition is really sharp. It is gray with pink accents and is subtle but stylish for ladies who like pink. It is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, has a 5.1:1 gear ratio, two ball bearings and one roller bearing, and a multi-disc, Carbonite drag system. One great feature is the ability to completely dry the interior if it gets wet. Mom will love her own lucky reel in a feminine style without sacrificing the durability needed for Alaska’s big fish.

5. Trip to Valdez Women’s Fishing Derbywomensderby.jpg
Mom needs a day in May and another one in August! Try August 12 to be exact, the day of the 2017 Valdez Women’s Derby. Mom can fish for silvers on a charter you book for her through Fish Central in Valdez. Drive the RV down or rent a cabin at Eagle’s Rest RV Park and Cabins. Tow the boat or book a trip for Mom and get her lined-up with a ticket into the Women’s Derby for a chance to win $1,000 cash and $1,000 in prizes from The Prospector in Valdez.

6. Oomingmak SmokeringOomingmak_Smokering.jpg
To me no fiber is more classically Alaskan than qiviut, and the Alaskan artists from Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers’ Co-operative hand knit some of the most delicate and intricate, functional pieces of art that scream Alaska and yet are highly-functional for the outdoors. My favorite piece is the Nelson Island’s Diamond pattern Nachaq, also known as a smokering. You can wear it a couple of ways but I primarily use it as a neck warmer and for style. It is an heirloom piece that Mom will get tons of use from as well as be able to hand down through the family. Shop online at or go in person to their downtown Anchorage store location at 604 H Street.

7. Fly Fishing LessonsPudge.jpg
Is Mom showing interest in fly fishing? Sign her up for a fly-fishing class with Pudge Kleinkauf, who started Women’s Flyfishing almost 30 years ago. In addition to fly-fishing and fly-tying classes, Pudge has guided women in Alaska for several decades. She is an expert instructor and passionate female fly fisherman as well as an accomplished author. Visit for more information. Add on a gift card to Mossy’s Fly Shop for Mom to begin getting the gear she’ll need.

8. Women’s Rain GearGrundensSedna.jpg
Check out some women’s specific rain gear for Mom. Grundéns has long been revered for their hard-core, weather-proof gear. If Mom spends a lot of time on the saltwater, then consider the Sedna Bibs and Jacket by Grundéns. She will always stay dry and warm in this commercial-grade set and it will last for years and years if properly cared for. Now she can be comfortable in saltwater gear that fits her height and arm length properly. Grundéns are widely available throughout the state’s retailers.

Granyte_Sportswear.jpgAnother option is the Women’s Granyte Newport Rain Jacket and Pants by DryAngler which is lightweight, waterproof and abrasion-resistant. It is comfortable to wear with stretch in the material.

Alaskan Moms are fishers and hunters and hopefully this short list of ideas will be helpful in your quest to please the Moms in your life this Mother’s Day.

Melissa Norris is Publisher of Fish Alaska magazine. She is mother of a little girl who has angling in her blood and the daughter of a woman who loves to fish.