01-19-2009, 11:22 AM
Re: Fly Boxes
Good thread. I’m still looking for the perfect system if there is one, so it’ll be interesting to see what others have come up with. I also like the C&F boxes—they can hold a ton of flies, and the microslits allow you to see what you have at a glance. But they are pretty steep.
I use different stuff depending on the type and size of flies—
For trout, most of my fishing involves a long drive to places I’ve never fished before, or haven’t been to in awhile, so I never really know what to expect when I get there. As a result I end up carrying a lot of stuff I never use on any given trip, but over the season I end up using a little of everything, so I tend to leave it all in the vest.
1. wets/streamers- flat foam on one side for streamers, rippled foam on the other for wets and nymphs and small streamers. This is an old box, If I was buying one today, I’d probably look for micro slits.
2. C&F box 12 compartment box with one side 12 compartments with individual lids for hackled caddis, other side micro slits for X Caddis (caddis dry patterns tied without hackle) and caddis pupae. The lids help ensure that you don’t end up sending an armada of flies downstream in a gust of wind.
3. ditto above for mayflies, hackled dries in compartments and sparkleduns/comparaduns and emergers in microslit foam for expected hatches. I change the flies around before trips depending on what hatches might be popping.
4. Okuma box with flat foam on one side and 10 compartments with individual hinged lids for 16 and smaller mayflies that are around all season (now mostly taken over by Blue Wing Olives). Hackled patterns go in the compartments, small nymphs and emergers go on the flat foam.
5. Dewitt (unbreakable plastic with brass hinges) 18 compartment box for small-medium fast water dries Wulffs, Trudes, Humpies, Usuals etc.
6. Dewitt (unbreakable plastic with brass hinges) 6 compartment box- one slot filled with large weighted stonefly nymphs, the rest large dries- Stimi’s, hoppers, drakes etc.
7. Small thin Myran 12 compartment unbreakable plastic for small mayfly spinner patterns. The box is about 4 x 3 x ¼” and fits in a vest “shirt” pocket.
8. Ditto above for dry flies size 22 and smaller, also in vest “shirt” pocket. The small size (and no drain holes so they don't slip out) with shallow depth makes it easy to find them and pick them out. Threading them on the tippet is another story.
9. Small 6 compartment logo fly box that also fits in a shirt pocket on the vest. I use this for small bead head nymphs used as droppers off dry flies. It makes them easy to get to, and I find i use them a lot more because of it.
10. Deep single compartment plastic box about 4 x 3 x 2 ½” for dries with extra long hackle (large Variants, Skaters etc.)
11. Streamer wallet- fleece lined with zipper for really big honking stuff.
12. A box of weird looking dries- either cheap imports, ugly ones I've tied or other **** I've been trying to get rid of but can't seem to throw out or wrap around a branch despite my best efforts. That way if I'm fishing with a buddy, manage to hook a fish, and he asks what I'm using, I can give him a Pakistani McGinty from a hardware store dial-a-fly pack after swearing him to secrecy.....
For steelhead just a gray SA plastic one with flat foam on one side for streamers and large stonefly nymphs and rippled foam for nymphs and wets.
For SW around here in the NE for stuff like stripers, just a large one with flat foam on both sides for streamers and other stuff I use the most, and an unbreakable plastic one with 6 slots, with streamers in individual 9x 1” plastic sleeves—this way you can fit a ton of them in the box without getting them all snarled up. The sleeves go for about 3 bucks for 100 at places like Hook and Hackle. It’s a great way to carry a lot of them if you do bass pike musky fishing, using a plastic heavy duty ziplok freezer bag, or heavy duty plastic Velcro lure bag like the stuff used for SW trolling lures for holding these sleeves for holding tons of really long flies that don’t fit lengthwise in a plastic box with slots.