Hello. I've been tying a bunch of bucktail streamers lately (thanks to the article at the link below), and they don't seem to fit well in any of my boxes. Any recommendations for a box to hold a bunch of these (size 4)? Thanks.
When it comes to carrying flies there is actually a choice to be made other than which brand to buy. The choice comes down to 'functionality vs. aesthetics'. I concede that a plastic watertight box with foam is functional to a T, but for me they have always been lacking in charm. There is also the volume issue, some boxes will carry an incredible number and array of streamers but this too sets up a sort of 'dichotomy of choice'.
I'll try to explain what the preceding paragraph is trying to convey to the readers. A wallet or an aluminum clip box will carry with it the character of aging or perhaps you could call it a patina that seems to invest itself into the wallet's or boxes exterior. Since many of us are in this for the long haul; making choices in tackle & accessories that will seem to age well provides a sort of dividend once that item has reached the ten year maturity mark. So there is point number one, 'character'. A second thing to consider when we talk 'volume' is that regardless of wether you take a day trip or a 5 day adventure you only need so many flies and to pack 100 of your hand tied beauties in a single container could lead to a heartbreak. If you lose that box you have lost the works! Yes, they float and they are affordable, but droping one in the river isn't the only way to lose one.
I used to carry one of my huge antique wallets filled with I don't know how many streamers, I say used to because one day I learned a lesson about doing that. I was on Fishing Creek in Clinton County PA. and had changed streamers while perched on a huge tangle of drift wood that gave a fantastic vantage point where I could watch a brook trout of appreciable proportions calmly hanging in the tail-out of the pool below the tangle of driftwood I was hiding on and behind. After changing the fly I slithered from my perch and crawled to a good casting position. I caught that trout on one swing and it was among the nicest brook trout I'd ever captured. I released him and proceeded to fish down through the area I called 'The Chute' because of the vertical drop that the stream bed took in a short 200 or so yards of travel. Hours later I met up with my bud who had been drooped off about a mile below where I was at and when we started talking about the fishing I began to speak on the brook trout. I stopped in mid sentence and said, Oh My God! My Wallet! Yep I left that wallet on the log jam. Now I'm not the only person in the world who may figure out that the 'jam' would be a good place to hide and have a peek at the pool and tail-out so............
I was pretty well winded when I reached the jam, but I caught my breath when I spotted the big old wallet right where I had left it. Lesson learned, although I like that thing I started carrying a smaller one with enough flies to do the job and always left the big one locked in the truck. I used the big wallets as supply depots and the little one for duty. I don't ever want to lose my little wax cotton job that I got around 1993 but if I did I wouldn't be losing the Mother Load. I figure by now you've got the point of all this
Here's a picture of the two big wallets and the little 'duty' model on top. I'll paste two so you get the idea of how many brand new flies are housed in the big wallet. Now they are salmon flies but back east they were packed with feather wing streamers.
Whether you are packing Bucktails or Salmon Flies, you don't want to lose a pile all at once. When I fish here I have only one very thin 40 clip Wheatley box in a pocket and my leader wallet in the other. Not only does this cut down on bulk but I have little to keep track of.
Totally agree with you, Ard, about fly box "character". That plastic box I posted has never been out of the house; its just a storage box. I use a Wheatley with clips and a fleece-lined wallet on the river. Fishing from the boat, it is a plastic, water and grundge-proof box. I pretty much just use my vintage DeWitt boxes as storage boxes, too, although they can develop some real dignity over the years, with use, too.
Don't get me wrong Gary or anyone else please, I didn't mean to cast aspersions on the trend toward plastic but the part about carrying the whole armory is a general thing. We have been among the fortunate who got hold of those leathers and alloys' decades ago. They are still available and if fellows get them now, in 10 - 20 years they will be acclimated to use.