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Thread: Dry Fly Box

  1. #1

    Default Dry Fly Box

    Hi, I'm brand new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I've reverently used my Uncle's dry fly box since I was a young man. It's an old Wheatley 32 compartment box - it was old when he gave it to me some 45 years ago. I've tried to keep all the lids working but some are stubborn to the point of not functioning at all (I believe we both stumbled with it a few times) and the plastic has yellowed to the point that I can't identify flies. I thought of returning the box to Wheatley to see if they could rebuild it but now think I want to keep it as is as a memory of my fly fishing mentor. In any event, I'm in the market for a new dry fly box.

    I'm looking for a box that holds lots of flies and has individual compartments so that I don't subject all the flies to the wind and rain when I open it up. Slotted foam doesn't appeal to me for dry flies but then I've never tried it. I haven't had much luck other than to see that the old Wheatley is still available. I can afford the Wheatley but can't believe there isn't a new clear plastic version. My wife suggested I use clear plastic pill boxes. I'm about to suggest she get me a new Wheatley for Christmas, LOL. Is there something good out there I'm not aware of?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Welcome to the forum

    Since you've been using a vintage box for many years the biggest problem with a new one will be just that, it's gonna be new! Getting over the shine may be a problem but going to plastic after so long an experience with the Wheatley could also be a hard shift to make. I know these things because 4 years ago my wife got me a new 40 clip salmon fly box. It took the past 4 years for the box to become sufficiently scuffed and beaten so that it looks like one of my old boxes, but it still has that new shine........... I've considered taking steel wool to it and I still may, but then I wonder, would that be cheating?

    I'm fully aware that you can buy half a dozen top of the line plastic boxes for the price of a Wheatley 32 compartment dry fly box but if you can fit everything you need in the metal box what would be the point. I have one of the 32's that I purchased in 1978 and although I have little use for dry flies here I will always carry it when I fish in the lower 48. I vote for dropping the Christmas gift hints and staying with what you know.

    Please keep us posted as to what you decide,


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    So Cal - 33.7645 N, 117.7939 W

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Sounds like fond memories of your Uncle/Mentor give you a good reason to leave the box as he used it.

    A new one would seem like an ideal Christmas gift from your wife.

    And a Happy New Year!

    Nature, Cheaper than Therapy


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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Simple. Just get another Wheatley.


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    sycamore, illinois
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    get a new wheatley.....
    welcome to the forum btw.



  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Phoenix, AZ

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Wheatley would be the Rolls Royce of fly boxes if that is what your after. Or you can give Allen Fly Fishing a look Fly Boxes - Allen Fly Fishing Store

  8. #7

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    C&F are probably the best boxes out right now. You can also get them in waterproof, which is very handy when you baptize yourself.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Go for it...they will not go down in price and they are becoming more difficult to find...

    The C&F Design compartment boxes, which I also have, don't come close in quality or ageless ( the Grandson gets it ) value...

    C and F Design Compartment Boxes

    Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    My compartment fly boxes are all sitting in storage. I've converted to the C&F sealed slotted boxes. One they stay dry when I don't(rain or a dunking). Two, the flies don't fly away in strong winds when I open the compartments-they stay put. Three, it's a whole lot easier to grab the fly I want without tangling others on the way out. Four, the compartment boxes deform when dropped then don't close correctly. Five, the C&Fs have rounded corner that make sliding into your pockets easier. I really like mine and have several of them. Nothing wrong with the British boxes, just not austere enough for my tastes.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Dry Fly Box

    Thank you for all the comments! I'm putting a new 32 compartment Wheatley at the top of my Christmas wish list. I'll let me son figure out what to do with my Uncle's old fly box and I guess my new one too eventually. The old box is still mostly functional and is probably well over 60years old - just like me, LOL. I think I will keep my midges in a separate smaller box as they've become increasingly more difficult for me to handle. Frankly, I'm both surprised and encouraged that Wheatley is still making these dry fly boxes and think they're justifiably proud of them.

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