When I first happened upon the fly fishing scene, I read every book, watched every YouTube, and listened to every podcast. I wanted to know everything and have exactly the right gear for what I was going to do. An intricate part of the fly fishing get-up is the fly box. The fly box can tell a lot about the person holding it. Is it expensive or is it cheap? Is it battered or does it still have the sales sticker on it? Is it full of mangled flies or is it neatly laid out according to color and genus?
My journey started the same as many others. It began with an extremely nice Scientific Anglers waterproof fly box. This box is almost indestructible and it is airtight, which is a good thing considering the countless times I have dunked it in the creek and watched it float and keep all my flies dry. I really like this box, but as I tied more and more flies, logic led me to believe that I needed more and more boxes. The Scientific Anglers box is perfect and continues to be my standard small stream box, but it carries a hefty price tag.
So, in search of that inexpensive fly box I bought a generic Cabela’s box that has served me well. It has a unique studded bottom in which the angler wedges fly hooks. After buying it, I definitely went through some buyer’s remorse as I saw the box sit on my shelf at home, but ultimately I have filled it full of streamers and leeches and have been happy with its performance. It is a decent box that won’t break the bank, but certainly not of the highest quality material.
Over time, I really scaled back my fly selection to my favorites, some standards, and a few new creations to throw on the small streams where I normally wander. In anticipation for some upcoming trips to the larger tail-waters in the Southwest, I found myself searching for a new box in which to put my midges. I looked and surveyed the walls of the stores and finally decided that 25 dollars is not worth it. Frankly, 10 dollars is not worth it. I decided to keep things simple and landed on a tried and battle tested classic…an Altoids tin. I added a little foam and some magnetic tape and ended up with fresh breath and a nice little fly box. Enjoy.
Ingredients for your fly box:
1. magnetic tape (craft store /easily cut by scissors)
2. 2mm foam in whatever color you want (again, very cheap at the local craft store and you can use the rest for some foam mini-hoppers)
3. Altoids box – The bigger ones are very roomy, but the small ones will fit everything you need for a warm summer’s day.