No. 17 – Fishing Tips
16 September 2016 | Paul Procter
Which Fly Box?
Like the scores of imitations they accommodate, a bewildering range of fly boxes are available to us these days. Personally, I don’t think there is a perfect fly box and, instead, select them to suit the various type of flies they will carry. Naturally, certain criteria exist, with light, compact boxes favoured by many. That said, there’ll be those who prefer something a bit roomier for protecting delicate hackles on dry flies.
In general, weighted nymphs or bugs are dressed slim and hard-looking so they sink readily. As space is always an issue in our vest or chest packs, it makes sense to pack such patterns snugly into slotted foam boxes. For me, they don’t come any more compact than the Orvis Super Slim Vest Fly Box. All of 1.2-cm thick with a clear lid so flies can readily by identified, the vest box is capable of holding 120 flies, which is enough for even the most enthusiastic nymph fisher.
Slotted foam might well keep our flies in orderly rows so our fingers can instantly find the next killing pattern, however, dry flies arranged in the very same boxes usually result in crumpled hackles. For this reason, I prefer to store dry flies in compartment-type boxes. The clear, plastic ones are best, as you’re able to recognise the required fly even before opening your fly box. This helps avoid rifling through your chest pack in search of the correct box.
In a bygone era, fly wallets were all the rage. And whilst they’re capable of holding any number of flies, hackles and feathers tend to be flattened. Odd, I know, as ultimately the hackles on spiders will be submerged to become pliable, but for some reason I prefer to house them in boxes that prevent hackle fibres from becoming squashed. Here, a small compartment box or magnetic shirt box comes up trumps. Magnet-based boxes, in particular, anchor flies to prevent them being blown away in more blustery conditions!