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Thread: how to orginize your fly box????

  1. #1

    Default how to orginize your fly box????

    ok my fly box's are not out of control! every time i find a new fly i like i add a couple to my box. well now i carry 3 box's crammed full and i fish some remote, back woods places that require hard hiking! on a typical day i do not use but 3 maybe 4 different fly's yet i still con not bring myself to reduce weight and carry just one box! i have my Wheatly for dries and nymphy's, an Orvis for muddlers and wooly buggers and a Perrine for big dries and streamers, its a sickness i tell ya!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Ashburn, Virginia


    At this point my boxes are a disaster; I bought a couple of those 6 compartment boxes from Wal-mart just to hold flies that were coming off the vise to replace what I was losing and I ended up stuffing them in my vest to add to the confusion. The only way they're going to get organized is:

    1. a bout of the flu that lays me low for a few days but leaves me strong enough to sit up and get things where they belong, or
    2. if winter comes early

    I'm hoping neither happens; I'll live with the mess.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    28433 N State Lamoni, Ia 50140


    They're supposed to be organized?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    SE MN Driftless


    I've been there, done that! A few years ago, I bought several new slit foam boxes and decided to start over. I gave some thought as to how to organize my boxes and even made row by row diagrams of how I intended to populate them. I think the key for me was to think hard about what flies I was really using. I now carry fewer patterns, but more flies of each pattern. Basically I carry ...
    -- Medium size box with all purpose nymphs eg, scuds, PTs, HEs, Princes
    -- Medium size box with midge and mayfly adults. These are organized by our local hatches -- eg, BWOs, Hendrocksons, Sulphurs.
    -- Medium size box with caddis and terrestials
    I carry the first two boxes all year and add the third in April or so. I don't carry a streamer box, but I have a small selection of streamers on a foam drying pad in my pack

    Of course, it hasn't stayed quite that simple. I've added a small box specifically for tricos which I carry during trico season. I've also added a box of large mayfly drakes -- nymphs and adults -- which I carry at times and in places where I expect to run into them. I also have a number of boxes at home which serve as "warehouses" for resupplying my boxes.

    Another concept that might be worth considering is carrying what a friend of mine calls a "turtle box". This is the box where he keeps the experimental flies , swap flies, and such that haven't earned his confidence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    West of the East and east of the West


    Same problem here. Then I go to add a few new flies but there's no room left to put them where they SHOULD go, so a couple foam hoppers get stuck at the end of a row of midges and...well, you know.
    There have never in history been so many opportunities to do so many things that aren't worth doing. - William Gaddis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Middle Tennessee


    I'm midway through an "organizing" project. Here's what I've done so far. First, I took every fly out of every box I have and separated them into 3 categories: Dry, nymph/wets, and streamer/terrestrial. Next, I bought several Plano model 3701 plastic boxes and began the process of putting flies into their respective Plano box in some semblance of an order. I needed 5 Plano boxes for my collection of flies (I could have made done with 3 if I crammed more into each compartment). These Plano boxes make it really easy to visualize what you've got and they are stackable. They are low profile and have up to 35 compartments per box. Dividers can be removed to allow for bigger streamers and such.

    The next step for me is to choose flies from each box to assemble an appropriate mix in a smaller box for whichever waters I fish. All 5 Plano boxes can all be packed into a carry bag should I choose to take them all on a trip, but I'm trying to avoid that. While this plan may not work as well as I'm hoping, it at least forced me to take an inventory of flies I've collected over the years and will probably keep me from buying more stuff I already have!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    shenandoah valley, va


    This is only slightly off topic, but if you are thinking of buying more boxes, I just got one of these and I think it is super, very well made, each little compartment has its own little spring lock, its classy looking. And the price is right...

    "Fishermen are born honest, but they get over it"
    Ed Zern

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Los Angeles, CA, / Pullman, WA


    I organize my boxes to particular insect or type - Baetis, PMD's, March Browns,Caddis, Midges, Streamers and Buggers, Attractors, Stoneflies and a lot more:


    Attractors/Euro Nymphs


    Sparkle Pupa - deep and emerging

    Buggers and Streamers

    Dries and emergers for most Caddis and May flys have their own compartment boxes...

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

  9. #9


    You have asked a question you will be trying to answer the rest of your flyfishing career. Mine have been evolving for 45 years. I'm about the same as P. T. now too but I know it will change.
    Last edited by Gene; 08-09-2013 at 04:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Des Moines, IA


    For trout fishing, I tend to catagorize my boxes.

    1. Small swing leaf box holds all my nymphs and scuds
    2. Mid size Orvis compartment box for bigger dry flies (size 16 & up). This box contains mostly Adams and Caddis Fly type patterns.
    3. Small slit foam box for wet flys and soft hackles.
    3. Small slit foam box for terrestrials.
    4. Orivs foam box for streamers and buggers.
    5. Small slit foam box with small (size 18 and below) dry flies and midges.

    I only carry the terrestrial box during the summer and streamer box in the fall and winter. The others are always in my vest.

    Since I drive up to four hours one way to go trout fishing I tend to carry everything with me. However, I have put together a minimalist box and carried that, but I also have the others back at the truck if needed.

    " If a man is truly blessed, he returns home from fishing to the best catch of his life." Christopher Armour

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