What Should I look For in a Fly Box?
In today’s angling world, there are almost as many varieties of fly boxes and fly box systems as there are flies. Options exist to accommodate every angler, but finding the perfect one can be hard, especially if you are not exactly sure what to look for. The main idea is to keep your bugs protected from the elements while staying organized. This is much easier said than done. Luckily now, fly boxes are getting more practical and easier to use. Keep in mind that different patterns fit better in different sizes and styles of fly boxes, and that when those boxes are not harmoniously paired with one another, chaos can take over.
*Please note some of these products may no longer be available to purchase*
Cliff has been specializing in fly boxes for the western angler for thirteen years and throughout that time has redefined what makes a quality fly storage product. They take a practical approach to the fly box, making durability and simplicity their priorities. They produce boxes designed for every outing. Everyone from the casual half day fisherman, to the multi day expedition angler, to the year round guide has several boxes they can rely on. My two favorite Cliff boxes are the Bugger Beast Jr. and the Super Day’s Worth boxes.
Montana Fly Company
Montana Fly Company makes a wide variety of fly boxes but my favorite are their waterproof boxes. Even a little moisture inside a fly box can rust flies quickly and do hundreds of dollars of damage. Day after day of wet weather late last summer proved just how necessary waterproof fly boxes can be. The clear plastic allows you to choose your next fly with the box closed, protecting your ammunition even further during inclement weather. Starting at thirteen dollars a box, this is an easy choice to make.
New Phase Jam Pack
Every summer during the height of the guiding season I notice a transformation take place in my car, boat, and house. It is almost like an invasion or hostile takeover. I slowly surrender my personal space to the growing population of fly cups. Hundreds of the little clear cups with the Vail Valley Anglers’ logo make the migration from the bucket next to the dry flies into my life. Some are full of tungsten bead head droppers, and some are empty. None of them are organized.
Apparently, I am not the only fishing guide out there with this problem. The fact that New Phase has created the JamPac Super Guide Box just for this reason means that there must be others out there. The JamPac is the perfect home for your feral fly cups (only after they have been filled with bugs of course). The durable plastic will stand up to abuse in the drift boat or raft, and the foam liner inside keeps fly cups secure no matter how rough the ride.
As you continue to fish you will most likely keep buying fly boxes, and over time you may run into problems carrying them all to the water or finding the fly you are looking for. When the time comes to buy new boxes and reorganize your bugs remember what features to look for, and your fly selection will become more efficient and streamlined.
Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer