Where Do Your Flies Live?

Another installment from Richard today on this very blog. The wildly popular Dick Magill. Angler  series speaks of fly boxes, winter, and the tying bench today. Enjoy. Happy Hump Day. Book your spring trip. Discounts galore!

Where Do Your Flies Live?

We’ve seen some unseasonably warm weather here in Craiglandia over the past few weeks. Needless to say, we’ve been getting out on the water as much as possible. As fun as that has been, reality will surely set in over the next few weeks as the month of February wraps the state in an icy embrace. It’s when the mercury struggles to get above 25 degrees Fahrenheit when I put the rods away and bust out the vice. Though every winter is different, they’re all typically long enough to spend a ton of time tying flies. 

Spending months at a time tying will inevitably lead to an abundance of surplus flies littering your tying space. They are worthless in the pursuit of catching fish unless they can be organized and made readily available. This can mean different things depending on the type of angler you are. An example being the difference between fishing out of a drift boat or stalking weary trout as a wade fisherman. 

If you find yourself fishing out of a boat on a regular basis, you definitely have a lot more options. For one, drift boats have plenty of space for multiple boat bags, a cooler and whatever other random gear you may find yourself bringing along. A group of three on a well-equipped drift boat could conceivably handle any possible fishing scenario. With so many things outside of your control to consider, it is smart to stay squared away regarding variables that you do have some say in, i.e. fly storage.

My favorite boat bag stuffing fly boxes are the Meiho 255x190x28mm clear storage containers. They are reminiscent of the clear tackle trays many of us grew up using, but with several key differences. Durability, versatility, and capability. Their slender build lets you stack multiple containers ensuring your flies are always at the ready. Removable slots let you customize your trays however you see fit, accommodating anything from hoppers and nymphs to small streamers and dries. Best of all, they are tough. 

As much as I like Meiho boxes, they aren’t really my go to for large streamers. The reason being is simple. Space. You see, when I’m throwing streamers from a boat I tend to change the color or size of my fly often if I’m not catching fish. With that in mind, it is important to keep your streamers organized in a manner that allows you to easily identify what you are looking for. A great box for this application is the Cliff Bugger Beast Jr. With 32 slots spanning roughly 10 ½”, the Bugger Beast Jr. can easily house all the Sex Dungeons, Dungeon Keepers, Barely Legals, and Bang Tails your heart desires. 

Side note: All flies mentioned above are rad and should be in your Bugger Beast Jr. If they are not, don’t fret. You can find them here at Headhunters Fly Shop. Home of the best flies under the big sky. 

Not everybody likes to fish out of a boat. Sometimes it’s not even feasible to fish from a boat depending on the body of water you are attacking. As a wade fisher one must go about organizing gear in a completely different manner. You simply do not have the luxury of surplus space. Everything you take on your adventure will need to fit on your person. If you don’t have to walk very far, you can get away with carrying a few more flies, as weight isn’t going to be a very big deal. In this case, there are several types of fly storage units I might use.

One of my favorites is the Sushi Roll by Fishpond. The small version still boast plenty of room for a day’s worth of your favorite flies, yet is compact enough to fit in a jacket or shirt pocket. It really is a game changer for the casual wader. 

If you find yourself hiking longer distances up mountains or through the woods in pursuit of trout, you may need something a tad lighter. Weight and space are both at a premium when fishing and adventuring in the back country. With that in mind, you can only get away with a small selection of flies and dedicated fishing gear. The people at Rising have come out with another awesome product for just this scenario. The Rising Shot Pack. It boasts an extremely compact design capable of storing a hook file, pliars, and nippas along with a day’s worth of flies and tippet.  All in a 6” X 6” package. 

We still have a few more months of cold air ahead of us. If you’re not a die-hard winter angler, use this time to prepare for future endeavors. Tie flies, organize boxes, and strategize for the 2020 fishing season. If you have any questions regarding fly storage, or if you just want to talk fishing, give us a call. We are here 8-5, seven days a week. 

Dick Magill. Angler, Richard Magill, Where Do Your Flies Live?
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  • Carroll jenkins
    February 6, 2020 7:55 am

    Very nice Richard.

  • Slightly different topic, but do you remember posting different people’s lists of flies that they would use if they were limited to only 5 or 6 for the Missouri? Seems like a good Winter discussion.

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