OK, I’ve got a few questions for you today. How many fly boxes do you have? How do you organize a fly box? How many fly boxes do you take fishing?

Here are the fly boxes currently in my fishing pack.

Fly Boxes | www.johnkreft.com

Every fly fisher does things different. Managing their flies and fly boxes is no exception.

As a fly tyer, I’m always tweaking flies I tie and fish with.  Perhaps a different color of hackle. Or a slight difference in body color. A different ribbing material. There’s always something to improve upon, right?

So it’s difficult to fill holes in a fly box because they are close but not exact. I don’t know where to put them. Sometimes the fly boxes are full, but that hardly ever happens.

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to the Deschutes River and wanted to take a fly box for the Golden Stone hatch. Oh yeah, I do some “just in time” fly tying as well. So I tied up a variation to the Clark’s Golden Stone the night before the trip down the river. Did I put them in a fly box? Nope. Used a plastic container like this one to take with.

Plastic Container | www.johnkreft.com

And I have several empty hook boxes I put flies in and take to the river. These came out of my wader front pocket. Do those count as “fly boxes”?

Small Boxes | www.johnkreft.com

And don’t even get me started on the various Green Drake imitations I tie. I get asked all the time “what’s your favorite Green Drake fly pattern”? Seems like when the fish finally start looking up, you need only a couple patterns. As the hatch moves on day-to-day, the fish seem to get pickier. Hence the need for 5 or 6 different versions of flies. And then those don’t work so it’s back to the fly tying bench to “tweak” the fly so the fish will take it.

Green Drake Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

Oh, you wanted me to answer the Green Drake fly pattern question, didn’t you? Well, it’s one of the Green Drake Sparkle Dun fly patterns I tie. Which one you ask? The one that’s tied to the end of my leader!

Then there are my “beta” flies. Yup, those are the ones I try on the river from a “good idea”. 

Or I come up with a new idea for a fly.

How do those flies fit neatly into a  fly box?

Oh, I almost forgot my “provider boxes”. I carry those along in the back of the rig sometimes. Here is the lake “provider box”.

Provider Box | www.johnkreft.com

Does the “provider box” count as a fly box?

The only fly box that is neat was the Crooked River Flies box. And I only did that for you…I needed a good picture.

Crooked River Flies - Done | www.johnkreft.com

So there you have it. What does a guy do with all those flies? My hope is you are more organized than I. Oh, and the other message? Don’t begin to tie flies. See the problems it presents?

Now…go fish!

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  1. This article is helping me a lot to choose a great gift for my father’s birthday. Fishing is his hobby. He is now 65 years old. Last month on his birthday I gave him this “Golden stone hatch.” You know! he is very happy to get this gift. I saw this happiness spreading in his eyes.
    Actually, the credit goes to you So, thanks for this great article.

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