stillwater anglers fly box organization

Organizing Your Fly Box: 6 Tips to Keep it Straight

If there’s one thing no angler can avoid it’s having too many flies. Admit it: no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t restrain yourself from getting yet another fly. The reasoning is almost always the same: they are light and don’t take up much space. So what’s the harm? Well, you can’t simply stuff them all in a box. This will turn into a nightmare when you’re on the river trying to find that fly. This is where organizing your fly box like a pro comes into play.

The truth is that there is no single way to organize your fly box. If you’re an experienced angler, you know that every time you’re on a Montana stream, you can have different fly needs. But you have to start somewhere, right?

How to Organize Your Fly Box to Maximize Efficiency

Not Everything Has to Be in the Same Place

If you have more than 100 flies (you do, don’t you?), there’s no point in carrying them all with you every time you are on the river.

You can use several boxes for each fly category and have a separate fly box that you take with you to the river. When you are ready to go on your fly fishing trip, you can simply mix and match an assortment of flies from all the boxes into a single, smaller one. This way, you’ll avoid overcrowding your vest when you are on the river.

Organize by Pattern

If you only have a few flies and sizes of each pattern, but several different patterns, then this type of organization is for you. You can organize your fly box by imitative patterns (keep all the flies that look like a certain insect together), attractor patterns (flies with the same “attractiveness” degree), search patterns (flies designed to search the trout).

Organize by Type

Got countless flies and are very particular about them? Then the right solution for you might be to keep your dry flies separate from nymphs, streamers and emergers.

This type of organization allows you to decide your technique right before you go on the river. It also helps if you want to focus on a single technique: you bring a single type of flies along so you’ll have no choice but to perfect said technique.

Organize by Weight and Profile

This type of fly box organization is ideal if you want to have a lot of choices with you on the river. You’ll be able to make decisions according to current conditions. Plus, you can always imitate what is on the water at a given time. For instance, in the case of nymphs, this type of organizations allows you to get the flies to the perfect depth with ease.

Seasonal and Water Type Organization

If you organize your fly box this way, you can save a lot of time. But beware: this is only for seasoned anglers. You will have very little work to do and mainly when seasons change. Plus, autumn and spring flies are basically the same (very few modifications are needed).

For winter, you can combine the winter box with the tailwater one – fish prefer smaller flies in winter. In tailwater, they fancy them all year round.

Organize by Fish Species

Are you one of those lucky fishermen that gets to go to warm water, saltwater and freshwater regularly? Then you may want to consider this type of fly box organization.

You already know that every fish species has different “taste” in flies, so why not accommodate them? This way, preparing for a fishing trip will take very little time. You simply have to grab the right box and you’re good to go!

Looking for the perfect fly boxes to fit any type of organization preference? Our shop can easily accommodate! Plus, we’d love to help you with more advice and tips on how to maximize the efficiency of your fly box. Come in and chat with our seasoned experts!

By Stillwater Anglers Fly Fishing Equipment and Gear