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pmflyfisher 02-23-2002 04:56 PM

Question - Fly Box/Wallet Organization
How does every one organize their flies by type, hook size, color etc. ?

I use to do it by type of fly (nymph, egg, hair wing, streamer, etc.)

Then about ten years ago I lost my nymph fly wallett on the river.
Must have been a 100 flies in that thing, set me back for a couple of years to get up to the same supply again.

Since they I have commingled the types in 3-4 different fly wallets and boxes in my vest. This way if I ever lose one again, I will still be able to fish with the other ones which have all of the critical flies.

It was quite a gift I gave to another fisherman, beleive it fell out of my vest into the river. I guess I am even now. In my teens I found a fly wallett on the NY beaverkill river which was from a very good trout fisherman. Had some great patterns which taught me a lot about trout fishing. I still have that wallet (35 years). Wallett had some great trout flies I have never seen in a book to date. Oh well I guess I am even as long as I do not lose another fly wallet in my life time. :chuckle: :chuckle:

old man 02-24-2002 11:35 AM

I've never used a fly wallet or I don't ever think that I have ever seen anyone use one. I carry 5 fly boxes with me,some times 6. I like my flys to stand up straight,not be flattened out in a fly wallet.
I fish mainly in the State of Washington. I've never lost anything but if I did it would also take a long time to replace them. As I don't tie too many of them and at todays prices it would cost alot.
I put all my dries in one or two boxes,(I carry a lot of dries). the rest I just spread around. Leeches and wooly buggers in one. Nymphs and chronies in one. And one for whats left.
And yes watersprite is younger that you because I'm older than he is. Jim S.:D

pmflyfisher 02-24-2002 12:41 PM

Really never seen a fleece fly wallett ?

I must be really old.

It appears they are not sold by many shops any more, not sure why.

Any one know ?

Used to be the only way to go.

Plastic and aluminum boxes get to bulky, but then again maybe I do not need a 1000 flies while on the river.


P.S. I am not that old, (54), but look 44. Thats the truth. Got to go do my Sunday 4 mile run, more truth.

old man 02-24-2002 11:29 PM

Well that makes you younger that me but not watersprite. I think that fly boxes are more popular out here. I've seen those other things but I don't have any use for them. Oh I'm 66 going on 67,but I look like I 50 and sometimes feel like I'm 80.:chuckle: Jim S.

John Desjardins 02-25-2002 08:43 AM

I pretty much do it by type, but there is always some overlap. The most recently used flies end up in the flytrap drying off. I don't expect that I will ever get caught with nothing of a particular fly type doing it this way.

The fly wallets are a pain in my opinion. They mat down anyhing but a very flat streamer or nymph, and take a long time to dry out when they get wet. If my wife hadn't been given me mine before we were married I'd chuck it. I think that Cabelas has them now.

The best box IMHO is the Morril (sp) all foam models. Only problem with them is that if you drop it in a river it may be 30' away before you notice its gone.

pmflyfisher 02-25-2002 09:05 AM


Thanks for the input. Since my fishing is now primarily great lakes steelhead and salmon, I use wets, streamers, nymphs, and egg type flies. No dry flies at all, they don't bite on those unfortunately here. Maybe a few summer run skamanias but that is a low probability to try.

My trout dry flies are now in two plastic boxes.

I just like the fly wallets for those categories mentioned above.

After 40 years hard to change.

BTW, LL Bean has a large neat looking large fly wallett. Started to think about pulling the trigger on that. Check it out in their online store.


watersprite 02-25-2002 10:32 AM

I'm a big fan of the wallets for most all my sink type flies, saving the boxes for the drys. Sorry but the boxes give me the feeling of being a pack horse and are often uncomfortable.

Kid Watersprite

pmflyfisher 02-25-2002 12:55 PM


We have a lot in common.

I just realized my cyber angling has finally found two (Old Man and Watersprite) real experienced Skagit/Sauk steelhead fly fisherman.

A trophy to be sure.

Gotta get out there, have the frequent flyer miles just got to get the right window of opportunity between business, family, the skagit/sauk run and the weather. Lots of variables isn't it.

I hear the April run and weather is more dependable than March right ?


watersprite 02-25-2002 01:46 PM


You almost cost me my 19" monitor. I was sipping a fresh cup of HOT coffee when I read your post, nearly choked with laughter and proceeded to spray my coffee all over the monitor. Hey, I am getting on in the years and I am experienced (after all this is the land of Hendrix), but a veteran steelheader-no way! My experience is very limited with regards to steelhead and the fly.

My FF has been trout and, a long time ago, bass popping in the lilly pads of New Jersey lakes. My former steelheading life was as a bait (and the crowd booed mightily while throwing mucho nasties at the bum) chucker. Always did the C&R though. And I quickly learned the lesson on release mortality using this technique.

No, I just recently signed up for the full tour as a fly wielding steelheader. I bought an old farm on the upper Skagit this past spring. My precious wife (see honey, I said it out loud) then went out and bought me a Sage spey outfit-what would any decent man do? Well I believe a good man will take the wife's hint and go fishin...:devil:

old man 02-25-2002 03:54 PM

I too am new at this type of winter fishing. I like to dry fly fish in the summer. I know of a few river and small streams that have fish in them at certain times and I try to hit them. But as for fishing the Skagit I have thrown hardware at them,but not the fly.
I'm from the great state of Wisconsin but when I was there it was several life times ago. Moved to Washington in '44. Jim S:D

pmflyfisher 02-25-2002 07:50 PM

Oh well you both know more about these rivers then I do at least being in physical proximity to them. It was to good to be true that I ran into two expert Skagit/Sauk steelhead fly fisherman I suppose.

Watersprite I grew up in Northern NJ - Teaneck. Been gone since 1979.

watersprite 02-26-2002 07:20 PM

I lived in Kearney, near Newark, form '70 - '76. Used to fish the Raritan in central part of the state and the Flat Brook (I think that was what it was called) a FF only spot up in the NW corner. Used to go out of state to Up State NY and Vermont when I wanted to go primative (ha, ha, ha - yea right, primative!).

Did the Hopatcong (sp?) and other lakes for the pickerel and bass. Oh, and of course the Jersey shore for the fluke and bluefish.

The differences between there and here is like different planets. I like it here MUCH better (less crowded and Big mountains). Sure miss the bass in the lilly pads though - a poor mans minature tarpon. Just can't find that out here, although we do have bass, they are little bitty'uns.

Steven R

old man 02-26-2002 08:20 PM

What do you call little bitty. There are some big bass here in Skagit Co. if you know where to go. As I don't fish for them but I read alot. As being as you so far up in the hills and need a guide to get out. Jim S.

watersprite 02-26-2002 09:23 PM

Well...I recall catching one big'un that was almost large enough to wear (i.e., open fish mouth and stick over your head). Seriously, you could almost wear it as a hat and I wear a size 7-1/4. And there were many bigger ones in that lake.

The only thing big enough around here to do that would be an occasional grizzly or a county commissioner.:chuckle:

Steven R

pmflyfisher 03-02-2002 06:37 AM


Yes I fished the Flatbrook also some, but in NJ I grew up learning FF on the Saddle, Ramapo (NY & NJ), Stony Creek (NY), Upper Hackensack (NJ) rivers. In it was all of the Catskill region streams.

Growing up in Northern NJ most of my fishing was in New York state Catskills though I would say and the NJ shore salt water.

In Midwest last 23 years, fishing is much better here in the Great Lakes states has everything NJ has except salt water, plus all of the salmon, steelhead, trout you would ever want. Plus the bass and walleye fishing is very good. Plus this is the home of the King of Fish, Muskys. If you want big water lake fishing we have the biggest freshwater lakes (oceans) in the world right here.

So there is much better diverse fishing here in the upper mid west
plus it is 365 days a year for trout and salmon. Very few rivers are completely closed for trout fishing, and only few prime nursery stretches of wild steelhead rivers are closed during spawning season.

Fishing life is good here, I may not trade it for anywhere else in the U.S. right now.

Well maybe for Florida warm weather and flats fishing etc... Now ten degrees out and snowing here.

Hope that the east and west coast anglers keep flying over us and don't bother fishing here.


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