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Fly Fishing Boxes and the ShamWow Guy is No Help

Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/07/2017 (14886 reads)
flyboxesWell after almost 30 years of fly fishing I have assembled quite a sundry of storage boxes for my flies, nymphs, and streamers. Not that any of these boxes are special. Just a real eclectic set of Plano, Orvis, Perrine, and Tupperware containers. I have Adams stuck with Sulphurs, midges with my little BWO’s and Caddis flies with my nymphs. Imagine a house with about seventeen additions of all different shapes and sizes bolted on.

How I got to this point is anybody's guess. Probably it has been based on my early experiences and knowledge with certain flies. As I learned more I just added it into what room I had and seemed logical at the time. What I don’t get is how I caught just as many fish being a numnuts with a small limited arsenal of flies compared to my expansive cache today.

shamwowguyAll these boxes have served me well and actually, I still have the first fly box that my friend Ron gave me the first year I started fly fishing. He set me up with a great selection of starter flies. I guess he felt I was worthy enough not to lose the darn box on the stream. I think my hope over the years has been that the ShamWow Infomercial Guy would show up on the TV early one Sunday morning with some sort Super Fly Life Organizer Box for $19.95 that included a special offer of two for the price of one and my life would be twice as good going forward. No such luck.

Still waiting, I moved on and purchased a new chest pack that has started me down this unintended, but well needed holistic journey. It’s like when you buy a new car you have to clean the garage out to make the new ride fit it inside.

The new chest pack won’t fit all my stupid boxes so I need to get organized. I knew this was going to happen, just like I can anticipate what’s going happen every time I go to the dentist for my semi-annual cleanings. It will be painful, I will get a scolding and new appointment to come back in four weeks to replace a 35-year filling that is falling apart. It must be part of the 101 class on how to run a dentist office.

So what the heck am I going to do? Does this mean I move my Caddis flies out away from my nymphs? Do I put my BWO with my Sulphurs? Can I keep my Red Quills near my Adams? Oh, the humanity what would Brad Pitt do?

Well, the first thing I did was take stock of my situation. No that did not mean dashing to the fridge for a Yuengling. It meant not only figuring out where to put the flies but understanding what I already had in the inventory. Maybe the dentist visits aren’t such a bad thing after all.

I then spent some time sorting through all those flies by putting them on the kitchen table. It became evident that this was not going to work when my English Springer Spaniel came up to me with a head full of flies that looked like Colonel Henry Blake’s fly fishing hat from M*A*S*H.

So I needed a way to get these flies organized. Just like you find at a fly shop, only smaller, cheaper, portable and something my dog wouldn’t wear on her head. Well after a little research it seems people who dabble in beads, whatever the hell that is all about, seem to have many of the same anxieties I do about being organized. Apparently, there are lots of beads needing to be organized out there because there are quite a few choices on the art supply websites.

With a little more research they advertise these boxes for workshop organizers too. So I trucked on over to Home Depot to see if I could find something right away. I couldn’t possibly wait for the beadheads to ship me something that could take days. I needed to solve this problem before my next dentist visit.

I found the Rimax four tier rack of removable trays. Next to it were extra spare trays and I was able to get the whole set-up with a few extra trays for about $21. [chorus singing and clouds are parting] After what I saw the beadhead organizers were going to have to solve their problems without my help. I snapped up the trays and ran on home.
So now I can place all my flies into about eight portable trays fully organized by type and size. I could even label each tray. The plan will be to still haul most of my flies with me as I head out. However, I’ll load up just a couple of fly boxes as needed and leave the trays in the truck.

I know this has its fault’s. The most obvious is numnuts anticipating what might happen on the stream. Since my name is Dave and not the Amazing Kreskin this could be not so good when the March Browns make an early visit to Penn's Creek this year. I figure I’ll just always have to bring my standby favorite of five flies that catch me 90% of my fish anyway. I think that is all Ron let me have when I first got started. We will see how it goes.

Now if I can just get the ShamWow guy to clean my garage I’ll have time to go fishing!
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Author Thread
Published: 2009/12/31 9:01  Updated: 2009/12/31 9:01
Joined: 04/25/2007
Comments: 1410
 Jupiter Jack
Dave, I love it. Good one!
Published: 2009/12/31 9:17  Updated: 2009/12/31 9:17
Joined: 09/20/2006
From: E-Town and Germania
Comments: 632
 Re: Jupiter Jack
Dave, nice find at HD. If that was marketed for fly fishing it would cost twice as much.
Published: 2009/12/31 10:55  Updated: 2009/12/31 11:01
Joined: 10/25/2008
From: York County
Comments: 183
 Re: Jupiter Jack
It seems that I tend to lose a quarter of a box of flies every time I go out. So fortunately at this rate I've able to keep it down to around 5 or 6 boxes.

Cool thing is I can pinpoint the ones I don't use often by looking for slightly rusted hooks, and force myself to discard them. I am slowly filtering out the patterns I seldom use and when I buy or tie new ones I focus more on my favorite go to patterns.

Narrowing my selection was a goal last year as I bought a small chest pack. I have been able to trim it down to 2 medium boxes for streamers nymphs and big terrestrials, and 2 small boxes for dries.

All of my wooley buggers take up space in the small front fold down pocket of my chest pack in olive, brown, black, and white color choices. The pocket has a built in foam hook holder.

In the summertime to reduce sweat, I wear a Columbia 4 pocket shirt and it easily holds 1 medium box and 2 small boxes, hemos clip to a loop on the shirt and it even has a cigar pocket. The back and sleeves are vented to keep you cool. I am wearing the tan one in my avatar and I also own a camo colored one as well.

It feels so great to ditch the vest, especially in the summer time. I can travel further without feeling uncomfortable. I hope you enjoy your chest pack Dave. I have enjoyed fishing on the lighter side this past season.

P.S. Oh, my favorite piece of storage gear is my G. Loomis mesh hat which permanently holds an orange dragonfly bass nymph which will not come out. I get comments at the bar when I wear the hat.

Published: 2009/12/31 11:28  Updated: 2009/12/31 11:28
Joined: 10/17/2007
From: florida
Comments: 2901
 Re: Jupiter Jack
Well done Dave.Looks like a good setup.I found ,a number of years ago, that pvc pipe boxes would hold all sorts of plugs wnd other salt water tackle.Being flat they store easily in my boat and clear lids make finding lures easy.Adjustable storage made space easy to adjust to the plugs etc. Less bulk than the average tackle box and a lot cheaper.
Published: 2009/12/31 13:26  Updated: 2009/12/31 13:26
Joined: 09/15/2006
From: Denver, Colorado
Comments: 11
 Re: Jupiter Jack
Fantastic Read!
Published: 2009/12/31 15:13  Updated: 2009/12/31 15:13
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1895
 Re: Fly Fishing Boxes and the ShamWow Guy is No Help
Well I am hoping to go out this weekend if weather and all works out. We will see how it goes. It least it now all looks good on sitting my workbench.
Published: 2009/12/31 16:23  Updated: 2009/12/31 16:23
Joined: 09/16/2006
From: Bucks County
Comments: 179
 Re: Fly Fishing Boxes and the ShamWow Guy is No Help
Excellent article and idea Dave! I just went out and bought two from Home Depot this afternoon. Now the painful process of "organizing" begins.

Published: 2010/1/1 19:34  Updated: 2010/1/1 19:34
Joined: 02/20/2007
From: Meadville, PA
Comments: 23
 Re: Fly Fishing Boxes and the ShamWow Guy is No Help
Great read and good idea.

I always wanted the C&F Design Fly Filing System but the cost was very high. So I have been slowly buying it a piece at a time. So far I have 1 Box and 2 inserts. They will probably quit making it before I can get all the parts I want at this rate.

If you have never seen this system it's quite innovative and worth the google.
Published: 2010/1/2 14:23  Updated: 2010/1/2 14:23
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Erie Co.
Comments: 540
 Re: Fly Fishing Boxes and the ShamWow Guy is No Help
Great idea Dave. Thank you for sharing.
Published: 2010/1/2 16:59  Updated: 2010/1/3 8:16
Joined: 11/16/2009
From: Nazareth PA
Comments: 68
 Re: Jupiter Jack
Dave, I liked your idea so much, I went to every Home Depot in the Allentown area but I could not find the boxes and the people there said they never heard of them.

Do you know of another place to buy them?
Published: 2010/1/2 20:27  Updated: 2010/1/2 20:27
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1895
 Re: Jupiter Jack
The first HD I went to didn't have any containers of any type. The second had the the ones shown in the picture and seemed to fit my needs. They carry the brand name Workforce which is made by Rimax. Here is the website page, just scroll down and you will see some of the trays and holder.

The HD SKU number for the tray was 3085505935. Good luck.
Published: 2010/1/3 8:23  Updated: 2010/1/3 8:23
Joined: 11/16/2009
From: Nazareth PA
Comments: 68
 Re: Jupiter Jack
Dave, thanks for the info.. The guy at HD said if I had the SKU he could check their computer. I will take that info to them tomorrow.

Published: 2010/1/5 13:07  Updated: 2010/1/5 13:07
Joined: 08/24/2008
From: Mount Joy, PA
Comments: 265
 Re: Jupiter Jack
I'm just getting into tying and not long (just a few years) into fly fishing and easily saw the value of this system. I visited the HD in Lancaster today and picked up the holder with trays as well as two spare trays. At some point I'll pick up more spare trays because I'm sure at some point the product will disappear and obtaining additional trays will be a challenge.

The aisle I found them in was with the toolboxes. They were next to the Stanley bin systems (yellow in color).

Good find and I agree that if they were marketed as a "fly fishing product", the price would easily be double!

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