My Favorite Fly Box

I’m still shuffling gear around after washing my fly vest. When I told my wife I carried 10 fly boxes and 1200 plus flies, she just shook her head. She understands collections. But to help her see my reality, I explained that most of the time I fish the North Fork of the Coeur d’alene or St. Joe. When I go there, I put a lanyard around my neck and a single box in one shirt pocket and my camera in the other. And that is what I prefer to do. I only wear my vest when I am hiking up a trail or floating on my pontoon boat.

I got this Cabela fly box as a Christmas present from my brother-in-law around the turn of the century. One of the flaps sticks a little and the name is starting to wear off. But this is the perfect box if you are only going to take one with you. Inside, you have the foam on the left to hook big flies and streamers. On the right side are small compartments for the rest of your flies. I’m sure it is not a coincidence that it perfectly fits a shirt pocket. It measures 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches and has 16 compartments.

cabela fly box

My go to fly box.

picture of open Cabela box

Cabela box opened (click to enlarge)

This picture is from the end of the season pictures I took before washing the vest, so the compartments are a jumbled mess of semi-organized flies. As I restock it in the next month, it will start the season nice and neat.

Along the right hand column, I keep the top compartment for Baetis and PMD patterns. Then pheasant tail nymphs. Beneath that are hare’s ear, prince and copper John nymphs. In the bottom right corner I keep ant and beetle patterns. Along the bottom row are a couple compartments for soft hackles.

Along the top row are Adam’s traditional and parachute patterns. Through the rest of the box I keep CDC and Elk, a variety of caddis and emerger patterns, my Rusty Stim favorite, some Humpies and Royal Wulffs. I try to keep at lease three of all these patterns. More of the nymphs because it is easy to lose these flies.

With this box in my pocket, I feel pretty sure I could catch fish on most rivers in the country. I wouldn’t be able to match every hatch, but of course that is a dream that we all would like to have come true isn’t it?

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