Fly boxes are often a reflection of the angler carrying them. Neat and organized by size and pattern or in disarray, randomly stuffed in a box full of countless other patterns that you haven’t sorted through for years, regardless, fly storage is a must no matter how organized you choose to be. With trout streamer season in full swing and maybe a saltwater trip on the horizon, it’s not a bad idea to take inventory and reorganize your flies for the months ahead.
When considering streamer storage there are two primary styles to consider, soft-sided fly wallets and “sushi roll” mats or more traditional hard-sided plastics boxes. One of the biggest advantages of the soft-sided rolls and wallets is that you can very easily carry a day’s worth of flies in a compact manner that can be comfortably stuffed in your coat pocket or waders. Traditional hard-sided boxes are great for protecting your trusty streamer patterns. Many come in waterproof versions but can tend to take up a lot of space. The options below provide great streamer storage organization solutions for both wade and float anglers.
Soft Sided Streamer Storage
As mentioned above, “sushi roll” and soft-sided fly wallets are great because they don’t take up a ton of space, are generally lightweight, and allow you to carry way more than enough flies for several days of fishing. There are some downside to soft-sided fly wallets to consider as using this style of fly storage will tend to smash flies as they are rolled or closed on themselves. Not only can this affect the way some patterns “swim”, it can also delay drying and lead to dull, rusty hooks.
Fishpond Sushi Rolls
The Fishpond Sushi Roll has taken soft sided fly storage to the next level and achieved a design that’s lightweight, compact, and manages to avoid crushing flies. The foam notches on the edges of the Sushi Roll prevent your flies from rolling on top of themselves and also improves airflow between your flies, helping them to dry quicker. Available in 3 sizes, there’s sure to be a Fishpond Sushi Roll to meet your streamer storage needs.
Our friends over at Yakoda Supply just recently released their own Streamer Stash, a soft sided solution meant to be your one stop shop for streamer storage. The Streamer Stash can carry dozens of your favorite patterns in a highly compact design. The Streamer Stash also features a pocket where you can store spare sink tips and the like. Whether you’re chasing big browns or swinging for fall run steelhead, be sure to give the Streamer Stash some serious consideration.
Hard Shelled Streamer Storage
C&F Designs are known for innovative fly fishing tools and accessories but most notably their fly storage solutions. The C&F Designs Medium Waterproof Micro Slit Foam box is my preferred style as there’s plenty of space between the two sides for larger profiled flies. An added advantage of most C&F Design boxes is that they’re waterproof. This is a particularly nice feature for anglers who stick it out regardless of weather and take pride in their patterns with a desire to maintain rust-free hooks. Note: While waterproof fly boxes are great for protecting your streamers, be sure to open them up after a day of fishing to allow your flies to dry. They’re just as good as keeping water in as they are keeping it out.
No fly storage conversation would be complete without including Fishpond’s Tacky Fly Boxes. All of their hard sided fly boxes come with an easy open closure (typically magnetic) and feature Tacky’s original patented silicone anchoring technology to ensure that your flies stay put. Tacky released their revolutionary Flydrophobic Fly Box which features eVent Fabric that allows moisture to leave your fly box if you happen to store some flies away while wet, a must have for any streamer enthusiast. The Flydrophobic Fly Box is quite possibly the most innovative streamer storage solution.This box has slits running the length of the product to allow you to fit as many patterns as you can squeeze.
Boat Boxes/Bulk Storage
Seasoned streamer and float anglers can all benefit from the streamer fly boxes below. . These boxes offer maximum capacity when it comes to fly storage and are also great for wade anglers who like to have their entire inventory of streamers waiting in the car or on the bank. With space being less of a consideration when storing your flies or fishing from a drift boat, these boxes are meant to carry any and every fly you could want on a trip.
The iconic Cliff Outdoors Bugger Beast Fly Boxes can be found on the boats and skiffs of serious freshwater and saltwater anglers and guides alike. The original non-waterproof Bugger Beast and Bugger Beast Jr. fly boxes both come with the blue slotted foam inserts. An added benefit of these boxes is that they float, ensuring you never lose your trusty streamer collection. Depending on the size of your steamers, you can easily store hundreds of flies in these boxes.
The Umpqua Magnum Boat Box is very similar in design to the Cliff Outdoors streamer boxes. This box has two slotted foam inserts on the interior and uniquely features an external foam sheet for quick fly management on the water.
Lastly, if you’re looking to store a large quantity of flies but are turned off by the size of the Magnum Boat Box or Cliff Outdoors boxes, the Umpqua Bug Locker 4624 Adjustable Fly Box may be a great storage solution for you. This box features configurable compartments where you can loosely store a large number of flies in a relatively compact manner. While your flies won’t stay quite as organized as the slotted foam boxes, you can smash multiple streamers into each section ensuring you don’t have to compromise and leave any patterns behind.
Finding Your Storage Solution
Whether you take this fall as an opportunity to re-organize your flies or wait until the winter when you’re at home behind the vise, you’ll eventually need a place to store all those big bugs. These streamer storage options will ensure you have your tried and true patterns at the ready no matter the species you pursue.
Article by Evan Garda, he is on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing trout throughout the west with his trusty fly rod. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.