How to Put Flies in a Fly Box: Sort them the smart way

Kristian Ole



Learning how to put flies in a fly box will make your fishing hobby fun.

Being organized is an important aspect of fishing. In this writing, you’ll learn how to put flies in a fly box.

Fishing is more of a hobby. As the fly fishing experience grows, the number of flies increases in your box. You have now become a veteran and not like the newbie at the start.

At this point, you may face another challenge. Your efforts may be wasted if you know less about the right prey fish go after in certain seasons.

The dry fly may hatch and last for a few hours in a certain season of the year. And if you have the wrong selection of your flies, you may miss a great opportunity in your fishing.

There are a few strategies you should master to organize your flies in the box to stand out. Read further and become a fly fishing pro.

What Box Should You Put Your Flies?

Tiny boxes are always unfit for the flies. You need the right box that fits your flies to have an easy time at the river.

You wouldn’t want to waste precious time choosing the right fly for fishing. Creating order in your fly box is always the best approach.

Well, midge boxes and large streamer boxes are recommendable. Any other box between the two is also good to hold your flies.

How to Put Flies in a Fly Box

man holding fly box with flies in

There are great ideas to organize your flies. During a fishing day, you will have an easy time once you observe the activities at the water surface.

1. If you have a good memory, you are good to go

If you easily memorized Calculus maths in school, you’re good to pack your flies in the same box and go fishing.

Frankly, some people have good memories. But also a long time of fishing can give you experience.

If you can look at the flies and recall their names, species, and the type of fish they trap, you’re a rare angler.

Just find the right box that you will pack your flies. You will have fewer items to carry to the river.

Several boxes may be confusing, too, especially when you have a challenging day.

2. What if you have to put them in a single box?

Even as a veteran, you need to have an order in your fly box.

Have you ever found yourself at the river bank figuring out which type of fly you should pick for minutes?

Create a structure in your box and indicate the kind of flies you pack in each section. If you have been fishing long enough, you might be conversant even with the regions. Go on and label them.

3. Sort them by their type

When I mention the type, you need to think of special boxes for each category. There are a large number of flies used for fishing.

Identify each type and their areas of fishing. Then, pack each type into their special boxes, and you’ll have an easy time. Ideally, find the best fly box for dry flies, bass poppers, etc.

Additionally, you will have saved your precious energy by carrying only the fly types you need for the day.

You wouldn’t want to carry a whole lot of summer flies when you are fishing during winter.

4. Put easily recognizable flies in a single box

If your fly boxes are limited, you can put dry flies and nymphs in the same box. You may also choose to pack streamers and bass poppers together.

Either way, you should determine whether your memory is good enough to recognize them. Well, the above examples can rarely confuse you.

5. Sort by life cycle

Sorting your flies by the life stages is also a good move. Fish tend to adapt to the times of each stage.

For instance, Mayflies have nymph, emerger, adult, and spinner stages. You can pack flies by identifying each stage. Once you get to the river, you will notice the fish behavior and know what type of flies they are feeding on.

Ideally, you can pack the earliest stage first where you can easily access them. The idea is good if you have mastered the whole cycle. Secondly, if you intend to pack them in the same box.

Related: Fly fishing vs. regular fishing: The differences

6. Sort by pattern

Flies have various patterns, and the trout recognizes them all. There are four categories of patterns. Take a look;

  • Imitative patterns – they resemble most insects that trout feed on.
  • Attractive patterns – just as the name suggests, they look attractive to the fish. You may have a great chance if you use attractive flies to catch the fish species they attract best.
  • Search patterns – they are very flashy to search out fish.
  • Impersonistic patterns– they are unique flies. They imitate very few real flies.

If you plan to pack your flies in the same box, organize them depending on the category.

7. Sort by seasons

There are certain flies that the fish have well mastered. Pack each season with its box.

For instance, preserve summer flies for summer and each other season you have mastered.

8. Sort by water bodies

There are specific fish found in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. If you intend to fish in shallow waters, put your shallow water fishing flies in one box.

If you intend to use one box, categorize each by indicating its area and the fish type it attracts.

9. Sort by weight and color

Flies’ weight determines the depth of the water. If you fish in rivers or occasionally visit lakes, set each fly box with its category.

How Do You Store Your Flies?

Fly boxes are the best for your flies’ storage. They don’t crush the hackles or wings unless you pack excessively.

What is a Streamer Fly?

Streamers are bigger flies for an active retrieve. They imitate large aquatic insects and some fish like crayfish, baitfish, and leeches.

Related: Learn how to tie a fly line leader and tippet


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

Leave a Comment