Large fly box options

I've been getting geared up for hitting the stillwaters pretty hard, and I'm taking a look at my fly organization. Currently I have 4-6 boxes that I throw in the pontoon or raft with me, generally just threw into a duffel bag on the raft, and stuffed into the side pockets of the pontoon. I'm looking at possibly consolidating these to 1 or 2 bigger boxes, as I hate having to root through several boxes to find what I'm looking for. (I've tried marking them, using clear lid boxes etc.. but in the pockets of the pontoon, or even stuffed into a bag, it still equates to a lot of digging around). Plus I am constantly forgetting one small box on every trip it seems. Never the same box twice, it just seems I always forget one or pull it out the week before to add some flies and misplace it etc.

So I've been looking for a bigger fly box, something where I could stick a ton of flies of various sizes. Does anyone else us an approach like this? I'm not too worried about boxes that will fit into pockets or anything as I will be out in a floating craft either way, and if I needed to I could always just keep a small box of essentials for such occasions that I need to just throw a small box in my pocket and go. I'm thinking that these will be specifically for stillwaters, and I'd like to keep it to just one or two boxes if possible.

So, any suggestions? I've done a search of this site but haven't come up with much. I've looked online and found Cliff's. The Bugger Barn appears to be their biggest, but may not be good for smaller flies? Looks like Umpqua makes some interesting boxes, but perhaps not big enough. Does such a box exist or am I just gonna have to buck up and use smaller boxes?

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Less is more! Take three of your current boxes and put two or three of each of your go to pattens and call it good. Two boxes with a light assortment is even better. If you lose them you'll have boxes just like them at home.


Active Member
I have been just buying the plastic gear box's for the drift boat . they work great and are cheap and carry bunches of flies with a lot of sections . they come in all sizes and hold lots of flies in each section or you can leave a few sections open for larger flies or tools and leaders - nothing to look at but they do the job very well for boat fishing . i would love to have some of the double and triple custom wood ones with inside lids to fold over the sections and hold flies too . maybe someone can post a few of these .
Thanks for the input guys.

Ed, in general I agree with you, however if I dig deep and am totally honest I'd say that stillwaters are my first love when it comes to fly fishing. I've been thinking a lot about that lately.... Trying to focus on the things that are important to me, and learn to do them well, instead of juggling a bunch of different things at once.. If that makes sense. So I've been making a strong effort to just focus on stillwaters at the moment, namely getting my gear organized. On several occasions I have done exactly what you suggested, and it lasts for a trip or two and then I end up buying/tying more flies and need more room etc.

fishcentral, I've looked at several of the plastic style boxes and am not at all against going that route if I can find what I'm looking for.

Anyone use the Fly Locker from Flambeua?


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Nick, if you go to a craft store, you can find the exact same boxes that Cliff uses, only labeled 'Art Bin'. Glue in some foam, slice it if you want, and you are all set. You can also glue in a big sheet of Velcro (or strips) on one side and you can then Velcro in little plastic boxes for small flies, split shot, indicators, etc. in the end, you get a custom box for very little money...
I moved to hook boxes. They have 22 pockets, often are cheaper, have curved bottoms to help selection, and a much tighter fitting lid. The lid keeps little flies like chironomids from migrating. They stack well in pontoon boat pockets as well. Big buggers don't work but most stuff around #14 does.

The "Super Days Worth" CLIF is great for a selection of leeches, with another compartment with magnetic pad for nymphs etc. Holds a ton of flies and doesn't take up a square foot.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Put all your flies on your hat. Everything you have should serve two purposes. Hat keeps your head warm, sun out of your eyes and flies at the ready. Where are those photos of WorldAnglr and the eight million flies on his stocking cap?
I like Ed's thoughts (from his first post). Usually I'll use 1 or 2 patterns for an entire outing, 1 most of the time, and that's it. But we're all different and the variety of flies you carry around generally won't help or hurt you.

I know I'm opening a can of worms here but where a guy can get hurt on lakes is by looking to all those flies for answers. Bring all you like but look elsewhere to solve the puzzle. You won't find it in those boxes.