Of waterproof fly boxes

and of the interesting things said about them on fly fishing forums.

– ” Been thinking about ‘waterproof’ fly boxes. The only real advantage I reckon is that they should float.

Otherwise this waterproofing stuff is just a method on how to ensure that moisture cannot escape the fly box. How to get nice and rusty flies if you don’t open your boxes to dry after getting home… ” *

– ” I know from experience. They have two advantages they can make your hooks rust faster, and you can watch them drift off on the current, rather than see them sink out of site! If you paint them bright orange, so you can see them better, you can see them float away into the extreme distance. 

The worst of all worlds are ones that only float for a short while. They drift off to where you can’t reach them, then sink. There is an inverse square law with the probability of loosing a box being dependent on the cost of the box and the time effort and expense put into filling it.

Not that I’m cynical about it at all ;)  ” *

i’m eager to see if anyone comes up with any solutions to this dilemma that aren’t overly complicated…

fly box leash TLC 26-6-13

* (names withheld to protect the innocent)

Fly Fishing Life-Hacks- A small, sturdy and inexpensive Waterproof Box

as fishers, water is our best friend but that doesn’t go for everything we take with us when out having fun and whether we like it or not, that fun means sometimes getting thoroughly soaked in one manner or an other. first on the list of things that don’t like to get wet are phones, wallets, electronic car keys, smokables, cameras and the list can go on and on depending on every individual and what they like or need to bring along.

the little ‘fly fishing hack’ below does the trick really well, is completely waterproof and even submersible. i haven’t tested it deeper but no water goes in even at arm’s length underwater. as i’ve noticed over the years, when i fall in my torso tends to stay near the surface and the box stays in the backpack part of my chestpack so depth and its inherent pressure isn’t a problem.
it floats when fully packed, sometimes not very high on the water depending on what’s inside but at least we can retrieve it without having to dive for it should it fall in. the little split-ring can connect to a tether so it can’t possibly get away.
i don’t throw things around to see how strong they are and try not to fall off cliffs but after several years of use it doesn’t have a single crack.

WP Box 1its one of those C&F fly box ripoffs that sell for about 10€, this one was given to me by a friend years ago. the slotted fly holding inserts and swing leaf where really crap and never really did what they where supposed to do: hold flies.
now, being a gift from a good friend i couldn’t just throw this thing away because that’s really bad friend mojo but a minor alteration and few minutes of easy work turned it into something very serviceable and the friend mojo is still strong.

alteration is really easy, just rip out the foam inserts and clean up the residual glue with WD-40 and finish by washing with dish soap to get rid of the WD-4’s residue and smell. done.
once re-glued to a board to keep them straight, the inserts make for pretty nifty temporary fly holders/driers at the tying bench.

the serious do-it-yourselfer will probably have found that quite boring and unchallenging but the result is a very cheap box that does what its supposed to do and does it better than roll-top bags and other lots-more-expensive cases. i like easy, cheap and good.

tip- as with any waterproof housings for phones, cameras and whatnot, testing its waterproofness should be done beforehand at home. place some paper inside, close well and put it at the bottom of a bucket with a stone on top to hold it submersed.
go eat some chocolate, come back and remove the case from the bucket and wipe down the outside. once opened, the paper should be dry. if not, check the rubber seal and replace if cracked. a little food-grade silicone grease once in a while keeps the joint in good-as-new shape.

WP Box 2

in a snap, and maybe mostly for those of us who don’t do a lot big-big streamer fishing and don’t have dedicated boxes for them, the box gets dumped of its valuables and the big fluff takes its place. of course, this means those valuables are no longer protected from water and bumps. the circle is complete… WP Box 3

a love affair

filmed by Micke Sashup

i had the great chance of meeting Lars Andersson at the Möller Bil fly fair held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2010. seeing this video brought back visions of a kind, quiet and simple soul who’s eyes and smile light up when he shows off his beautiful, exquisitely crafted fly boxes. much more than a hobby or passion, they’re made with love.
lars andersson fly boxes

here’s how he makes them. reserve a little time as the film’s about 20 minutes long and it’s a lovely 20 minutes.
towards the end we’ll see him tie a very nice cdc winged caddis fly that should do the trick anywhere in the world there’s caddis.  enjoy !

Lars doesn’t sell through stores but if you want one for yourself contact him at lars_s@compaqnet.se

box image via southcreekltd.com

On waterproof fly boxes:

and of the interesting things said about them on fly fishing forums.

– ” Been thinking about ‘waterproof’ flyboxes. The only real advantage I reckon is that they should float.
Otherwise this waterproofing stuff is just a method on how to ensure that moisture cannot escape the flybox. How to get nice and rusty flies if you don’t open your boxes to dry after getting home… ” *

– ” I know from experience. They have two advantages they can make your hooks rust faster, and you can watch them drift off on the current, rather than see them sink out of site! If you paint them bright orange, so you can see them better, you can see them float away into the extreme distance. 
The worst of all worlds are ones that only float for a short while. They drift off to where you can’t reach them, then sink. There is an inverse square law with the probability of loosing a box being dependent on the cost of the box and the time effort and expense put into filling it.
Not that I’m cynical about it at all ;)  ” *

i’m eager to see if anyone comes up with any solutions that aren’t overly complicated…
fly box leash TLC 26-6-13

* (names where withheld to protect the innocent)

gramp’s box

not mine, my mate Stevie Kennedy’s old man’s old man’s box. he used these flies with great success back in the 50’s on North Irish Lochs.

now what really stands out is the foam floating baitfish pattern, the big white split-tail thing on the right lid. something i would have expected to come out on the loch/reservoir scene much later, maybe by the hands of Bob Church or other tying/fishing guru of the eighties and nineties in England.

lots of things are old and nothing’s new…