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A Simple Tip for Fly Box Organization

Dec 19, 2020

Colour-coding your boxes for cleanliness and organization...

Years ago I drove a 2001 Nissan Xterra. It was my ultimate fishing rig, I could bring it anywhere I wanted to and spent more time than I care to admit sleeping in the back of it during fishing trips. However, had you look in the back of it, you would have thought it was something straight out of the TV series Hoarders

While I'm the first to admit that organization has not been my strongest suit for most of my life, one thing I will never slip up on is the organization of my fly boxes. For one reason or another (I think it's called O.C.D), I will always keep my fly boxes in perfect order. 

What's the one guideline that keeps my boxes organized? COLOUR CODING!

Yes, I colour code the flies in my boxes. I always have, and I likely always will. It allows me to know exactly where to look before I even open the box, and reminds me exactly where to put the fly I was just using before tying on another one. Let me give you one formula I've used for colour coding my fly boxes:

Black ones go in the top left of the page, followed by brown beneath them, then all of the gray scale, then anything silver or shiny, followed by anything that is green or obscure colours that don't fit the rest of the algorithm. 

Lastly, when I am tying flies I will aim to always tie an even number of flies. I know that this all seems a bit overboard, but there are few things more satisfying than reaching into an organized box of flies that are begging to be fished!

- Jordan Oelrich


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