Gray’s Best Awards 2016

Acrylic painting of camper

ANGLING: Tacky Fly Box

Tacky-Fly-BoxI have a love–hate relationship with slotted foam fly boxes. I love how they keep flies organized and accessible while preventing them from becoming tangled masses (which is what happens in my compartmentalized fly boxes). What I hate is how bad they are at holding flies. I often spend hours placing each fly in its slot, separated by pattern and size, only to open that box the next day and find a half dozen have gotten loose. When I first encountered Tacky fly boxes ($30), which use slotted silicone instead of foam, I was skeptical, assuming they would suffer the same problems as traditional foam boxes. I was wrong. I filled one of their boxes with stonefly nymphs—large, heavily weighted flies that never stay in place. After months of transfer from truck to boat to backpack to sling pack, the flies are still locked in place, and the silicone hasn’t warped or lost its ability to hold. In addition, these boxes are slim in profile and take up surprisingly little space for how many bugs they hold. They also come with magnetized lids so they don’t open accidentally in your pack. I’m currently in the process of retiring all my old fly boxes and replacing them with Tacky alternatives.