Let’s Go with Plan D

Plan D Fly Box

Have you ever seen an up and coming band in concert and had them completely blow you away, leaving you wanting to tell all your friends about them? In the world of fly fishing gear, Plan D fly boxes are my Dave Matthews Band. (I first saw DMB in 1995 as the opening band in a small college gym and immediately had to tell anyone who would listen about them).

Launched in 2015 after owner Dylan Stanley became frustrated with the storage options that were available for many of his favorite flies, Plan D has changed the way steelheaders store and organize their flies. Show one to a steelhead angler and you can bet $50 to a nickel that as soon as they get off the river they will be heading to their local fly shop to pick up one of their own.

I was first introduced to Plan D fly boxes at Emerald Water Anglers in Seattle, WA. Living a couple hours away from a fly shop, I look forward to my infrequent visits to Emerald Water where I get to check out the new gear in the fly fishing world. On one visit, owner Dave McCoy made a point to show me “boxes that can finally hold shank steelhead fly.” I was intrigued.

There are a gazillion fly boxes on the market, so what makes these so special? Three things, actually:

  1. There is no better fly box for articulated (stinger-style) flies. With a stainless steel hook at the end of the box, you can easily slide it through the eye of the fly while firmly planting the hook in the foam that lines the bottom of the box. The fly is secured from the side and bottom, keeping it locked in position without flopping around and tangling with other flies.
  2. They are waterproof. We’ve all been there – after wading a little too deep, our boxes get wet. Fortunately, with the Plan D boxes, they are designed with a waterproof gasket that keeps water out.
  3. They are bomb proof. Who out there has a dented Wheatley that won’t stay shut or a cheap plastic box with broken off hinges? I know I do. You probably do too. Not going to be a problem with a Plan D box.

It is tough to choose which box(es) to get. Coming in 3 different sizes (Pocket, Pack, and Boat) and a multitude of configurations, there is a box to fit your needs (standard flies, articulated, tube, big bugs, etc.). My first box was the Pocket Max Articulated Plus. Holding 40 flies, it easily fits in the front pocket of my wading jacket where I have it filled to the max with Intruders, M.O.A.L. leaches, and Hoh Bo spey flies – the essentials for chasing winter steelhead. I am currently working on “collecting the whole set” of boxes that Plan D offers. As a fly tier, you can never have enough boxes – and to top it off, these boxes are stackable, making it easy to store your great (and not so great) creations.

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