Truths will be revealed, inside your box

Riverbound anglers of earth, no doubt, love their flies. This is especially true for trout guys, who have more than most. The origins of this obsession can be traced back to the caddis hatch on River X. Around dark, the wriggling tent-winged insects begin to take flight. Around the same time, the trout in the river begin to get hungry. This isn’t a casual affair. Those rainbows and browns are generally well-fed, making them particularly particular; they want their caddis served just the right size, and delivered in just the right shade of smoky-whole-wheat. In order to procure a strike from the bastards, the savvy angler produces a box of highly-considered magic.

Or not.

A closer examination of this fly selection—from tidy rows of winged wets to wet clumps of matted woolly worms—reveals amazing truths about the person in possession of said flies. Here’s what we’ve so far discovered.

1) New Guy
Couple random boxes. A few decent flies from the local shop, mixed with a bunch of useless feathers on rusty hooks pulled from Grandpa’s tackle box.

2) Obsessive-Compulsive Guy
Lots of fly-shop cups. Some with unsecured lids, spilling flies into pockets. Some with lids tightly secured, but empty. One with all the right patterns, that has, unbeknownst to him, fallen down into the leg of his waders, and will not be found until he returns to his vehicle.

3) Gear Guru
A fully submersible, ultralight waterproof backpack full of boxes. However, the one with today’s bugs was left in the Range Rover, because there was too much other shit to stuff into pockets and strap to his body.

4) Crotchety Old Guy
Who knows how many boxes he has squirreled away? At least one or two that you’ve seen him digging through, while mumbling something nasty, probably about you. Some patterns inside work well today, others worked well back in the summer of ’69. There are plenty of both.

5) Tenkara Swami
One small, unique, potentially handmade container, housing no more than three patterns. No bullshit to be found (in the flybox).

6) Competition Angler
One box. Flies aligned like the Chinese military about to march. The patterns all look the same, but like nothing in any of your boxes.

7) Tying Newb
A few simple boxes. One of which holds his creations, comprised mainly of poorly portioned buggers and some “other stuff” that he came up with on his own, and is thrilled to try.

8) Frat Guy
Two overly expensive boxes the fly shop needed to move. Both well-stocked with good patterns. He has no idea when to use any of them. But his beer-pong game is tight.

9) Sleeveless “Gentleman” with Extra-Thick Neoprenes
Clear plastic packaging from Wal-Mart. Inside: Three bass poppers, one can of Dinty Moore. 

10) You
Your boxes.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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