Montana Fly Company started as, yes, a fly company, but in recent years they’ve expanded heavily into the accessories sector. They make iphone cases, water bottles, tying tools, and fly boxes. The last category is where they have arguably made the biggest splash. I discussed a briefcase-sized waterproof fly box with the then-distributors of CF Design as early as 2007. No one could make one, I was told, because the molds were too expensive and everyone was waiting for someone else to take the risk and see if they could break even. That’s why we ended up with a screwdriver box (Cliff’s Bugger Beast) owning the market for five years.
And then, finally, MFC took the risk, releasing their gasket-sealed, lockable, waterproof Boat Box at $65. While certainly expensive, judging by the numbers of these boxes I see in guide boats (especially big fish guides), they were successful.
The Boat Box was very well designed, with rubber gaskets and a panel insert. MFC has now taken some of the concepts of that design and reiterated it in the smaller, trout-sized sector. After all, trout anglers like waterproof boxes too. Their new Poly Fly Box with Swing Leaf has the same kind of tough slit foam we’re used to seeing from CF Designs boxes (and a million copies). The swing leaf drops in and out with two plastic tabs, so it is easily removed if you want to carry, say, a set of fall scuds on one panel and then a separate panel of Mothers Day Caddis larva.
Size-wise, this is probably best for nymphs, but it would also work for dry flies as long as they weren’t overly bushy. If the artwork doesn’t suit your taste, there are many other options. With respect to waterproofedness, this box is missing the rubber gasket of the Boat Box, but it doesn’t really need it. The plastic spans on the boat box are wide enough that some deflection in the lid is always going to open up a gap, thus the gasket. On this smaller model, the plastic is stout enough that it simply locks together, tight like a car door. The rubber gasket is thus largely superfluous. I wouldn’t want to hold this box underwater for hours, but it would certainly protect flies from periodic submersion in, say, a lumbar pack.
Prices on these vary a little bit by store, but the base range is about $24 for the box and $7 for the swing leaf insert.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Purchase: At your local fly shop