Thanks to Bill Lenehan for another cool guest post about useful fishing gear that you might not find at your local shop.
Bill’s last post told us all about Kelly Kettles. Today, it’s worm wallets for big flies.
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Intruders, Skagit Minnows, tubes, and articulated patterns have always been a challenge to efficiently store and transport. Fly boxes rarely afford much capacity without becoming suitcase-like (thus unworkable for a wading angler and a hog of baggage space for the travelling angler) and are often brutally expensive. Boxes designed for shanked, articulated or tube flies are often not appropriate for standard patters and vice versa, necessitating multiple boxes when one should suffice. The same could be said for storing saltwater baitfish patterns and larger largemouth, striped bass, peacock bass, and dorado flies which often reach 6 inches or longer.
The answer lies in an unlikely place: the “worm wallet” typically used by conventional bass anglers to store long rubber worms. Available for dirt cheap prices (7 bucks!) from the unmentionable big box mail order catalogs, they carry loads of flies in organized and highly water-resistant individual plastic bags. The smallest sizes are ideal for all but the largest fly patters and the medium sized wallets will carry flies that would be difficult to accommodate in anything but the largest fly boxes. The number of flies that can be stored in a small wallet is equal to a large suitcase fly box. Of course, spare bags can be swapped out easily as well.
The added advantages of wallets is that they can also accommodate shooting heads, tips, poly-leaders, and other items like licenses, tube hooks, or split shot in their own separate bags allowing minimal bulk. Because these wallets are made of soft material they ‘stuff’ in the front of waders comfortably unlike a hard sided box. They are indestructible.
The downside? It is hard to favor the aesthetics of a Cordura worm wallet over a treasured Wheatley. Even this can be overcome however. As shown above, the wallet concept can be “classed up” in a leather version (from Carter’s Cobbler in Bozeman with flies by master Paul Miller).