At our lodges in Alaska and British Columbia, we really like fishing tube flies for a whole bunch of reasons. However, organizing tube flies is always a constant battle. After all, there’s no hook to nest in a traditional fly box, and larger ‘bushy’ patterns tend to fill up a simple plano box pretty fast.
One of the best ways we’ve found to organize our tubes is by housing them in plastic drinking straws. That way, the fly is compressed, thus taking up less space in the box. In fact, we ran a post about it, here.
However, while drinking straws work great for sparser flies like a reverse marabou tube, they don’t quite fit flies tied with larger cone heads or dumbbell eyes. Not to worry though, our good friend and Alaska West guest, John Wilkin, recently joined us on Kanektok where he showed us a simple solution.. Vinyl tubing!
Found in the plumbing section in any hardware store, vinyl tubing is available in diameters that works great for housing tube flies with larger cones or eyes. It also has some weight to it to ensure your tubes won’t get blown all over the river upon opening your box on a windy day. Plus, it’s crystal clear for easy fly identification.
Simply cut the vinyl tubing to length, make a diagonal cut along the length of the tubing, insert the tube fly, and voila! By making a diagonal cut (as opposed to a cut parallel to the length of the tubing), the vinyl tubing is able to expand around larger cones or dumbbell eyes while still keeping fly fibers from sneaking out.