Dry flies are somewhat fragile and clipping them into a foam fly box requires you to squish them with your fingers to get them into and out of your fly box. Today successful fly fishers are using clear plastic, magnetic fly boxes to store their dry flies. These boxes come in a variety of sizes from 18 compartments for midges to 8 compartments for smaller quantities. With the clear lid and thin thickness you can view all your flies for a particular category, such as a Pale Morning Dun, all at a glance. Now you can view all your different patterns and sizes all up front and in your view.
The advantages of a magnetic fly box are as obvious as the word magnetic. Flies stored in these boxes are magnetized to the bottom of the box eliminating those major drops that in other boxes would dump all your flies on the ground. The thinness of the box allows you to store them like a file cabinet. Just file through your flies until you find the bug or fly group your looking for. These boxes fit nicely in your shirt pocket and will float if dropped. All your flies lay loosely in the box making them easy to dry and not squished into a foam box.
The best part about these type of boxes is that it allows you a good effective way to organize all your flies by aquatic insect. Caddis’s get their own box, PMD’s get their own box, BWO’s get there own box and so on. What this allows you to do during, say a PMD hatch, is work a progression of PMD patterns over the feeding trout until you zero in on the one pattern that best fits the description of what those trout are feeding on. Organizing you fly boxes by aquatic insect is an advanced form of fly box organization that should be practices by all fly fishers, both new and skilled.