Fly fishing is a fun sport that doesn't have to be costly in order for it to be enjoyable and rewarding. You do not need that expensive split bamboo fly rod with all those fancy inlays to catch fish on a fly and certainly that fly box costing $20-$30 is unnecessary too. Making the equipment you use is a labor of love for the sport and time seems to be the one thing we can all spend a little more wisely.
There is a saying that goes something like this, "Necessity is the mother of invention" and that is so true in many aspects of life. I am by no means Rube Goldberg or even a Macgyver but building things sure is a lot of fun and something that I enjoy sharing with others. I think that making your own gear gives a sense of accomplishment and that's a good thing. Constructing items is what keeps me active and out of trouble too, temporarily anyway. Therefore fly fishing paraphernalia should be no different and a Do-It-Yourself holder for your flies should fit the bill quite nicely. Then too if the fly container is lost, strayed or stolen you aren't going to be out a large amount of money because this project is very inexpensive to construct.
Naturally the first item that is needed for you to construct this vessel to accommodate the storage of your flies is the box itself. The kind that I use are the ones that originally have mints inside them. They seem to be the perfect size to hold enough flies to sustain me fishing for a few hours. Next you will need either a piece of cork or foam to line the underside of the container for the purpose of holding the flies. As an added bonus these linings add buoyancy to your fly box which will keep it afloat if it should be dropped into the water. Cut the liner to fit the lower section of the box snugly as this needs to hold the flies apart allowing them to dry after each use. A good silicone adhesive will be used to hold the lining material in place because of the moisture the box will encounter.
Holes will be drilled in the container's undercarriage to allow any moisture that has formed inside the box to dry. These holes will also permit water to drain from the container. A clear lacquer finish should be added inside and outside of the container to prohibit rust from occurring and prolong the life of your fly box. These fly boxes are of a size that makes it convenient to place them in any pocket of an outer garment.
People are notorious for using something in a hurry then leaving it lie, never to be found again. Fly boxes are not immune to receiving this separation from their owner so you will want to add a name tag for returning purposes. The tag should be laminated and include your name, address, phone number and email address so that if this item is lost it can be returned. It is wise to place a mark of some kind so that you can identify what kind of flies that box has stored in it without opening the container. It can be something simple as a red dot for streamers, an orange dot for nymphs or a green dot for terrestrials.
As you have just witnessed fly fishing tackle does not have to be expensive in order to be functional. Make a few extra boxes and give them as gifts to your fly fishing friends and I am sure they will be treasured.