Storage Solution for Fly Tying

If you are one of the many people who enjoy tying your own flies; I’m sure you have a system for keeping track of all your materials.

Fly Tyers are artists. As artists they deal with the materials of their craft. Capes, saddles, hooks, threads, flash, tinsel, dubbing, hair.  The list is ever-growing.

The variety of sizes and shapes of our material being as plentiful as there are mayflies on a warm spring day.

As a self diagnosed, semi obsessive compulsive neat freak who likes things in their place; I truly dislike the idea of opening a drawer full of material, haphazardly laying about.

After coming across a flat file cabinet I’ve decided that this is one of many, great solutions for those like me.

Flat file cabinets are generally used for artist prints, maps and blueprints. They stored large parchments or paper that could not be folded so needed to be stored flat.

Using a flat file was a large system that could be broken down to smaller compartments to fit the need of a fly tier obsessed with categorizing.

The flat file cabinet that was found was old.  Dated to have started its life of categorically storing from somewhere around the early 1900’s.

Originally called a “Rand McNally Mercantile System” it was a wooden oak piece that came from the famous map company.  Most people of my generation and older would remember always having a Rand McNally road map in their car.  The days before the mass, portable GPS.  But I digress.

It stands at 4 feet 2 inches tall and has 25 drawers in total.  Each drawer with a place to hold a name tag for what goodies were stored inside.

When opening the drawer, we found that each drawer had its own unique map.

Some having railroad maps of a State in America and some having a country.  The maps themselves being quite dated.

This is a serious piece of furniture with the power to organize with the best of them.  Now how should I organize?  Should I store alphabetically, by size, by function?  As this is a big piece I will also be storing my random prints that I do have.  Including my forays into fish prints (“gyotaku”) as well as negatives from my old film camera.  Multi functional and organized.  Yep! I’m in love.



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