The Big Reveal – What’s In George Daniel’s Tackle Box?

George Daniel (his website is recently released a video filmed on his truck’s tailgate where he shows off his gear, tackle, and flies. In particular, George explains how he organizes his fly fishing tackle. George is one of the fathers of modern day nymphing, an accomplished former competitive angler, writer, and instructor/coach. I’ve read his books and articles for years, even if I sometimes struggle to emulate his techniques.

“This is the way…”

Give the above video a watch if you want to see how someone with oodles of the best tackle in the world organizes and makes it all accessible. I get the sense that George has at times been overwhelmed with the thousands of dollars of tackle that he’s accumulated over the years and has had to develop a system to pare down the mountains of gear stacked to the rafters back at his house.

I want a new Helios! Or two. Or three.

George is unquestionably one of the leading authorities on modern fly fishing tactics. My ears perked up when I heard him talk about what he’s actually using out on the river day in and day out. And he gives you a glimpse into his fly boxes! Below I’ll mention a couple things I found notable, and let me know what your takeaways are.

Chubby Chernobyls, Stimulators, X-Caddis, and assorted terrestrials

This is also an opportunity to include some Amazon affiliate links if you’d like to support this not-for-profit blog, where any proceeds go to worthy causes. George says, “The more you know, the less you actually need.” That’s a good idea in theory, but George still clearly has a lot of stuff in the back of his pickup!

    • YETI LoadOut GoBox (Amazon). Good way to keep everything safe and organized and certainly useful when you’re in a boat.
    • Zip ties (Amazon). I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why you would need these unless you were in a rickety old boat that was falling apart, but here are some good ones made in Taiwan I’ve used for other applications.
    • Fulling Mill Tactical Fly Box (Amazon). I have a two sided Tacky fly box similar to this one and it’s been reliable. However, this one is foam, not silicone, which I’m not keen on. But if it’s good enough for George…
    • Cliff Outdoors Days Worth Fly Box (Amazon). Now this got me intrigued. Cliff Outdoors fly boxes are sweet. I have the Bugger Barn for saltwater and recommend it. This small one that George uses looks plenty burly and is made in USA too.
    • Fly Banjo – Had never heard of this before. I prefer desiccant, but if you don’t like using powder to dry off your flies here’s a slick alternative.
    • Storage crate (Target). Genius idea for storing waders and wading shoes. Real milk crates are more expensive than I thought they would be online. These storage crates from Target are a better deal.
    • River Quiver Fly Rod Roof Rack (Amazon). If I had a larger garage to store one of these rod holders I might own one. In the meantime, I’ll just be jealous and try not to break a rod when putting it into the back of the car.
    • Loon Outdoors Top Ride Floatant Powder (Amazon). This is what I use for getting sinking dry flies to float again, looks like George does too.
    • Loon Outdoors Lochsa Floatant Gel (Amazon). Ditto, except this is the gel that you dab on the fly before fishing it.

Whether or not you fish for trout, bass, or musky, this video is informative. George fishes for all of these species, and he’s willing to show you the flies he uses. I enjoyed seeing how he’s attempting to streamline his approach.

Junk flies galore! Love it.

Bonus – go to 17:40 to see how George manufactures a longer leader using heavy tippet to create a longer butt section, why didn’t I think of that?!

Nymphs from the nymph man himself

One more note – I’ll be up in Northern New Hampshire/Western Maine from Saturday, June 29th to Thursday, July 4th. If you happen to be in the area and are interested in meeting up for an outing, let me know. Target area is generally the waters along Rt. 16 between Errol, NH and Rangeley, ME. Not an easy place to get to, but some of the best fishing in the country if you can swing it.

Written by Dave Hyde, Watertown, Mass.

Contact da********@gm***.com






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