We have all opened up our fly box in that moment of excitement or desperation and found a big wad of fur and feathers balled up in the corner. Finding a good fly box, particularly one that keeps large streamers and tube flies in order has been a quest of mine for years. Finally, I have found one that I want to share with you that keeps these large flies in order because of its ingenious design. The Plan D fly box instantly changed my perception of what the difference is between a good and great streamer box.
Dylan Stanley is the owner of Plan D Fishing Solutions in Gig Harbor, Washington. He is also the designer of the soon to be patented Plan D fly box. I talked to Dylan about the inspiration behind the Plan D box and his company and this is what he said.
What is your background in fly fishing?
“I have loved fishing since I was a little kid. It didn’t matter if I was fishing for gummi fish with a fake rod and a clothes pin, fishing in my grandpa’s pool (clearly no fish in there), or out with my grandpa somewhere. I loved it. My grandpa introduced me to fly fishing when I was a little older and used to take me to the Metolius or the Crooked River in Central Oregon. I started tying flies and building rods when I was about 12 or so. I caught my first summer steelhead on a Green Butt Skunk on The Deschutes. I took a break from fishing in my later teens and early twenties to pursue a variety of other things. When I got back into it, it was like I had never stopped. It is just something I love to do and something I cannot imagine doing without. Now it is not only about fishing, but traveling to interesting locations and being able to spend time with great friends.”
I know I have been super-frustrated on the water with my fly boxes, particularly when I was guiding. There is nothing less professional than opening a fly box and having the flies in a tangled wad. The Plan D box is the best solution to this problem I have used. What was the breaking point that drove you to create the boxes?
“Really just years of wishing I had a cool way to store my tube flies and articulated flies. These two styles of flies kept representing a higher percentage of my fly selection each year until I finally decided that I needed some other way to store and access them.”
How did you come up with the idea for the slide hooks?
“The first box I developed was a large boat box for blue water tube flies. Somewhere in the process of fine tuning that box, probably at the start of winter steelhead season, I got sidetracked with how to store my articulated swing flies. I just couldn’t let the idea go. My friends got sick of me bouncing ideas off of them and I had a bunch every
of overly complicated, failed attempts. I played with different solutions on and off for over a year. One day, when I was focused on something else entirely, the light just went on in my head. I went out into the garage and built the first box using hand formed wire and hand cut foam. I’ve been tweaking it ever since.”
Do you have any new products coming soon?
“Yes, you bet. I am also patent pending on a tube fly storage solution. I plan to have 4 sizes of boxes. In order of size, smallest to largest: Pocket, Pack, Boat and Expedition. Each will come in multiple configurations: Standard Fly, Articulated, Tube and a combo of Tube and Articulated. I hope to have all models available and in stores by the end of 2016. I am still really excited about my blue water tube fly box. I know it is a limited market, but I just really like it. Maybe I am just getting tired of the rain and want to go somewhere warm.”
The name “Plan D” is unique for products in world of fly flingers. How did you come up with the name?
“I have 2 girls, now 9 and 12. I involved them in the creative process because I wanted them to see what it took to make something from idea to production. We had a good time playing with names and logos. We initially ended up with Plan B as a joke because I wasn’t sure at the time if my current job was going to pan out and the family was joking that I would have to sell a lot of fly boxes to keep us afloat. We realized that the Plan B name had been used in other products, skipped Plan C because it didn’t sound right and ended up on Plan D. D is for Daddy, Dylan (my name) and, ultimately, my fourth business endeavor, Plan D Fishing Solutions. Not a logical progression I know. Not a great story, but fun for my family.”