The Mother F#$%ing Fly box review

Something I noticed while stocking up on saltwater flies was that one could never own a big enough fly box for the multitude of crabs, Charlies, poppers and Flippers, Clousers (including mega Clousers) and other large baitfish patterns, such as SF baitfish flies. These are essentials of a basic saltwater box for trips to a local estuary, as well as trips to the tropics.

Commercial fly boxes that are big enough for a great selection of flies are also hard to come by. The one-of-a-kind Cliff fly box is tempting to buy, but in my opinion the price in our country simply doesn’t justify the quality of the product.

Now there’s the local Mother F#$%ing Fly box (MFF) designed by John Yelland from Upstream Flyfishing ( The Cliff’s price continued to skyrocket due to the poor Rand/USD exchange rate so John decided to do his fellow South Africans a favour and produced a fly box that is the same size as the famous Cliff, but it’s selling at roughly a third of the price.

MFF 1 small

I didn’t hesitate to grab my MFF from Upstream and slipped some of my trusty flies in its foam slits before taking it to the test around the Cape Peninsula this past weekend. Although I had planned to use it mainly as a saltwater ‘streamer’ box, it was so big that I felt obliged to fill the void with squirmy wormies. My Patagonia backpack fitted like a condom around the MFF and it replaced the usual threesome of smaller fly boxes that got squashed into the main compartment. This meant that there was plenty of room left for my food, three reels, spare spools of leader and tippet material.

MFF 2 small

Luckily the box provided the extra space, otherwise I wouldn’t have been prepared for the shoals of blacktail that we found. Although they ate almost anything we threw at them, Conrad Botes’ trusty Steve Austin did most of the damage.

Blacktail in bascate 2

The Cape Peninsula has some fantastic blacktail action if you know where to look for them...
The Cape Peninsula has some fantastic blacktail action if you know where to look for them…

Back to the MFF…The upsides:

  1. It’s big! (Comfortably accommodated Dinner Bell flies of approx. 18 cm long);
  2. It has a smaller brother, the BFF (by now you should be able to work out what that stands for);
  3. It fits into a backpack;
  4. It’s affordable – BFF: 220 X 215 X 70 = R420; MFF: 330 X 270 X 80 = R520;
  5. It’s local (and that’s lekker!).

The downsides:

  1. It is not waterproof (but neither is the Cliff…);
  2. Jeff Currier won’t be able to draw on it…I guess you need to design stickers Jeff?

MFF FB image

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