No matter how much you travel, the matter of flies is always present. How many to bring? Which patterns? Which sizes? And for some, that aspect sometimes get out of hand. I like to tie flies, and I like to feel a sense of preparedness when it comes to having the right flies. When I travel (far), it's usually for trout or salmon. With the first, I like to fish imitations, which puts a strain on the preparedness as I need to know local hatches. As far as salmon, I like to have a range of different flies, but the same 3-4 patterns do equally well all over the world, and size is usually a function of water temperature, which is foreseeable. And when all else fails, a Sunray Shadow usually does as well as any other pattern.
All that being said, I do also like to bring some fly tying. To be able to whip something I suddenly feel the need for, and simply because it's a fantastic feeling to sit overlooking a river, tug a fly that you'll be fishing minutes later. And when it comes to portable fly tying, I've wanted the C&F Design Marco Polo fly tying kit since it came out. A few weeks at I finally pulled myself together and ordered one.
There's nothing like it, really. I don't think you can beat it when it comes to size and weight. EVERYTHING fits in one of C&F's large fly boxes. Vise and all the tools you'll ever need. They changes it slightly - the base for the vine s now and "H", rather than a plate. This makes it lighter, but also less stable. I bring a small clamp, which I use to clamp it down to the table if I need better stability. Other than that it's just fantastic to grab that box and know that you have everything, apart from materials, of course.
And f course the gadget factor is not to be overlooked.
It's not exactly cheap (goes for around 400pounds new), and it's of course impossible to say if something like that is worth the money. For me it is/was and men will see plenty of use over the coming years.
Have a great weekend