As an analog angler, I seek and enjoy simple, solid things — both on and off the water. On the water, in addition to a click-pawl fly reel, you’ll now find us sporting this beautiful wooden fly box from Timber & Fins. Here’s more about it and the maker.
David-Alexandre Chabot is an analog angler in Montreal who we recently connected with on Instagram (it’s not all grip-and-grins!). He’s a master at crafting fly fishing products that are practical, well designed, and eco-friendly.
His company, Timber & Fins, offers an ever-expanding line of fly fishing accessories. Here, we’ll highlight our favorite, the Cedar Fly Box.
PS – Be sure to check out the “Meet the maker” Q&A we did with David-Alexandre.
The T&F Fly Box
The first product they offered was this beautiful, hand-made, Spanish Cedar and Black Walnut Fly Box. At 5″ tall and 3″ wide, it’s pocket-size practical, light, and built to high standards.
The bottom of the fly box is made from hollowed-out cedar and houses 4 strips hand-processed Amadou to keep your flies in place.
AMADOU is a natural material made from the Fomes Fomentarius mushroom. It has been used as tinder and by fly fisherman for centuries because of it’s water-absorbing abilities, essential for dry fly fishing.
The walnut cover rotates around the top of the box, pivoting on a stainless steel Chicago screw. When closed, a strong earth magnet on the bottom keeps it in place. The boxes are finished using a food-grade beeswax coating (versus a toxic finish) that protects and enhances the wood.
On the back, it’s branded with the Timber & Fins logo and can be customized for an even more one-of-a-kind piece.
Meet the maker
We had the opportunity to catch up with David-Alexandre to learn more about the person behind the company and what goes into his products.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into making things for fly anglers?
I come from a design background, for the last 14 years I’ve been working as a lighting designer for theatre and dance but I always loved making things even when I was a kid. I was introduced to fly fishing by my father-in-law 5 years ago. He showed me how to tie a couple flies and the next day I caught my first brook trout on those flies, needless to say I was now addicted.
From there I started learning more and more about fly fishing, started tying more flies, building my own rods and fly boxes. I started Timber and Fins a year and a half ago with only one product, the Spanish Cedar fly box.
Practical, well designed and eco-friendly are at the core of everything you do. Tell us more about why you chose those principles?
Being eco-friendly as always been something I try to do in my personal life and it only made sense to keep that going with my business. I hate seeing how much plastic is being used in fishing product so I decided I would go the opposite route and try to make products with natural materials. By doing that I also discovered new materials like Amadou, which is a felt made from a mushroom called fomes fomentarius. I wanted to make things that are nice to look at but that people will actually use.
Can you tell us a bit more about your inspiration, design, and build process?
I love everything that is vintage so I do a lot of research on old fly fishing gear. That’s usually where I get my inspiration from. I do a lot of doodles and drawings, once my idea is clear I draw it to scale on my computer and tweak it from there. It’s really hard for me to say a design is finished but I like to share them with a few key people to get their opinion before I make the final decisions.
What’s been the best part about starting and running Timber & Fins? Most challenging?
The best part has definitely been the fly fishing community, I’ve been really lucky to meet people who have been instrumental to me starting Timber and Fins. People have been very generous. I think that the first couple years of starting any business is always challenging, lots of things to learn and adjust but it’s also very fulfilling to be building something from scratch and see it grow.
What’s next for Timber & Fins? Any new products / collaborations on the horizon?
I started making some leather products, we now have fly wallets as well as reel cases. I will also start making more fishing nets, I’m hoping to soon have 3 different size. There are a few ideas and collaborations in the works but I’m going to have to keep those a secret for now!
Do you have a dream product / collaboration?
There is one product I sometimes fantasize about making, a wood canoe!
How to buy?
The Cedar Fly Box is available here on Timber & Fins for $79.99 CAD (~$60 USD).