Most fishermen along Colorado's Front Range know or have heard about Charlie Craven and his passion for fly fishing and fly tying. Since he excels at both, it's hard to determine which is better. His talent for tying started at eight and he turned pro by age twelve. He claims to tie every day and the flow of beautiful flies attests to his polished skill and creative talent.
Charlie's been a pro tier, guide, shop manager, and fly shop owner. Despite these demands he spends many hours developing unique patterns used not only in the Western States but anywhere you care to travel.
Charlie is on a continuous quest for better patterns, techniques and materials.
"I am always my own worst critic and find that I am forever looking for a better way of doing things. I have learned that you can't be satisfied with a fly that looks good in the box; it has to fish well too. So many patterns these days are beautiful to look at but haven't been water tested. A truly great pattern has to catch fish, be reasonably durable, and solve a problem. That is, achieve through the tying design or process, a result that was previously unavailable. My own Charlie Boy Hopper is a great example of successful design. The one-piece foam body provides superior flotation and durability while creating a realistic profile. The rubber legs provide fish attracting action, and the deer hair over wing makes the fly highly visible to the angler. The problem this fly solves is its ease of tying. Again, it all seems like such an obvious way of doing it once you see it, but I assure you, it took quite a while to figure out. I hope that other anglers/tyers can appreciate the effort I've put into my patterns and hope that they can get half as much fun out of fishing them as I have out of developing them."
Many of Charlie's flies are commercially available through Umpqua Feather Merchants.