After mysteriously losing all of his dad’s lures in a single day, Charlie was gifted a fly tying kit by his parents for his eighth birthday.
He’s tied flies pretty much every day for the forty years since then and has figured out a few things pertaining to fur, feathers, and fish along the way. At this point, it’s becoming well known that he’s opinionated, outspoken and sometimes brash when it comes to flies and techniques but his passion lies in sharing the skills he’s developed.
Over the years, Charlie has been a prolific commercial fly tyer and, for a time, a pretty mediocre fishing guide, due to his insistence on liverwurst and onion lunch sandwiches instead of grilled prawns like all the other sissy guides.
He’s been an Umpqua Feather Merchants Signature Tyer for over 18 years with several fly box mainstays like the Jujubaetis, Two Bit Hooker and Baby Gonga among his over two dozen commercially available patterns.
All this experience finally culminated in 2004 with the opening of his own fly shop, Charlie’s Fly Box
, in Arvada, Colorado, where he is the head bookkeeper, order taker and fry cook in addition to president and CEO.
He’s written three books, Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying, Charlie’s Fly Box and Tying Nymphs with plans for several more when he gets around to them.
After beating Ross Purnell in a prolonged and brutal arm wrestling match, he became the Fly Tyer’s Bench columnist for Flyfisherman Magazine and still maintains this title to this day. He was recently named to that magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Flyfishing, and it is thought that his number 45 ranking was specifically chosen to keep his head from growing any larger.
Charlie lives in the hills of Palmer Lake, Colorado with his lucky, patient and loving wife, Lisa, their two gigantic dogs and somewhere between three and six young adult children. He still likes quiet time, the Parachute Adams, Colorado whiskey and dry-dropper fishing from a boat. His favorite number is five and his favorite color is red and he doesn’t care what yours are.