MidCurrent gear editor Tim Romano interviews Charlie Craven, fly shop owner, guide, author and tying guru.
Charlie’s two books, Charlie’s Fly Box and Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying, are among the best-selling tying titles on the market. He started out as a commercial fly tier at 12 years old and now has several highly popular commercially tied patterns to his name, including the Jujubee Midge, Charlie Boy Hopper, and the Ragin’ Craven. He has for many years owned his own fly shop, Charlie’s Fly Box, in Old Town Arvada, Colorado.
Charlie is quite simply one of the most accomplished tiers we know. In this lengthy and informative interview he shares his thoughts on tying for newbies, what tying tools he’d take to the grave, and state of tying materials and techniques.
Romano: “For myself, I’m a pretty horrible tier and am a person that pretty much buys all of his flies and knows all of about five patterns. I was hoping you could help me with a couple of things. First off, for someone who is just getting started in fly tying, can you recommend two or three patterns that won’t frustrate them yet give them a foundation to build on?”
Craven: “I typically start beginning tiers with simple thread-based kind of stuff. Brassies and Black Beauties are a great way to start. I’ve taught classes for years and that’s always where I’ve started. It’s simple stuff, but it’s something that you can master relatively quickly so that you get some degree of success right off the bat. And especially around here it is stuff that you can definitely use. The Black Beauty is such a simple fly, you can tie 10 or 12 patterns with different colors just based on that.”
Direct Download: Interview with Charlie Craven