Charlie Craven from Charlie’s Fly Box breaks down a new perspective on tying flies for a living and a lifetime.  He describes what it takes to make an original pattern and what it means to become a signature fly tyer.

We also here about his fly tying class and the book he wrote that many consider the ultimate guide for beginner fly tyers.  Find out which is the number 1 selling pattern in the box an what he always has handy heading out on the river.


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Show Notes with Charlie Craven

06:10 – Rocky Mountain Anglers was one of the main fly shops that helped Charlie understand the process of running a fly shop.

07:20 – I noted the Bruce Chard episode and the hotspot that Denver Colorado is in North America.

09:20 – Charlie is a signature tyer with Umpqua.  Charlie clarifies how the royalties work in the business.

10:00 – Rainey Riding was on the podcast in episode 114 and talked about patents and trademarking.

10:40 – Craven’s Two Bit Hooker is a trademarked fly pattern.

17:20 – We talk about the RS2 pattern and how little material is needed for a small fly.

19:50 – The Dyna King Pro vice is the same vice that he has used for over 20 years.

20:20 – I noted the Pat Cohen episode from RU Superly.  

23:50 – Tiemco is Charlie’s favorite hook and the 100SP-BL is the hook he uses for a brassie.

26:45 – Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying Book is a killer resource.

30:45 – The parachute adams is their number 1 seller.

parachute adams
photo via:



34:20 – We talked about the Humpy and how it was the first and favorite pattern for Charlie.  He wouldn’t go fish without a humpy.  Here’s a video for the humpy.

37:14 – The missing link comes up again.  This is one of Mike Mercer’s great pattern.  You can listen to the podcast with Mike Mercer here.

39:20 – We talk about the Mole Fly and new versions that are out there now.

43:10 – The new cdc multi clamp tool that has been going like hotcakes at the fly shop.

49:10 – Nature’s Spirit has the best deer hair.  Hareline, Wapsi and other big suppliers are where Charlie gets most of his tying products.

51:20 – Here’s the Kelly Galloup Podcast where we talked about the porn name flies including the Two Bit Hooker.

53:30 – The Morning Wood Special is another great name for a fly.

morningwood special

57:05 – We talk about the Norm Woods Special who was a longtime guide on the Deschutes.

57:40 – Jack Dennis and Jack’s book were influences for Charlie.  Here’s a quick Jack Dennis video.

I talked with one of my biggest influences, Gene Shropshire in episode 165.  Gene was the person who showed me how to tie a good dry fly as well as the guitar!

1:04:50 – Nikon D70 and a 40 mm macro lens are the gear Charlie uses to put together his great pics on Instagram.

1:08:05 – Keep an eye out for the Tying Streamers: Essential Flies and Techniques for the Top Patterns which has been the big project for Charlie.


You can find Charlie at Charlie’s Fly Box Inc.



Top 10 Fly Tying Tips

  1. Make every wrap count and see how little dubbing you can get away with on a fly.
  2. If you are into fly fishing then buy the best vice you can at the start.
  3. Vice, Scissors, Bobbin and Whip finisher are basic tools
  4. If spinning hair, use a much bigger clump of hair than you think.
  5. use 1/2 the dubbing you think is needed.
  6. Make every wrap count – no extra wraps
  7. Wrap tight so the hook begins to bend
  8. Don’t leave without a humpy or parachute adams
  9. For the humpy – Build the wings first on the pattern.
  10. Use the correct thread for the job



Resources Noted in the Show

Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying Book

basic fly tying book


The Nikon D70

nikon D70


Tying Streamers: Essential Flies and Techniques for the Top Patterns

tying streamers


Videos Noted in the Show

The parachute adam video


The Mole Fly


Podcasts Noted in this Episode

Bruce Chard Podcast:


Mike Mercer Podcast:


Kelly Galloup Podcast:



charlie craven fly fishing
photo via:

Conclusion with Charlie Craven

Charlie Craven breaks out some killer fly tying tips with a focus on those getting started.  Find out how he chooses good materials and how to know what junk deer hair looks like.  Charlie’s been doing this for a long time so hope you enjoy the resource if you are new to it all.