About Charlie Craven

Highly opinionated, brash and devilishly handsome.

Pheasant Tail

The Pheasant Tail is the quintessential mayfly nymph pattern. The dark brown color and slender profile create a highly realistic mayfly imitation. Although it can be tied in larger sizes, I prefer this fly in sizes 16 through 24 because smaller sized Pheasant Tails match blue wing olive and pale morning dun nymphs. For bigger mayflies, I lean

By |2021-10-08T14:49:08-06:00October 8th, 2021|Fly Tying Videos, Nymphs|0 Comments


What the pigsticker lacks in beauty it makes up for with its incredible effectiveness. While it seems simple to tie, a few details like keeping your thread flattened and smooth and proper placement of the lead wraps are important considerations. Everyone I know likes to make fun of this fly, yet the Pigsticker really is one of my

By |2021-10-08T14:47:07-06:00October 8th, 2021|Fly Tying Videos, Nymphs|0 Comments

Poison Tung

The Poison Tung Midge was conceived one winter after reading about the power the color blue has over unsuspecting trout. I tried a variety of different patterns, with varying amounts of blue and found that a simple rib was just enough. I think this fly is best represented by the sum of its parts. The gray Ice Dub head

By |2021-10-09T11:31:12-06:00October 8th, 2021|Fly Tying Videos, Nymphs|0 Comments


When I guided on the South Platte River it seemed that at least one of my clients always had an RS2 on, and I would bet that half of the fish my clients caught were victims of this fly. Confidence in a pattern can make all the difference, and I have a lot of confidence in the RS2.

By |2021-10-08T14:40:30-06:00October 8th, 2021|Emergers, Fly Tying Videos, Nymphs|0 Comments

Screaming Banshee

This is a fun little pattern I came up with last summer designed as a skating caddis pattern. Modeled after some old time steelhead skater patterns, the Banshee features a forward facing planing wing that allows the fly to skate and skitter unlike anything else you’ve seen. While it does indeed skate wonderfully, the wide profile and surface area

By |2021-10-09T11:25:11-06:00October 8th, 2021|Dry Flies, Fly Tying Videos|0 Comments


I call this pattern the Plain Old Scud, because there is really nothing fancy about it. Of course you can tie it in a flashback version by adding a strip of pearl sheeting to the back in place of the Swiss Straw I will use here, and I suppose you could even add a bead if you wanted,

By |2021-10-08T15:10:19-06:00October 8th, 2021|Fly Tying Videos, Nymphs, Stillwater|0 Comments


The X-Caddis comes from Yellowstone fishing guru Craig Matthews. Craig is the guy who brought us the Sparkle Dun and a host of other effective patterns, trademarked by their simplicity. The X-Caddis is no exception, and can be whipped out by the dozens! I like the X-Caddis in smaller sizes, from 18-24, although it certainly holds its own

By |2021-10-08T17:42:32-06:00October 6th, 2021|Dry Flies, Fly Tying Videos|0 Comments

Beginning Fly Tying Class

Finally, we are able to start up our famous Charlie Craven Basic Fly Tying Classes again!  This class will be on Tuesday nights from 6:30 until 9:30 here at the shop.  The classes run six consecutive Tuesday nights and the cost is $300.  Once signed up, students receive a 10% discount on tying tools and materials as well. 

By |2021-10-08T17:45:32-06:00September 16th, 2021|Announcements|0 Comments

CFB’s New Location Update!

Good news!  With our freshly arrived and long awaited building permit in hand, we anticipate re-opening the shop mid- to late- next week (December 18-20) if all goes according to plan.  We'll have a soft opening then and we're planning our belated 15th Anniversary Party and Grand Re-Opening Party for Saturday, January 11th.  We can't thank you enough for your

By |2021-10-06T19:36:58-06:00December 12th, 2019|Announcements|0 Comments

Mounting Hair Wings

Working with a good piece of deer or elk hair is one of my favorite simple pleasures. A great piece of hair inspires me with the potential for beautiful flies, clean upright or down wings and wonderful floatability, but many tyers dread the very thought and are cursed to fish flies tied only with cut-to-length synthetics that just aren’t

By |2021-10-25T10:48:36-06:00January 30th, 2019|Fly Tying Articles|0 Comments

The Care and Feeding of Marabou

Charlie Craven July 2015 Fly Fisherman Magazine It is often assumed that I, as a fly shop owner and all around big shot fly tyer guy, get preferential treatment by suppliers and receive only the highest grade materials for my personal use, but the reality of the situation is, in most instances, I buy my materials straight off

By |2021-10-25T10:48:32-06:00January 30th, 2019|Fly Tying Articles|0 Comments

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