When Charlie Smith (better known as Crazy Charlie) created the Nasty Charlie (later dubbed the Crazy Charlie), he had no idea what he was onto.
While the original Crazy Charlie might appear to be nothing more than a few chicken feathers bound to a hook weighted with dumbbell eyes, this fly literally changed bonefishing.
Maybe not every single bonefish fly in existence has traces of Charlie Smith’s handiwork in it, but the argument can certainly be made that most do.
After meeting him and examining the Crazy Charlie he tied for me, I found myself admiring its imperfections and determined it was a compelling representation of Charlie himself. Simple, rough around the edges and modestly legendary.
Visiting Smith at the dilapidated but nonetheless renowned Bang Bang Club was a true honor. His hands were as weathered as the Crocs he wore on his feet.
It’s always refreshing to meet an icon who never set out to be one. Smith’s a simple man who lives a simple life.