Master Angler: Craig Allen
Craig grew up in central Indiana and was fortunate enough to have a father that took the time to teach him how to fish.
After graduation from high school and earning his B.S. Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University he worked in the Agricultural Chemicals business. He has served the Boy Scouts of America as a leader and Scout Master and was a High school and N.C.A.A. Basketball Official for many years. Craig feels the breakdown of the family is the main reason for many of the problems our society faces today. Fishing’s Future is an avenue for him to help families learn more about fishing the great outdoors and all of GOD’s creation, and to be the difference maker in a child’s life.
He grew up fishing conventional tackle but for the last 30 or so years, most of his time was spent with a fly rod. “Most people think that fly-fishing is difficult. This is far from the truth. It does require some practice, but once the skills are mastered you don’t even have to think about it.”
Craig has caught 71 different species of fish and 46 of them came on a fly rod including an I.G.F.A. World Record back in 1987. His personal best catch is a 46 inch Northern Pike caught on a fly rod at Lac La Marte Lodge, North West Territory. Another accomplishment on that same trip was landing the first Lake Trout ever taken on a fly rod from that body of water. “There are opportunities to fly-fish no matter where you live whether it is for Bone Fish on the flats or Creek Chubs in the creek down the road.”
Over the past several years Craig has taught several people how to fly-fish and to tie flies. Craig states that “fly-fishing is addictive. There is more to it than just casting it out and reeling it in. It is an art in itself and there are many times when it is the most effective and fun way to catch fish”. He has had many opportunities to teach people how to fly-fish because often when he would go fly-fishing, others would slowly congregate around him thinking that he had found the secret spot. However, they would soon begin to realize that it was not the “Secret-Honey-Hole” but rather fly-fishing and the techniques along with the flies he had tied that made him so successful. One such event was below a small dam in Faribault, MN when he caught 21 Walleyes in 21 casts and nobody else was doing well. The fishermen that were there who thought he was nuts to begin with gathered around and suddenly became very interested in fly-fishing. “It’s very gratifying when you teach someone how to fly-fish and see them catch their first fish on a fly rod” he says.
Craig has lived in Indiana, New Jersey and Minnesota where he has had the opportunity to fish in countless streams, lakes and ponds found within. Craig’s passion that was started with his father has been passed on to his children. He currently lives in Southeast Illinois with his lovely wife Inger, and their three children, Hunter, Brody and Madison and 24 chickens, a beagle and 30 Bobwhite Quail. When the leaves turn in the fall you can find Craig pursuing Whitetail Deer with traditional archery equipment. Craig says “it’s never time to put the fly rods away, as long as there is open water”.