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Charting the long outdoors life of Lefty Kreh

2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 837
Has anyone read this new book? Here is an article from today's paper.

Sunday, October 12, 2008
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Lefty Kreh has caught more fish than most anglers have dreamed about.

One of the world's most famous fly fisherman, he developed the Deceiver-style fly, wrote for most of the major outdoors magazines, served as a senior advisor to Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers, received lifetime achievement awards from the American Sportfishing Association and North American Fly Tackle Trade Association, and in 2003 was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

But Kreh doesn't want to talk about all that. He's happier sharing tips and swapping fish stories with other anglers.

And boy, he's got some doozies.

At 83, Kreh is more prolific than ever, having released four books this year.

"I think all these people think I'm gonna die because of all this stuff coming out at one time," he quipped during a recent phone interview.

"Fishing Knots" (Stackpole) includes "all the knots you'll need for fishing," he said. The book's original pressings sold over 300,000 copies in eight countries, "but it needed a complete revision because of new braided and fluorocarbon lines."

"Casting with Lefty Kreh" (Stackpole) is a mammoth tome of 80,000 words and 1,200 color photographs describing and illustrating more than 25 casts.

"All the Best: Celebrating Lefty Kreh" (Collectors Covey) is a coffeetable chronicle of his life cowritten with outdoors TV personality Flip Pallet.

Kreh's most unusual book, "My Life was This Big: And Other True Fishing Stories" (Skyhorse), is as colorful as a well-used fly box, intermingling memories of individual fish and fishing companions with Kreh's views on everything from race relations to women's lib.

Raised a few hours southeast of Pittsburgh in Frederick, Md., Kreh has fond memories of driving here in his Model A Ford in the 1950s to give indoor shooting and casting exhibitions at Hunt Armory in East Liberty, and to shop at Horne's. Later he led outdoors tours for Wexford's Frontiers International Travel.

Ever the nonconformist, Kreh says most anglers, even the most experienced, have it all wrong when it comes to casting. His approach incorporates four basic principles of physics and, he said, works as well on tiny trout nymphs, bass bugs and big saltwater flies.

"The method 98 percent of the fishermen use ... is the most inefficient method in the world," he said. "It was developed in England many years ago when they were using 14-, 15-, 16-foot rods and horsehair lines that were 10-feet long."

Kreh's method lengthens the duration of the acceleration period of a cast, giving the line more time to increase in speed and bend the rod more, allowing it to store more energy.

"When you stop a rod at 1 or 2 o'clock, you can only accelerate the line to the point where you have to make your cast," he said. "That's enough for a 4- to 6-weight line when you're throwing 30 or 40 feet. But when you go steelhead fishing or bass fishing or saltwater fishing ... if the rod was stopped at maybe 3:30 or 4 o'clock -- almost parallel to the water -- you could triple the length of time you're accelerating the line and store much more energy in the rod."

Kreh remembers a couple of old fishing buddies who really knew their way around a rod. In "My Life," Kreh recounts his days fishing in pre- and post-revolutionary Cuba with Ernest Hemingway and Fidel Castro.

"Hemingway was really a nice guy," said Kreh, "and we really believed Castro would not have gone communist if [the United States] had helped him."

Shortly after the revolution, Kreh fished with the newly installed dictator during a white marlin tournament arranged to promote Cuban sport fishing among American outdoors writers.

"Castro, he was a good fisherman," said Kreh. "He won that tournament. I was on the boat when he caught two [marlins]. He actually caught those fish and he loved fishing."

Posted on: 2008/10/19 17:53
I flyfish because I enjoy it.

Re: Charting the long outdoors life of Lefty Kreh

2008/2/18 10:20
Posts: 26
One of the best ever. However, I won't buy any of his stuff. He is a Spring Ridge charter member. I also won't buy TFO rods b/c they endorse him.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 6:48
Those who have no vices usually have some really annoying virtues!

Re: Charting the long outdoors life of Lefty Kreh

2006/11/20 10:08
Posts: 376
I agree with Just Fish; I have never bought a Kreh book and will not buy anything he promotes. However, he did earn respect by being a soldier in WW II and participating in the Battle of the Bulge. It is a shame he has been sucked into the evil empire's morass.

Posted on: 2008/10/27 11:22

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