Talking With Lefty
Over the 12 years in the fly fishing biz as a writer, guide and flyshop hack Ive been lucky enough to share time with some absolute legends. A few Ive come to know well as friends, and a few I even knew before they became famous, though that could be a sheer product of luck and age. But for all that I’d never spent any time with Lefty Kreh.
Which, when I count up all the shows and events I’ve done, and the number of friends of Lefty I know _ remembering Lefty has probably taught half the fly fishing world to cast _ had left me feeling somewhat lacking. Spending some time with Lefty, even if its watching one of his classes is something no fly fishing education should be without.
Well courtesy of an invite by Adam and Phil to do a presentation on the White River for the Spring Valley Anglers’ Rod and Gun Club‘s member appreciation day last Saturday, Bec and I got to spend some time with Lefty, and it was a few hours I’ll treasure.
Also along were the well known instructors/writers and photographers Cathy and Barry Beck, a lovely couple Ive know for several years, plus April Vokeywho was our connection to Adam. But giving a presentation in front of Lefty was both nerve-wracking and inspiring. You can’t believe he’s 84. He is as sharp as a tack and is a vaccum for information on fishing and fisheries. We chatted quite a bit about the current state of Norfork, a river he fished a lot with Dave Whitlock, kicked around side-arm casting instruction techniques, and modern rod design.
I also seized upon one gem of knowledge, from Lefty’s class (I wasn’t there for the class but heck how could you not listen) I think a lot of low water fly fishers on the White and Norfork are really going to enjoy on wade fishing trips.
He and Bec got on like a house on fire, talking kids, fishing and a whole bunch of other stuff. Bec can be a little shy at times but Lefty put her at ease. He’s a nice man with great manner with people, and for one whose words are hung upon, he is a true listener, in the way of the best journalists, which if you recall is how Lefty started in the business.
We met a bunch of other great people at the club, it was great to hang out with the Becks who I’m one step closer to getting down to the White, and of course there are always good times with April, Adam, Phil and Dault. But it was extra special with Lefty.