Lefty Kreh Leaves Us With a Vast Inheritance – We Stand on His Shoulders

| March 15, 2018 | 1 Comment

We Stand on Lefty Kreh’s Shoulders.

The news trickled in to me as I was working on some springtime fly projects. Bernard Victor Kreh, our hero, our Ted Williams, our Michael Jordan … gone from us at 93-years-old.

At first I thought I would not have anything to say, and in fact, I had to put this machine away and sleep on the news.

Every time I was around Lefty I could count on at least two things, 1) he was an old-school nice guy, always a gentleman and aware of the value and power of his words (and jokes), and, 2) he was going to flirt with my wife, and everyone else’s wife or girlfriend. I am old enough now to say confidently – he just had a way about him.

I’ve lost count of the number of books he has authored, or coauthored – enough to fill one of our shelves in our fly tying nooks. And then there are the videos and TV appearances, the latter of which showed just how many famous people believed Lefty was THE MAN when it came to someone to be seen fly fishing with anywhere in the world. The videos were capped off, at the right time and the right way with “The Complete Cast,” a coda on the revolutionary casting techniques he developed, and I call the “Kreh Cast.” That video — similar in presentation in part, to a suggestion I made to a friend at the company that produced that video — relied heavily on the participation of Lefty’s from his friend Ed Jaworowski. Thank God everyone involved with that project saw it thought to the finish.

I was lucky enough to be on the set and do a tiny bit of that recording, and during a break in the processes, I took the stage to show Lefty how bad I was, and find the problem I was having. He immediately saw the problem (causing severe elbow pain) and fixed me – permanently. That was a great visit. He also shared information with me about a camera I had that he also used – and we both had the same problems with – which he had found a work-around that solved the problem. We talked cameras, photography techniques (ask me about his flash technique for photographing fish), his time at KODAK … it was just a rolling conversation.


Some things stick in my mind when it comes to the rich, vast history of Lefty Kreh, and they’re not fly fishing related. Lefty was nineteen when he fought at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 – January 1945, and still had the sting of frostbite on occasion. Try and imagine your nineteen-year-old in that battle. Lefty’s blood (blood-DNA) is stored by the US Government because he was exposed to anthrax, and as we see, it had no lasting effects on him.

His ultimate gift to fly fishing – his casting techniques – is a scientific breakdown and rebuilding of the old tenants of fly rod casting. It caused a huge amount of controversy, and it created divisions in the tweed-wearing community. The new techniques were the breaking down of the wall of exclusivity and elitist secrecy that had gripped the fly fishing community forever. Lefty did nothing less than bring fly fishing to the masses by simplifying, refining and methodically breaking down the new cast into more attainable techniques based on an individual’s abilities. I think Lefty saw that the old-school-clock casting methods were not matched to the modern fly rod. His techniques were matched to modern fly rod building, like the company Temple Fork Outfitters was building and bringing to the masses – creating a whole new market and attitude toward lower-end fly rod manufacturing. It was a match made in heaven – a cast for the masses and a rod for the masses. It worked.

Lefty Kreh on Set The Complete Cast

That’s where I crossed through Lefty’s orbit – learning his cast about ten years ago, and turning a small flame of obsessive-frustration into a raging fire. Once I figured out what he was selling, I bought in and the “Kreh Cast” rescued my attitude. The “Kreh Cast” allowed me to get good enough that I no longer had to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about casting: A gift that keeps on giving.

The very next cast you make, say out loud, “This one’s for you Lefty Kreh.” I find that fitting, don’t you?

Years ago, when my working situation was much different, I made a pact with a ( no longer) friend to attend Lefty’s funereal. I figured I’d just be one among thousands, jets overhead, lying in state at the US Capital … you know, a funereal recognized by the entire country. But, I don’t know what the family’s reality will be, and I am pretty sure the government won’t be doing any fly-overs. That’s too bad, and the fact I find myself unable to attend (if allowed) is a pretty painful ding in my cork.

Now, we say farewell to another of the Greatest Generation. His contributions to our sport – the greatest, sacrifices for our Country, his living and thriving through the most fantastic era in the US economy — never to be duplicated or repeated. Thank you Bernard Victor Kreh. (02/26/1925 – 03/14/2018).


| March 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fly Fishing Not Impacted by Time Change

You guessed it! I am running behind, on the face of the clock at least, because of that wonderful time change – and it is truly WONDERFUL!

Not only does it smell, feel and taste like spring … it’s beginning to look like spring. I walked through a flock of crane flies Saturday morning, on my way to where no one would want to go, but there they were the cranes are here! Then Saturday night brought the time change, Sunday brought some dastardly winds – clocked at up to 45-miles-per-hour around here, and a sharp cool down last night and this morning. Thankfully, the cool is getting burned away by the giant star we revolve around, and our excitement builds.

Texas Fly Fishing YouTube


For those of you who have either used my fly fishing guide service, or to the paid content on this site (now defunct), you are automatically privy to the MICRO DETAILS on HOTSPOTS I find while doing my story research. Be sure to contact me if you want to subscribe to the Texas Fly Caster YouTube Insider Report, and we can make that happen. I estimate there to be about thirty of these supplemental subscriber videos a year, and they will certainly save you a dollar’s-worth of time and effort. These reports contain the information NOBODY wants anyone to share.

Needless to say, it is time to book your trip with me, and contact me for lessons if you are new to the fly fishing world. I have already had a number of contacts, and I appreciate that! You are the motivation for all these reports and show-and-tell videos.

We have to leave this Monday Morning Sidewalk at that, as I have an epic anniversary today, and attention must be undivided.


Texas Fly Fishing Report 030918 – Spring Has Sprung as Dams Draw Down

| March 9, 2018 | 0 Comments



The Texas Fly Fishing Report is back from the winter break, rightfully so and ready to go! We have plenty of fishing, fly fishing action, to report today. The report’s home base is in North Texas, so in such a large state conditions will vary wildly.

What we are experiencing in this part of Texas is a fantastic pattern for fly fishers that starts below a lot of the lake dams. Numerous lakes are beyond conservation pool as this report goes out, and authorities are releasing water to bring those lake levels down. I have documented those releases, and the fish caught during those releases, over several years (beginning in 2010).

This phenomenon never happened during the drought years (about 4 years) as you may recall, and I expected us to continue along the downward drought spiral going into the Texas fishing season in 2018. But we have had surprisingly good slow rains that have saturated the ground, pushed back the drought map (away from North Texas), filled the lakes and now come the lake releases in advance of the real rain during the “rainy months.”

Right now, the fly fishing is absolutely fantastic on these releases – for the most part. All we have to do is find a releases, like the one at Ray Roberts Dam, and go throw a few good tight loops. Sure, these places (especially the Ray Roberts Dam) are overrun with conventional fishermen who finally found their pot of gold, and you will see them there day-after-day, in the same spot, slaughtering fish day-after-day. And they leave behind a mountain of trash and submerged lines in the water to tangle and lose flies on, but if you can handle the crowds and the carnage? Well, like you see in the video; these releases can be one big box of chocolates. The big bass are coming in, the sand bass are up and full-on running, and if you sprinkle in some hybrid action … what’s so hard about that?


You will want a 7 or 8 weight rod to be able to fight these fish in huge current, and be able to turn them toward you.

I like a reel I can count on – with good drag and a big enough spool to manage line to ALWAYS go to reel. Going to the reel is very important in these situations, and that is because line gets caught on everything in riprap fly fishing – rocks, fences, bushes and everything else we find in these dirty situations.

I am using a fluorocarbon leader with either an 8 or 10 pound tip – remember you can control depth by what your tip is – bigger is shallower.

Year after year, the red over white Clouser catches these fish. But your hook needs to be something extreme, like a Tiemco 600SP, or a circle hook, which I have gone to to allow fish to hook themselves on a slack drift. The circle hooks are great, and do exactly what they are designed to do – and cost a fraction of what super-sharp normal hooks cost.

Where I am fishing, the fish are in very tight bunches, so you will have to search and fan cast until you find them. Once you find them, don’t go looking elsewhere – keep going back to the spot you found. The spot you see in the video, for example, was about 10 feet across!

Spring Fly Fishing Sounds Abound – All Aboard the Sound Train

| March 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

What is Fly Fishing Music?

It’s way past time for one of those famous Texas Fly Caster Musical Interludes! Just like the buzz I get from spring fly fishing, music seems to piggyback the excitement – like a freshman on South Padre spring break. This spring (GOD let it be spring NOW please) I am more loaded for musical bear than ever in the past.


Okay, that was a sensational headline, but I finally got everything lined up on the skiff at the END of last season – for music on-board. There’s video of the cutting of holes into a perfectly good boat, and there’s the running of the marine grade speaker wire (correct gauge for Ohm needs), and now all that is left is to mount the head unit and wire it up.

I really don’t know why any technical poling skiff owner would roll silent. I mean, just being on the skiff and moving is beyond joyous and a custom sound track to go with? Icing on the proverbial cake, in my book. Of course, the most difficult part of the install is what’s left to go, and that’s why it seemed like a good stopping point when the season closed me out last year. Continue Reading

No Fake Fly News Here – It’s Just Monday Morning After All

| March 5, 2018 | 0 Comments


Dropping this little post on my way out the door to see if the H-Bombs have arrived at the Dam yet. I should be able to tell from a long way off – by the crowds lined up elbow-to-elbow. Those same crowds have really, I MEAN REALLY trashed the place over the last few runs. Fishing line, hooks, sinkers, and an assortment of trash has followed these new guys to the old location I’ve been hitting for about ten years now, and the “get off my lawn” attitude is right on my surface. Can you see it? You’d be hacked too – if you were getting tripped by braid fishing line running all over the riprap, and snagging your fly out where it used to be “clean.”

Just in case you don’t know where the title “Monday Morning Sidewalk” comes from, it’s from the classic “Sunday Morning Sidewalk” as sung by Kris Kristofferson. Take a listen sometime, and you will GET what Monday is really all about.


The weekend brought some weather that can only be described as “early spring,” and early spring means one thing – IT’S TIME TO GET READY – if you are a fly fishing Texan. I have been hunkering down, tying flies, and trying to find those little windows in the weather that promise a day’s sanity in an otherwise insane world and life. So far, the days have not cooperated with me, and the time to tie flies seems to intrude on what little time I have.

When it comes to sampling the action at the Dam (hybrids and sand bass), remember our selection of Clousers leans toward three weights and red-over-white as a primary color choice. I am loading up, so make sure you keep your eyes on the Instagram feed – no fake liking please!

Have a great week ahead. I will be going into depth on North Texas fly fishing conditions this week – regardless of weather. So stay tuned.

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