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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.

HISTORY

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).

Texas Fly Fishing Events Piling On Again This Year

| January 16, 2018

Let the good lines roll!

Announcements are flowing like sand through the hourglass now, and as is normal for the Texas Fly crowd, there is another scheduling overlap again this year. Now that they’ve shot themselves in THE OTHER foot, I can’t help but wonder how it is these things happen?

In the first place, the general events (non-trout related) occur at what is typically, and selfishly slow time of the fly fishing year – a slack tide of slow if you know what I mean? People around here may be talking fly, but they certainly aren’t throwing fly.

Here’s what I have so far, and if I miss your event, be sure to holler in my face as soon as possible. I am always glad to share information about this sport you live and love, and if you are so bold and focused as to want to ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT here, we can talk about that as well.

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE

The first event on the 2018 fly fishing calendar is right around the proverbial corner. Whoever comes up with a descriptive name that isn’t “fest.” or “festival” gets a prize! First, we retired “Conclave,” and now we work to retire “festival,” and the word “ambassador” from all fly lexicon forever and ever amen.

Texas Fly Fishing Expo

Based on the dead website http://txflyfishexpo.com/ – it appears that event is now dead in the water. So long. We hardly knew ya’.

TroutFest 2018

February 16-18, 2018

http://www.grtu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/GRTU_SDE_2018.pdf

Sometimes a “sleeper” event – one loaded with great stuff and great information. That speaker list looks a little worn thin, except for Chris Wood, who I have traveled with in the past. His perspective, and speaking ability, and knowledge make for a good lecture.

Texas Freshwater Fisheries – Fly Fish Texas

https://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/visit/specialevents/flyfishtx/

February 24, 2018

This event was hurting for attendance and vendors last year – in my humble opinion. And without any kind of celebrity of note to draw crowds, it may be a little of an underdog this year as well. The February 24 date is questionable as well – with the winter we are having right now.

NOTE: Unfortunately, this event uses synthetic trout as their main attraction – setting up kids to fish for these little fish, and not really pairing up adults with walk-in kids to get their hands on fly rods. A lot more catching and hooking of kids would be accomplished with sunfish as the attraction, instead of those poor seasonal trout. This event feels like it is about ready for an overhaul.

Trinity River Water District – Flyfest 2018

March 10, 2018

http://trwdflyfest.com/

Along the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas.

This event has size and gearth to it. The location is eye-opening, and if you are local to North Texas, you are sure to run into someone you know.

Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Expo

March 10-11, 2018

http://txflyfishingfestival.org/

This event a couple of heavy hitters, and it costs heavy as well. I like that. I think in the microbrewery rich region of North Texas, they attracted three different beer makers last year. Pretty pathetic. But then, micro brews are so 2013 anyway, aren’t they? There are some speakers of note this year, and although I have never fished with any of them (you know who you are), I bet we can learn a little something new from some of these folks.

When it comes to talking, I would have expected to hear from Stephen Woodcock out of Fort Worth, but obviously he’s tied up at the TRWD Flyfest going on at the same time in Fort Worth.

NOTE: This goes on over two days, so you can do both this one and the Forth Worth event while you are not hanging out in Denton. You can bet the locals won’t be promoting ANYTHING local to local fly fishers.

Ladyfish 2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Festival

March 24, 2018

http://livingwatersflyfishing.com/ladyfish/

Round Rock Texas

Sponsored by City of Round Rock, and Living Waters Fly Fishing in Round Rock, Texas. This is the first ever of this particular event, and guess what? it’s calling itself a “festival” too.

It looks like your best contact is Living Waters Fly Fishing.


LATER THIS WEEK, I will publish the current rundown of fly fishing tournaments. It is always a short list, and with my working weekends, I won’t be the backbone of any Lake Ray Ray Roberts tournament anytime soon. Maybe in my next decade, I will have that freedom once again.

Or maybe I will just start an event called “Festival! Festival!” and retire now!

 

Fly Rod Choice For North Texas Carp and Largemouth Bass

| June 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

My Choices for boat rods fly fishing for carp and bass North Texas

Opinions on fly rods are, like opinions in general; you know … everybody has one. The reality is the best rod for you is the one that best matches your cast. If you cast enough, I mean a WHOLE LOT, the rod matters a lot less than the ability to change rods – from a mountain 2 weight to a saltwater 12 weight. If your cast is locked and loaded, you could do both rods (and anything in between) in the same day – and the action of the rod is inconsequential.

I am on the water Tuesday morning, so enjoy this and I will get the continuation of this video out (the 360 Nikon maybe) later this week. I apparently had two cameras going (double live GONZO!), and may just run both for your comparisons sake. This Nikon 360 software is nothing short of a nightmare!

Monday Morning Sidewalk – Spring in our Steps

| April 24, 2017 | 1 Comment

COMING SOON – New Monthly Casting Call at the Fly Bar and Grill

fly fishing crappie

Good morning and welcome to the tried and true Monday Morning Sidewalk! As this weather hits peak season, so do all our outdoor activities. One thing I think is highly valuable, if you are into  the outdoors, and IN OR PASSING THROUGH Texas is a State Parks Pass. I use mine all the time, and it isn’t unusual to be parked at a fly fishing spot that is HOT, and also covered by my pass. Feel Free to Think (FF2T) – it’s going to save you a lot of money over the year you have it.

There’s a lot going on this week that isn’t related to fly fishing, but is related to a birthday ending in zero, in a few days. Not mine of course! My zero day is still five years away, and the jury is still in deliberation as to whether I will even live that long, but for the record what a great double-nickel I have had thus far.

Away with the personal shite, we have fly fishing to attend to! Last weekend was a rollercoaster of weather, but with the rain came open flood gates, and you know that means hybrid bass and sand bass action in those spots. The temperatures have played some havoc with the flats, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing some intrepid videos on your favorite discussion boards (of carp on flats) this week. It’s that time again.

CASTING CALL

I was talking to a confidant, and fisher – fly fisher over the weekend, and he has inspired me to create a new monthly event here in my own back yard. It is intended for people who book carp trips with me, but may not be ready, or even aware of what it takes in the category of CASTING A FLY ROD – to present to carp from a skiff.

I have had enough clients on the skiff now, to realize that some are good casters, some are better casters, and some are very good casters. A good caster needs to be better to have a chance at carp, and that is what this monthly FREE event is about. More details coming soon about this MONTHLY CASTING CALL.

The daily schedule is so tight now, that days on the water are limited. This week, for example, Wednesday is the escape day. And I AM LOOKING to escape. If you have any recommendations, feel free to give them up to me now! I did get a pin dropped on a spot last week, and that fly fisher got a free year of subscription reading for the effort.

I am going to have to squeeze in a regular video report, the original Texas Fly Fishing Report, somehow, this week. The salt is just going OFF, and we’ll try and figure out why. There’s no reason to look at where – it’s going off EVERYWHERE.

For those who need to e mail me, and have been getting bounced, I discontinued the [email protected] e mail address a long time ago due to hacking vulnerability. my e mail is [email protected] gmail now. Please save that in your Rolodex. Also for text and talk users you can hit me at 940 three80 040eight — had that number for 25-years now, and is good for photography, website design, guiding, writing, welding, lawn mowing, manure moving …

Thanks for sticking with me, and be safe and happy as we get into full spring mode this week! This year is one for the fly fishing record books so far! Keep me posted, and I’ll do the same.

Fly Fishing’s One and Only Thursday Throwback

| March 2, 2017 | 0 Comments

Welcome to the Fly Fishing Thursday Throwback.

This is a day, if the fish are hiding, that we look back through the archives for past stories of scaly substance. It also throws back videos that may be important to today’s, or this season’s, fly fishing adventures. That is the case for this Throwback.

I encountered a fly fisher last week, during the hybrid bass run nearby (he read about it here), and he was curious about how I was working current as we casted directly across from each other. I had been thinking about doing a new video on how to fly fish for hybrids by swinging on a dead drift, but for now –

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT HOW TO FLY FISH MULTIPLE CURRENTS DURING SPRING CREEK AND RIVER FLOODS.

This video is not exactly like the fly fishing drift technique I was using further upstream the other day, but it does lay the groundwork for a single current dead drift video to come during the next big water release. It is an absolutely deadly technique, but requires a fly fisher to practice doing something he/she may not be used to doing – NOTHING! by just letting the fly drift into the feeding zones.

Thanks for watching. Ask questions, and I’ll see you on the water very soon!