My Life Was This Big – Lefty Kreh

| January 6, 2009

Fly Fishing Legend Lefty Kreh

Having met Lefty Kreh twice, it’s an undeniable truth that he is [ppw id=”133611884″ description=”Lefty Kreh” price=”.10″]

one of the most enduring, charming and controversial characters to ever wet a fly line. Lefty’s got stones, and he leaves none unturned in “My Life Was This Big”, his new autobiography documenting a life in fishing. From his early childhood in the “ghetto”, to today’s bass tournament spectacles; nothing is sacred.

We all know, at 83-ish, Lefty is closer to the end than the beginning, and an autobiography seems like the thing to do at this point in his life. Forget the fact he had a War And Peace sized book Casting With Lefty Kreh appearing on bookshelves at nearly the same time, and forget the fact these books follow on the heels of a beautiful book All The Best – Flip Pallot & Lefty Kreh released in 2007. You get the picture; Lefty isn’t slowing down, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance fueled by urgency – a need to wrap up loose ends, to perhaps set everything perfectly straight. If you have been around Lefty at casting appearances, or whatever, you have probably been fortunate enough to hear some of these stories before, but it is nice to have a beginning-to-end thread of a life that certainly fits the definition of the “American Dream”.

“My Life Was This Big” doesn’t disappoint, and for someone like myself, it fills in some blanks and reminds me of things he’s said in person. It is very much a dictational piece – this happened, that happened and so on, but it does shed some light on the things that have bothered Lefty over the years. When it comes to casting technique, there is absolutely no doubt Lefty’s technique has generated volumes of controversy. He takes on all comers, and dishes out some as well, saying that traditionalists (the 10-2 crowd) have hurt the sport and are essentially slaves to the past. All I can say is, Lefty’s technique changed everything – everything – for me. And if I were ever qualified to teach casting, you can bet his is the technique I would teach someone starting out in fly casting. Meeting Lefty, and seeing his casting techniques (thanks to the guys at Tailwaters Dallas) was a “life changer” for a nouveau caster like myself. It’s pretty obvious Lefty considers this, his casting philosophy, the most important thing he’s done for the history of fly fishing. It will be interesting to see who picks up his mantle to continue his quest to revolutionize fly casting. There is room for some young prodigy, with a large personality and passion, to take up Lefty’s casting cause and spend the next – oh say 50 years – guaranteeing the success of his revolution.

History, indeed, will be kind to Lefty Kreh. His life and logical scientific approach to a sport that has had ups, downs, and is currently suffering in commercial terms, will only be understood and fully appreciated once the history books are written in future decades. Unlike so many personalities lurking on fly fishing message boards, Lefty’s creed is to “share knowledge” not “show knowledge”, and to argue, disagree or hate a person’s idea and not the person to whom the idea belongs. No personality this big could be completely Zen … devoid of ego, and a Lefty without ego wouldn’t be Lefty. Read it. It really was such a big life, but with Lefty I always get the feeling there’s more to come. Mark this one “to be continued” … to borrow one of Lefty’s favorite words: It “ain’t” over yet.


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Category: Paid Reading Content, Reviews, Writing

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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