Who Was Lefty Kreh

| September 24, 2023

Sunday Chat GPT has the Short Answer

Lefty Kreh, whose full name was Bernard Victor Kreh, was a legendary American fly fisherman, writer, and casting instructor. He was born on February 26, 1925, in Frederick, Maryland, and passed away on March 14, 2018. Lefty Kreh is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the world of fly fishing.

Lefty Kreh on Set The Complete Cast
Hands on. Lefty shows me what my problem will be – medically – unless I fix a flaw in my casting stroke. I did, and it (tendonitis) has never flared-up again.

Kreh’s contributions to the sport of fly fishing were extensive. He was a prolific writer, authoring numerous books and articles on the subject, which helped educate and inspire countless fly anglers. He also made significant advancements in fly casting techniques and was known for his exceptional casting ability. Kreh was a skilled fly tier as well, creating many popular fly patterns that are still used by fly fishermen today.

Throughout his life, Lefty Kreh traveled the world, fly fishing in various locations and sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. He played a pivotal role in popularizing catch-and-release fishing, conservation efforts, and ethical angling practices.

Lefty Kreh’s impact on the fly fishing community was profound, and he left a lasting legacy as a teacher, writer, and ambassador of the sport. His contributions continue to influence and inspire fly anglers around the world.


A sizable number of young people came to the sport of fly fishing during the pandemic, almost as sizable as the explosion from “A River Runs Through It” gave the sport in the early 90’s. Through those explosive growth spurts in fly fishing, two now in my lifetime, so many new faces arrive that have no clue of the legends that were among us, and pay little heed to what those legends left behind. It’s all go go go and post post post on Instagram. That’s all fine and good, but it does my heart good to recall the greatness that is Lefty Kreh, and I hope, deal a little dose of history to the newcomers. We cast, and stand on their shoulders.

There is still a long way to go if you are a disciple of what I dubbed, “The Kreh Cast,” which would probably make the Lefty I spent a handful of hours with, shudder to hear. Just like all of us, Lefty had an ego, but he also had frostbite from the Battle of the Bulge. He casted with his right, and I once heard him say, “My wife and I were flipping our mattress, and messed I up the left,” so he switched to right. I don’t know if he was ever really a lefty, but I bet someone out there knows how he got that nickname. If anyone has a photo of him casting with his left? I would love to see it!

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Category: Adventure

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https://www.shannondrawe.com 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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