Lefty Kreh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bernard "Lefty" Kreh is an American fly fisherman, photographer and instructor currently residing in Hunt Valley, Maryland.[1] Lefty is most known for being one of the pioneers of Saltwater Fly fishing[2] and his book, "Fly Fishing in Salt Water," is considered the seminal volume on the subject.

His wife Evelyn Kreh,[3] died in November 2011. They have two children, Victoria and Larry Kreh. Lefty has four grandchildren, Matthew, Hillary, Larry and Sammantha. Plus five great grandchildren, Alexandria, Allyssa, Emily, Ryan, and William.

Not only does Lefty fly-fish and write about it for work, he is also a known photographer.

Early years[edit]

Lefty was born February 26, 1926 in Frederick, Maryland. His parents were Theodore Christian Kreh, "Whitey", who died when Lefty 8 was years old. His mother was Helen Purdy Kreh. Lefty began fly-fishing in 1947 while serving as a guide for the famous fly fisherman Joe Brooks.[4] In 1965 he moved to Miami, Florida and began to fish for salt water species in the Florida Keys. It was during this time that Lefty Kreh, Joe Brooks, Al Pflueger, Tom McNally, George Hommel, Stu Apte and others pioneered the techniques, deviating from the classic "Ten to Two" casting technique,[5] that modern salt water anglers use to pursue fish with fly fishing gear.


In addition to his fishing accomplishments, Lefty has been an active outdoor writer for more than forty-five years.[6] Lefty has written for most major outdoor magazines. He is the retired outdoor editor of The Baltimore Sun and holds a staff position on several outdoor magazines. Lefty is also an accomplished photographer.[7]

#2 Black, Olive and Yellow Lefty's Deceivers (U.S. quarter in foreground for scale)

Creation of Lefty's Deceiver[edit]

The Lefty's Deceiver is an artificial fly commonly categorized as a streamer fly which is fished under the water's surface. It is a popular and widely used pattern for both predacious freshwater and saltwater game fish. It is generally considered one of the top patterns to have in any fly box.[8] Lefty Kreh invented the Deceiver fly in the late 1950s as a streamer that would be easy to cast in wind and would not "foul" (or wrap around the bend of the hook) a common problem for older streamer patterns.[9] The original Lefty's Deceiver was tied in an all white pattern, but fly tiers have recreated the pattern in a variety of colors. A darker colored top with a lighter bottom (mimicking the various forage fishes that larger fishes feed upon) is the most popular design. The Deceiver is arguably the best known saltwater fly pattern in the world and in 1991 the U.S. Postal Service honored Kreh’s creation with a postage stamp.[10]


In 2010, the first Lefty Kreh Flyfishing Challenge Course was created as the centerpiece of instruction at HomeWaters University, which is located in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania.[11] Lefty designed the course himself, incorporating dry land, still water and moving water into various casting stations. Lefty calls it a “challenge” course, as opposed to a “casting” course, because he included real-world fly-fishing conditions. Scenarios include the need for long casts, short and precise presentations, casting into the wind, casting with no room for a back cast, and dealing with boulders, rapidly moving water, logs and other floating debris.[12]

HomeWaters University opened in June 2010 and offers fly-fishing classes. Its twenty fishing guides take on students of any skill level, beginning to expert, and teach them casting techniques, as well as how to catch a fish. The two-day-long courses are held at the confluence of Spruce Creek and the Little Juniata River.

Other awards[edit]

Lefty received the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the American Sportfishing Association, has been honored with the "Lifetime Contribution Award" by the North American Fly Tackle Trade Association and is also in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was named "Angler of the Year" by Fly Rod and Reel Magazine. In 2003 Lefty Kreh was inducted to the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.[13] Lefty has served a number of years as Senior Advisor to Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Other Appearances[edit]

Video Games: The iPad games Chuckin' Bugs 101 and Olive the Woolly Bugger pay homage to Lefty. One of the main characters, "Lefty Crayfish", is an anthropomorphised crayfish named after the famous fisherman.

Temple Fork Outfitters: Lefty is honored by Temple Fork Outfitters in their fly rods. Temple Fork Outfitters has named six different fly rod series after Lefty, advertising Lefty with Temple Fork Outfitters.[14]

Other writings[edit]

In addition to "Fly Fishing in Salt Water", other submissions by Lefty include:


  • [1] Biography
  • [2] Deceiver stamp
  • [3] Instructional video on tying Leftys Deceiver
  • [4] Q&A With Fly-Fishing Expert Lefty Kreh
  • [5] Q&A with Lefty Kreh
  • [6] Lesson in Timelessness by a Fly-Fishing Master
  • [7] "The Big Catch: Fly-Fishing Guru 'Lefty' Kreh of Maryland is Still Making a Splash" by Dave Jamieson
  • [8] "Lefty Kreh's 5 Principles of Flycasting"
  • [9] Pawley Island and Outdoors
  • [10] "Q&A With Bernard "Lefty" Kreh" by Samantha Carmichael
  • Comar, Catherine (Winter 2013). "The Legacy of Lefty" (PDF). The American Fly Fisher (Manchester, VT: The American Museum of Fly Fishing) 39 (1): 18–19. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 


  1. ^ Budryk, Peter. "So Just Who is Lefty Kreh?"http://fishwithkev.blogspot.com/2008/06/so-just-who-is-lefty-kreh.html
  2. ^ "Book & Video Reviews: My Life Was This Big by Lefty Kreh." http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=160&ParentCat=6
  3. ^ Budryk, Peter. "So Just Who is Lefty Kreh?"http://fishwithkev.blogspot.com/2008/06/so-just-who-is-lefty-kreh.html
  4. ^ Gowans, Ally. "Casting with Lefty Kreh."http://www.letsflyfish.com/lefty_1.htm
  5. ^ "Book & Video Reviews: My Life Was This Big by Lefty Kreh."http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=160&ParentCat=6
  6. ^ Pike, Captain Bill. "Saltwater Fly Fishing with Lefty Kreh. http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/technique/saltwater-fly-fishing-lefty-kreh
  7. ^ "Author, Photographer Lefty Kreh to be Honored.http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/author-photographer-lefty-kreh-to-be-honored/article_9d80fe6d-37ca-53e9-9150-432c0070bdd8.html
  8. ^ "Deceiver Fly Pattern."http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=0826
  9. ^ Kreh, Lefty. "Lefty's Deceiver." http://www.danblanton.com/blog/leftys-deceiver-by-lefty-kreh/
  10. ^ "Lefty's Deceiver."http://usstampgallery.com/view.php?id=42f3818ae19c5b7c9d44e9914c9cb15457c6fdc7
  11. ^ HomeWaters University
  12. ^ Luxist – HomeWaters Club - Designing The Link Between Flyfishing and Religion
  13. ^ "Five to be enshrined into IGFA Hall of Fame." http://www.bassnedge.com/latestnews/five_men_will_be_inducted_into_t.htm
  14. ^ Temple Fork Outfitters. http://www.templeforkflyrods.com/products/rods.html