J. Castwell
April 26th, 1999

Lefty Kreh

'Mister Personality' could well have been a name invented to describe an old friend of mine. A gentleman who I had the privilege of teaching with in Michigan in about 1970 at a lodge on the Pere Marquette river. As a field-tester with Scientific Anglers I knew his reputation. One of the team had fished with him in Florida for tarpon and returned with a glowing report. A great guy; and can he cast! I was honored to have been invited to teach with a such a man.

From the east coast somewhere, he had fished and taught for quite a while and was making a reputation by fishing for and catching big tarpon. I want to tell you, this guy could cast! It would be several years before our paths crossed again during which time he was honored with many awards in the fly fishing world. Acclaimed by many as the best casting instructor in the USA. But, never by him. Never. Not that he would have ever been awarded a badge for humility; but for a gentleman? In my book for sure.

Sports Afield cover That is why, when I just read a piece on Lefty Kreh in the May issue of "Sports Afield' I got so mad. I have known him pretty well for the last several years. I have been at many events with him. Had dinner and many conversations with him. The article I just read is a lie! And I know it.

It quotes him using a style of talking I know Lefty does not use. It's just not his way of saying things. When you know someone well, you can spot things like that. The words and phrases in that article were not said by Lefty. No way. Those of you who have read me very much know that I am a rather easy-going sort of guy. But, when you lie about my friends, you have hit my 'hot-button.'

I have known, and do know many of the top casting instructors and in my opinion, Lefty Kreh probably is the best. He uses what ever words and methods necessary to teach each person. That is what makes a good teacher. Knowing which words and actions to communicate to the student. I have had the honor of having Lefty take me aside one time and show me exactly how he taught and explain the 'why' of it all. A post-graduate course in instructing for which I will ever be grateful.

It would be his if we had one

And now some 'gonzo' writes a distorted, un-true, character-destroying, bunch of bull-pucky and even gets it past an editor (or did he approve of it?) About the only thing in the article correct and based on fact is they did meet, the writer took instruction, learned a lot, and spelled Lefty's name right. The rest is fiction. We don't give an award for 'Gentleman-of-the-Year,' but if we did . . .

The odd and sad part of all of this is you will probably want to go out now and buy a copy just to see what this is all about. Don't bother, let's just say Sports Afield obviously is in big trouble, or they would not even consider printing this garbage. Or maybe that's what they think of fly fisherman. Too bad, it once was a fine magazine. But trashing Lefty will make money. The writer, Erik Hedegaard got paid for it. Sad indeed.

The Lady and Lefty

And I will take a lot of heat for writing the truth. Life is like that. ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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