A Great Day With Lefty Kreh [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A Great Day With Lefty Kreh

06-15-2002, 04:57 PM
Adrian stayed over last night and we planned to fish this morning but the rain was too much... Had one of the best days ever involving flyfishing here in Chatham... At 8 am we met for our full day with Lefty...just 9 of us... with him all day... Thanks to Jay Horton and Dave Fix who put me in touch with Jay the day was memorable... Not only am I a worse caster than I thought but we all learned some new tricks... how to tye a bimini knot in 20 seconds, a better non slip mono loop, the new Bucktail deceiver developed by Poplovic and tyed for us by Lefty... Keep your elbow level.. how to cast the spey rod... how to test your drag ... how to tye on a fly in pitch dark.....A simple and easy way to tye the surgeons knot, How to fish a crab pattern the right way... How to fight a big fish the right way...how to set the hook on a tailing bonefish....how to set the hook while numph fishing the right way....how to make sure your knots are tyed the right way... ( I found in incredible that he would tye knots and then break them between his fingers..then showed us a few tricks to avoid that)....etc...etc. Here are some photos... I will have to reply to this original post to include them all . Thanks to Harry Koons we were able to weather the weather until we could cast by using his shop, and met a great group of guys... Kefty had great stories and some great experiences... brought all my Lefty books for his signature and he had a very informative work sheet he handed out... I will never forget the day and the special attention he spent with me working out bad habits.

06-15-2002, 05:01 PM
Harry and Adrian and Jim Simms at attention.

06-15-2002, 05:03 PM
Lefty at the vise tying the Poplovic Bucktail Deceiver:

06-15-2002, 05:05 PM
In action:

06-15-2002, 05:08 PM
Adrian with an expression on his face as though he has the full weight of the British Empire on his shoulders.

06-15-2002, 05:10 PM
The group listening carefully:

06-15-2002, 05:12 PM
Jim Simms:

06-15-2002, 05:19 PM
The famous Back cast:

06-15-2002, 05:28 PM
Adrian with a Spey rod... a natural for him

06-15-2002, 05:34 PM
Sorry..missed it in the above post.

06-15-2002, 05:36 PM
Oh Boy... wrong size

06-15-2002, 05:39 PM
Lefty and Me:

06-15-2002, 05:41 PM
....... and the rest of the crew!!!

06-15-2002, 06:36 PM
You did an incredible job with phot'o's, story line, etc...

Kept me glued to my seat.

What a memory you all have. Im jelous!!

Glad to hear you all had a memorable time!!


06-15-2002, 06:58 PM

Very nice, I have not seen Lefty in person since the late 1970s when I was living in NJ. Great pictures, I am sure the knowledge imparted was too much to assimilate in that short period of time.


06-15-2002, 07:02 PM
John...You're a reeeeel piece of work!!!
I get such a kick when you tell your stories...Someday you will be famous just like Lefty...IronAlloyMan Striblue...Waders are for sissies!!!

06-15-2002, 07:36 PM
Just two more... Lefty demonstrating fish fighting and the different tensions the fly rod has....fight from the reel and the butt, turn the fish... the more bend in the rod the more the fish can relax.

06-15-2002, 07:43 PM
The Knot tying session ..45 minutes...."Abrassion is only a factor of diameter..nothing more".

06-15-2002, 07:45 PM
What a great report! Sounds like a super time was had by all!
Dave Williams

06-15-2002, 08:33 PM
FYI Lefty has a site that you can post a message to him if you like. Such as comments, or a thank you. He has given me advice on several occasions, and seems to answer all his email on this site.


Looks like you guys had a great time!!


06-16-2002, 07:22 AM
... I've seen Lefty demonstrate at a couple of fly fishing shows, and of course everyone knows about his reputation of being such an all-knowing and teaching angler, but after that account, it's clear that I need to pick up more of his books! I was really excited about getting to see him cast in person, can't imagine what it would be like to actually take personal instruction from him in a small group.

Dble Haul
06-16-2002, 10:52 AM
One word....



06-16-2002, 11:24 AM
John, thanks for getting those pictures up so fast. That is the beauty of living in the digital age.

I can not even begin to express in words what a great time I had. The weather could have made this a complete disaster, but thanks to Harry Koons at Nauset Angler, ( Who generously allowed us to annihalate his shop for the morning), and the tremendous spirit of a truly great bunch of fly anglers, I think it is safe to say that a great time was had by all.

I can’t believe what a good memory John has. Lefty moves so fast, I can never remember half of what he has covered. It is truly amazing how much information he can relate in one day.

There were only two disappointments for me: I still have 9 ½ rolls of film un-used out of 10 due to the weather, and I expected to come home with a shopping list of things to fix in my cast, but instead have only two things to work on improving.

Memorize Lefty’s principles, and practice, practice, practice. He has given us all the tools we need to cast just like him, the rest is up to us.

Stuff we talked about on the ride to the airport, ( Parts I remember anyways, that guy talks fast!):

Lefty was sincerely impressed with the quality of the attendees. He told me that he had never seen such a studious group of fly casters. He is confident in the ability of everyone to put his lessons into effect.

He particularly singled out:

Jim Simms, whom he thought showed the greatest improvement. Jim was already throwing a lot of line when he got there, but he was working pretty hard at it. By the end of the day, he was really, ‘ Getting it.’

Lefty thought Hank had the greatest potential. He was really impressed that Hank chose to follow him around during the individual instruction part, rather than practicing by himself. Quote from Lefty, “ That guy Hank is pretty smart.”

Lefty thought that Brian, the youngest of the group, was showing remarkable skill considering the fact that he just started fly casting. For those that didn’t know it, Brian had only cast a fly rod twice before yesterday. I’ll bet he was throwing 100’ with the DH 1212 two-hander and a nice tight loop, too!

Lefty felt a tremedous debt of gratitude also to Harry Koons for rescuing the whole operation with the use of his shop. If I know Lefty, Harry should be watching the mail for a surprise, ‘ Package,’ from Maryland.

My apologies to everyone else-He had good things to say about everyone, and knew each of us by name, but that is all I can remember right now.

A day with Lefty is like trying to digest a lifetime's worth of knowledge in a few hours.

PS I think this plug is OK because Harry is a sponsor of this site: Nauset Angler has a big event happening on April 29th. Here is a link to more info: http://www.nausetangler.com/

If you were wondering whether it is worth your time to drive all the way to Orleans, I have only two words to say: " Free barbecue!"

06-17-2002, 06:40 AM
WOW! Great pic of you and Lefty, John. I suspect that one might find its way on to the wall at the CAC? Sounds like you guys had an incredible time, one I'm sure will not soon be forgotten.
That's what it's all about, sharing the good times!

06-17-2002, 07:03 AM
John succinctly captured the major points presented by Lefty, the true master of all aspects of flyfishing. Not only did he immediately recognize my many flycasting faults, but guided me through the process of correcting them. Many of us had the same major fault, not tucking in our elbow and keeping it on the same plane on both the back and forward cast.

Lefty has one trait that makes him unique - he truly cares about people and improving their ability to enjoy the flyfishing experience. All of us need to spend a few minutes a day on the water or lawn practicing what we learned to inbed that muscle memory. Further, if we believe we are reverting to some of our bad habits, have an experienced flycaster analyze your casting for those bad traits. Even the pros require help at times unless you are Lefty.

Jay, thanks for setting up the clinic, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Koons for his hospitality. John great pictures!

I would like to suggest that the group get together in a couple of months to do some casting, critiquing, and exchange of information.

06-17-2002, 07:16 AM
John...great reporting again. Looks like you had an awesome day. With the camera and your writing prowess, do I see a CAC Times in the future?


06-17-2002, 07:59 AM
John, Jay and others have said most of it already but what an amazing day.

The morning weather was a total disaster but thanks to Harry Koons the day was saved. Not only did he allow us to re-engineer his shop into an indoor school but slipped out and came back with a supply of Dunkin Doughnuts and coffee!

Harry you are a true "Gent".

The casting session was outstanding. I had seen Lefty a couple of times at the shows and he is always a class act. Thanks to his personal attention, by the end of the session each cast was putting a nice stretch into a full line and the backing joint. The double handed session was good also - still a bit of work to do there to get rid of the tailing loop - but now I know what causes them :D

06-17-2002, 09:24 AM

I just noticed that there is no "casting" portion of this forum. We have tons of other stuff but nothing on what is the basis of fly fishing. Juro have you guys ever thought about haveing "casting" being a section of the Forum? Adrian's comment on tailing loops is one of the most basic errors to describe and one of the easiest to fix. Am I way off base on this, or is it that maybe I am a little more intrested in fly casting that the "average bear".


06-17-2002, 09:28 AM
John...good point... casting is really the heart of all this stuff and each flyfisher should be determined to improve on the fundamentals.

06-17-2002, 09:37 AM

Why don't you serve as the moderator of the "casting forum"? ;)

John W. Wilson

06-17-2002, 10:41 AM
John & John

The real challenge for casting as a forum topic is that words are a very poor way to describe various symptoms, root causes and fixes.

The vocabulary we use to describe the various elements of the cast seems to be incomplete and prone to mislead or create differing images in peoples minds. That has to be one of Lefty's great skills:

He leaves you in no doubt that casting has "absolutely nuthin tu do with darned clocks!".

Or, instead of power stroke (" ..aint got nuthin tu do with power niether - hmpf") he uses "speed-up-and-stop" or "throw paint" if you still can't get it.

And I second John M. to moderate the casting board.

06-17-2002, 11:44 AM

Tell me if this sounds familiar. Tailing loops are caused by a concave path of the rod tip PERIOD!!

Concave path= ''''''---- ____----""'''

Convex path= ___----""""----___

Straight path= ------------------------

The rod tip has been over flexed due either to an over acceleration of the rod, or from starting the foward cast before the line has had a chance to fulliy entend in the back cast. Thus the timing of the foward cast is to early. The acceleration of the line has to be smooth and consistant or the flex in the rod loading will be unequal. The line will follow the path that the rod tip makes the same as a trailor has to follow a truck that pulls it.

Now would you like to discuss why you have that side ways loop at the end when you turn to look at your back cast? ;)

Let me know when I get carried away. I just love that stuff!!!


06-17-2002, 11:55 AM
Nice Job, John. Was this a CAC sponsored event? Seriously now, how do you tie a knot in the dark? Did he show you his elastic laces on his sneakers? Great job on the review - thanks

06-17-2002, 12:47 PM
Jcc, The tough part is to thread the eye of the hook... so what you do is get a hold of your leader, presumably that can be done... hold the end with about 1/2 inch outside your fingers...this you can do by feel... then place the 1/2 inch tippet in your fingers on your tounge...place the hook eye on the surface of your tounge and thread... easy.... tie by feel. I will speak to juro about a casting topic.... and moderator..... JCC, the event was not sponsored by CAC but was the work of Jay Horton(2HandTheSalt). Here is another....Test your drag by wetting your lips and pull the line secured by your lips (from corner to corner) ,readjust until you can pull your line off the reel with wet lips. That would be the perfect drag setting.

John Desjardins
06-17-2002, 02:07 PM
It sounds like you guys had a great time. Having been fortunate enough to attend a seminar Jay organized a couple of years ago I'm sure you learned a lot.

Be very carefull about where things you stick in your mouth have been. It's a prime way for you to get infections among other problems. I guess I've been chasing after a toddler rather than fish too much lately.

A forum dedicated to talking about casting sounds like a good idea. Though translating a casting problem into the written word can be a tough task. AFAIK no other web site has one.

06-17-2002, 02:16 PM
You are one inovated fisherman, Striblue. Hope you don't use a short leader and barbed 0/2 hook when testing. OUCH!
A couple of other ways to test reel drag is
1) Tie line to dog, throw ball down street. This is for 8wt reels and up.
2) Tie line to cat, have wife spray cat with garden hose. 5wt to 7 wt reels.

06-17-2002, 02:56 PM
OC... those are unique ways... Lefty needs to know about those....you should write a book;)

06-17-2002, 03:38 PM
Geez, if I still had a cat, I'd try that out!:p

06-17-2002, 04:37 PM
Good god, striblue, I don't want to be famous, just a little color to go along with fishin.
Not trying to change what the begining of this thread was but got to tell this story about testing drags in a land based situation. This story is for testing 3 and 4wt reels and is a true story.

Many years ago when in my twenties and a serious runner I was out on my daily 10 miler near Livingston MT. I was running along a path on one side of a raised rail road track. This track was raised about shoulder high and as I ran noticed a couple of kids heads on the otherside of the tracks. They had fly rods and looked like they were fishing but I knew there was no creek or irrigation canal over on the other side of the tracks. All of a sudden I hear this reel start to sing and notice one of the kids has this bent fly rod raised above his head as line screems out of the reel. So I climb over the track to see what's going on and this kids line is going directly down in this hole in the ground about 30 or 40 feet from where he is standing.

So I ask the kids what in the hell they are doing and they look at me as if I'm nuts for asking and say, " Gopher fishing what else"!

I watched them do this for about a 1/2 hour and what they would do is make a noose in the fly line, lay it over a Gopher hole and stand back about 10 feet from the hole. Then they would wait for the Gopher to poke it's head up and when it did the kid would set the noose around the gophers neck or body just like one would set the hook on a big striper and yank the creature out of the hole. The critter then would make a mad dash with many of crazy jumps and flips to the next closest hole in it's sight, usually about 40 or so feet away. I'll tell you those little flea bagged critters could destroy many a drag on all but the best reels made. What a thrilling experience for the fly Gopherman.

Once the run was over and the Gopher made it into the next hole the fight reminded me of fighting a Tarpon after the 1st run and series of jumps. Down and dirty trying to pull that critter up from the bowels of the earth.

Won't get into how a Montanan releases a Gopher because you got to understand the culture of gophers and kids from Montana to understand it's not C&R.

A true story and a perfect way to test how much balls your drag can handle.

06-17-2002, 09:32 PM
That is without question one of the most bizarre and hilarious accounts of "fishing" I've ever heard, sounds like something out of a Pat McManus book! I can see Pat and Crazy Eddie Muldoon doing something similar. Great story!

06-18-2002, 08:23 AM
Great story, there's a lot of room for innovation out there. You just need to be in the right frame of mind.
Reminds me of a kid when I was growing up who used to hook and land seagulls. They didn't look too friendly.....

06-18-2002, 12:49 PM
Quite a day. I get a huge kick out of the way Lefty- good naturedly- totaly berates a casters shortcomings. No sympathy, just drive home the obvious- to him.
You'll have to impart some of his wisdom next time we meet. Lord knows my casting needs it.