Bernard “Lefty” Kreh began fly fishing in 1947 when as a young fishing guide he had a client named Joe Brooks (another famous fly fisherman) who introduced him into fishing with a fly rod. That began a great career not only as an expert fly fisherman, but as an outdoor writer of high repute, and an accomplished photographer. Lefty has received many honors over the years including induction into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame, and being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Sport Fishing Association.
Lefty’s fly rod casting demonstration took place in an open field at an outdoor gathering to benefit the Fly Fishing Museum. Established in 1968 in Manchester,Vermont, the Fly Fishing Museum was created to preserve and exhibit treasures of American angling. It has the world’s largest collection of angling and angling related items numbering in the thousands.
Lefty began the fly rod casting demonstration by making several amazing casts using his two piece fly rod. With each cast he dropped the fly exactly where he wanted. Each overhead cast resulted in a beautiful tight loop that was a sight to behold.
He then broke down the rod and did the same thing using just the tippet (the top section and most flexible part) of the rod. I was truly impressed, but that wasn’t all.
He climaxed the performance by making perfect casts just by holding the fly line in his hand and using his arm to make the casts. It was one of those “WOW” moments
His amazing skill proved that while the right rod and line play a major part in casting, it’s the arm movement, timing and control of the line that make the difference.
There wasn’t much that Lefty couldn’t do with a fly rod, feats that I’ll never match in my lifetime. Most likely you won’t either. Witnessing his fly rod casting demonstration proved that. But don’t despair, I’ve caught a lot of fish in my day and you will too if you just master the basic fundamentals of casting that I’ve described in the Website
Below is another video of Lefty Kreh demonstrating his method of casting based on his four principles. Admittedly, Lefty is the best, and his principals differ from the methods I described in my pages on “Casting a fly rod using the overhead cast” and “How to cast a fly rod using the roll cast”. My advice is to try both ways, and whatever works best for you, go with it.
By the way, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Lefty on several occasions; at his demonstrations, on the stream at Spruce Creek, and when he was guest speaker at the Pittsburgh Sportsmen Luncheon Club banquet in 2011. Here’s a picture of the banquet meeting (the attractive lady is my fishing friend Ron Schreiner’s wife Cindy) :