Fly fishing legend dead at age 93

by Sue Guynn. 0 Comments


Lefty Kreh fishing on the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., with his first fly rod. (Courtesy photo)

Bernard “Lefty” Kreh, of Cockeysville, died today.

You may ask, “Who is Lefty Kreh?”

Well, the Frederick native is perhaps the most famous fly fisherman in the world. He was the author of more than 30 books on fly fishing, including an autobiography published about 10 years ago, “My Life Was This Big: And Other Fish Tales.”

He is credited with introducing America, and the world, to fly fishing. He traveled the world with a fly rod teaching the art of fly fishing to others. He fished in all 50 states, every province of Canada, over much of South America, the South Pacific, Europe, Iceland and many other countries, with celebrities and presidents.

Lefty Kreh demonstrates how to tie a knot for fly fishing during Lefty Kreh Day in Middletown Park in June 2014. The day was sponsored by the Potomac Valley Fly Fishers, of which Kreh was a charter and lifetime member. (File photo by Susan Guynn)

Born in 1925, he first got a fishing line wet in the Monocacy River; it was a different time, a different river, he said in a 2008 interview with me. He first dipped into outdoor writing as a columnist for The Frederick News-Post, called “Out of Doors with Field & Stream,” which ran in the 1950s. He then wrote for The Baltimore Sun and later for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Joe Brooks, who wrote one of the first books on saltwater fly fishing and was the fishing editor for Outdoor Life magazine, was a mentor to Lefty in fly fishing and writing. In an interview with me in 2008, Lefty told me some of the best outdoor writing advice he got from Brooks was to “never use a big word when a short one will do,” and to “never display knowledge, share it.”

“All the best,” to Lefty Kreh and his family.

You can read more about Lefty Kreh on the Outdoors page Sunday, March 18, in The Frederick News-Post.

A few archive stories are here:


Leave a Reply