Lefty Kreh, Tight Lines and Fair Winds

I read that Lefty Kreh died today, March 14th, 2018 at the age of 93.

Lefty lived a remarkable life – from combat veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, to tropical saltwater fly fisherman, to an innovative instructor who taught countless numbers how to fly cast.

I only knew Lefty through his videos and books, and his appearance on the Buccaneers and Bones series on the Outdoor Channel. And yet, I feel as if I’ve lost a friend today – a friend I never knew.

You can read more here.

An Open Letter from Lefty

Lefty Kreh

I found this posted on The FlyFishing Forum. Lefty Kreh updates us on his health. While he says he might be around for a few more years, and I certainly hope so, it certainly feels as if this is the end of his public life. A truly amazing man.

To my friends,

I was 92 in January and had a carotid artery operation. During testing the hospital determined my heart was only pumping 35% and must limit my physical activities followed by a rest. The industry was extremely helpful and last season was able to attend the shows, clinics, etc.

Several weeks ago, I realized I was developing another problem, which is normal for someone nearly 93. It turns out I have congested heart failure. My pacemaker revealed there was a series of very rapid hear beats, which could cause a stroke. Fortunately a lot of doctor/friends are fly-fisherman and worked with me. In summary I have to give up travel and presentations as in the past.

Everyone produces a certain amount of fluid in the body and excretes the excess. Because of the low heartbeat my body is not getting rid of all the fluids and I gained weight. My best friend Dr. Mark Lamos put me in the hospital and with back procedure they twice removed a liter and a half of fluid from my chest. After five days in the hospital. I lost weight.

A week or so later I starting gaining weight again so it was back in the hospital for the same treatment. They reduced most of the fluid and returned home. I determined I was not going to continue back to the hospital. Mark decided to use medicine to control the excess fluid. It’s been a fine-tuning situation but looks like it’s starting work.

This means the schedule I lived for decades is no longer valid and will spend most my time at home. As we get older we learn to adjust to what we can and cannot do. I have a number of interesting computer home projects on the computer and busier than a Syrian bricklayer. I’m not frustrated and I’m content My problem is I don’t have a lot of stamina and have to work around that. If Marks medical system works I should be busy and around for a year or two.

I would like to be able to send this email to my friends but I don’t really know how to do this. So I’m asking others to help me spread the word through email. Because my lack of energy and stamina I having trouble answering emails (there are more than 400 on the computer) and not talking much on the phone. This is not meant to be unfriendly is learning to adjuster my situation.

In summary I’m busy and content but I want you to know I am so appreciative you’ve have shared your lives with me.

All The Best Friends,
Lefty

The Legend of Lefty: Anthrax and Groupies

A new profile of Lefty Kreh in Garden and Gun magazine has just been published.

The more I read about this remarkable man, the more I wish I could get to meet him in person.

There’s new information in this article, including how he was exposed to anthrax while working at a biological warfare center after the Second World War (he even has the dubious honor of having a deadly strain of anthrax named after him). What was particularly touching was his memory of his beloved wife who died in 2011. His recovery from his grief found him out fishing again and being invited by a thirty-something woman to a late night tryst – he was 87 at the time (and I’m looking forward to that too).

You can read the article here.

Lefty Kreh – More Than a Legend

The latest issue of Fly Fisherman has an article on Lefty Kreh, providing the life of the real man who has grown into a legend of fly fishing.

Bernard Victor Kreh was born in Maryland in 1927. Growing up in the Depression, he supported his widowed mother by hunting and fishing. Like most men of his age, he fought in the Second World War. That I knew. What I didn’t know until this article was that he was a forward artillery observer he was at the Battle of the Bulge.That battle in the bitter winter of 1944 left him with a lifelong disdain of cold weather. He also participated in the liberation of a concentration camp and was part of a unit that met the Russian Army at Torgau on the Elbe River.

From there, the career that made him a legend began. You can read the article here.