A few years ago, we had the honor of interviewing a true state treasure—the world’s most renowned fly fisherman, who just so happens to be a lifelong Maryland resident. Lefty Kreh, who passed away last March at the age of 93, spent his long, exciting life changing the face of fly-fishing as we know it, transforming a storied but staid sport into an approachable art form for both men and women.
During his lifetime, fished all across the world, caught more than 100 species of fish, and wet lines with an endless stream of celebrities and presidents, from baseball icon Ted Williams and legendary newscaster Tom Brokaw to Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush—even Ernest Hemingway and Fidel Castro in the same weekend in Cuba. But Lefty always came back to Baltimore, where he lived in the county with his wife, Evelyn, for the rest of their lives. Over the years, his casting legacy and conservation efforts have garnered him awards, accolades, and inductions into halls of fame.
With so many adventures came many a good story, too, with Lefty being a true-blue raconteur. On the eve of what would be his 94th birthday at the end of this month, we’d like to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Lefty Kreh by sharing some of our own. Joining the podcast are some of the people who were lucky enough to know him: Tony and Dee Tochterman of Tochterman’s Fishing Tackle on Eastern Avenue in Fells Point and Candus Thompson, formerly of The Baltimore Sun and the Department of Natural Resources.
“My biggest pleasure, it’s not how many fish I catch,” Kreh told us in 2016. “It’s who I’m fishing with and the environment I’m fishing in is at least 90 percent or more of the trip. If we didn’t catch anything, at least we had a good time.”