GFF book review

Kreh on casting

Author: Lefty Kreh
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Lefty Kreh
Saltwater Fly-Casting Techniques
The Lyons Press, 2002

GFF rating: 5 out of 7

Reviewed by Bob Petti

A non-frills treatise to teach us "how to cast effectively for the biggest fish under the most demanding situations".

You might think from the title that a trout angler wouldn't have much of a reason to read this book, but that is simply not true. If, while fishing, you have to deal with wind coming from various directions, you have to make a quick cast to a specific target, change direction, or cast for a bit of distance, this book will teach you a thing or two.

One thing I like about these books from Lefty (I think I can call him simply Lefty - doesn't everyone?), there is no fluff. He doesn't indulge any desire to wax poetic about the beauty and grace of casting fly lines, nor does he feel compelled to drag us through overly-technical discussions on fly rods, lines, or much else. Nope. In this book at least, Lefty keeps things pretty simple and straightforward. As he says himself "Fly casting can be explained pretty easily without getting into physics and technical language.".

I agree.

I would be willing to wager that for the vast majority of fly fisherman, detailed and technical discussions of fly casting is a waste. We don't get it, won't get it, and really don't care to get it. Just tell us what we should do, and how to do it, and let's get on to catching fish. If we want to learn more about the physics and physiology of casting sometime down the road - we will. At this point, we just want to catch more fish, thank you very much. Lefty knows his audience and does not stray from his message.

Don't be fooled by this book's size and lack of words. The fact that it is a small book reinforces Lefty's prior point. This is a meat and potatoes book - no garnish. The fundamentals are hammered home - and nuances are built on top to develop techniques for specific situations.

Reading a book on casting while sitting in your easy chair is sort of silly, don't you think? This isn't a reading book - it's a teaching book. Sort of an instructional video in print. Get up - grab a fly rod and reel - and take the book outside. Read a chapter - try to understand what he is demonstrating - and then do it.

I did. Now - I'm no Lefty Kreh when it comes to casting - but I was able to put his thoughts into practice on my lawn. The descriptions are very clear and consice. Sure - some of them I can't reproduce on the lawn, like roll-casting a sinktip line to the surface of the water, but for the most part I was able to practice what he told us without much difficulty.

No - I'm not a saltwater angler - but I want to catch more fish. If you do as well - give this book a shot. It will plant some ideas in your head that I'm sure will come in handy.

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