Thanksgiving, the one day we set aside to remember everything we have to be thankful for. It seems a shame that we only set aside one day a year to do this, as I'm pretty sure most of us have so much to be thankful for that we really should take more than a day to remember it. I know I do! I get to live my dream of making the outdoors my "job", have a loving wife who enjoys the outdoors as much as me, and I have great friends and clients to share it all with.
One of those friends is Lefty Kreh; perhaps the most well known fly fisherman in the world. Over the years I have had the opportunity to help teach classes with Lefty, share one-on-one time, share stories and most importantly, learn from a master. Lefty has taught me some casting techniques, rigging techniques, photography tricks, and given me countless smiles and laughs. Our last time spent together was this past January, when I got to assist him and Flip Pallot teach a fly fishing school. During the time, I got to spend some wonderful one-on-one time with Lefty; in fact, I actually got to teach him some things on his iPhone, repaying him just a little for all he has shared with me. After the phone lesson we had lunch together, with a few of the students. Our conversation turned to fishing, as it usually does, and the question arose of our favorite fish to target on fly. I had no hesitation in stating Snook as my favorite. Lefty asked why and smiled when I described my reasons: power, speed, willingness to crush a fly, and the fact I find them to be the dirtiest fighters in the water. I could see the gleam in his eyes as he talked about chasing them in the Everglades and South Florida, in the early days of saltwater fly fishing. He agreed with everything I said and also stated they might be his favorite too. Yep, a guy that has fished all around the world, probably caught more types of fish on fly than anyone else, and he loves Snook just as much as me! I wasn't the only one surprised at this, the students were too. But, why would I expect anything different. See, to me, Snook and Lefty have a lot in common. They are both the salt of the earth, happy to give you everything they can, and just normal, down to earth. Yep, in a world full of shiny, fast, flashy things (bonefish, television stars, fast boats, and thousand dollar rods and reels), I'll take Lefty Kreh and Snook anytime!
One of the things that Lefty really taught me was the importance to spread the love of fly fishing to anyone who wants to learn. His passion for sharing every bit of knowledge he has, with anyone willing to listen and ask for help, is a true inspiration. Lefty has repeatedly told me that our future relies on helping people, sharing our knowledge and ability and that the spirit of fly fishing is about spreading our love and passion for the sport. I couldn't agree more. So, with that in mind, and in honor of him, I have changed my fly fishing lessons. From now on, I will be offering free lessons for those interested in learning the sport. It is my belief that it is more important to spread the knowledge, increase the love of the sport, and hopefully inspire others, than it is to make a few dollars; besides, not everyone can afford to pay for lessons and everyone deserves to have the chance to learn. So, if you or someone you know is interested, get with me and let's get started!