PARKTON, Md. (WJZ)– A natural talent for seeking out natural places has brought a Maryland man more attention than he feels comfortable with.

Alex DeMetrick reports that didn’t stop the honor given to Lefty Kreh.

Fly fishing can be a lifetime pursuit. Lefty Kreh has spent 75 years at it and has shared everything he has learned along the way.

“We just believe in him. Those of us who read his books do it the way he says to do it. You’ll find success,” Joe Evans of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)– Fisheries Service said.

And in a ceremony along the Gunpowder River, a trail was named after Kreh.

“Part of the reason we honor Lefty is not simply because he is a great sportsman, such a pioneer, but because he’s such a great teacher,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said.

Kreh was also active in helping preserve one stretch of water for trout fishing.

The Gunpowder is fed by Prettyboy Dam, and depending on conditions, the river either dried up or flooded.

Kreh and others succeeded in getting a steady release of water from the dam, creating a perfect habitat for fish.

“It’s made one of the finest, what we call tail streams, in the eastern United States. Now, there’s a continuous flow through here,” Kreh said.

And an appreciation by those who fish it for Kreh’s writing, photography and hand-tied flies.

“I call him the Pope of Fly Fishing,” Evans said.

While the honor was earned, Kreh is not about to let it go to his head.

“Oh, I was embarrassed about that,” Kreh said.

But likely not the legacy of what he’s learned and is still being passed on.

Along with helping preserve the Gunpowder, Kreh also helped save the trout by supporting the current catch and release rule on the river.


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