By Andy Meckleberg
Happy Spring, finally! We held our first official outing, appropriately enough, at our home waters at the Catoctin Nature Center. It was nice to be in warm weather and cool waters with fellow fishers. It brings back the enjoyable experiences of fishing, whether you catch a lot of fish or none. If you’ve looked at PVFF’s motto, it’s Education, Conservation, and Fellowship. All three were experienced during this outing. The club is in the beginning discussions with the Sustainable Monocacy Commission to create a public recognition space for Lefty Kreh somewhere in Frederick County. Lefty was one of the founders of the Potomac Valley Fly Fishers almost 53 years ago. He was born in Frederick and graduated from Frederick High School. When he was seven, his father passed away, leaving him the eldest of four children. He fished, hunted, and trapped on the Monocacy as a youth to support his family. After high school, Lefty enlisted in the military as an infantryman fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. After he came back from World War II, he did shift work in the biological warfare labs at Fort Detrick, giving him time to pursue his passions for fishing and hunting, and to again help feed his family These humble beginnings led him into a career as an outdoor writer, starting with the Frederick News Post, which still reprints his columns to this day. He wrote 32 books, appeared on countless TV shows, led instructional videos, and designed a fly, “the Lefty Deceiver,” that was so famous it was put on a postage stamp. He is probably the most well-known fly fisher through the world. However, with all this, there has been no Frederick County recognition for its home town son. We hope to change this. People like Lefty — and Bob Clouser, who will be joining us at our May General Meeting — provide a link between the beginning of the popularization of fly fishing to where we are today, where more and more people are joining this pursuit. The equipment and technique changes that have evolved come from those who spearheaded the sport in its early developments. “They” say that ignoring the past will cause us to repeat the problems in the future. In this case, I would say that studying the past and the people who shaped it can only lead to more positive developments. Sorry if this seemed like a history lesson, but our club and its individual members have made a real worldwide impact on fly fishing — and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of our past accomplishments to inspire our future actions. Hope to see you out in the waters soon!