The name Lefty Kreh has weighed heavy on the hearts of avid fly-fishermen with the recent news of his passing. Lefty’s dedication to sharing his passion for fly fishing was unmatched by anyone else in the sport. Avid, or just a beginner, most everyone who knows fly fishing knows Lefty Kreh.

Lefty–one of 224 other contributors–donated his famous saltwater “Deceiver” fly to the America’s Favorite Flies book project that we have been so honored to be a part of. His donated fly rests among hundreds of other famous designs in this unmatched historical collection. Here is what Lefty had to say about America’s Favorite Flies,

Lefty's Letter to the Authors

If you flip through the pages of America’s Favorite Flies you’ll find Lefty’s “Deceiver” is located on page 128 of the book, and shown in a high-resolution image. Also included in the book is a personal story written by the man himself. He speaks of the creation of the fly by writing, “The first Deceivers were pretty simple. They were just a wing of four to eight saddles tied at the back and a simple bucktail or calf tail color at the front. The fly was all white – and is still one of the best colors. It may have been two or three years before I added the other colors” (Bryan and Carter, p. 282).

Lefty Kreh's Deceiver Fly


Lefty continues explaining the success of his fly design by adding, “The Deceiver is a type of fly design, and not a specific pattern. It can be two inches or 14 inches long. It can be any combination of colors to suit the fly fisherman…Few saltwater fish will ignore properly presented Deceivers and I know highly experienced anglers who only use a white Deceiver” (Bryan and Carter, p. 283).

We are saddened to hear of Lefty’s passing; but, we count his involvement in this project as a blessing of sincerity. Sincere passion is what built this book and passion is what will carry the sport forward. Passion is what brought Lefty his success and fame and passion is what made him so sincere. Just ask either one of the book’s two authors–Rob or John–and they will reiterate the same message.

Each and every fly that was donated to this amazing book was donated with equal enthusiasm. More than 600 pages are overflowing with passionate and caring fishermen and women! Many of whom dedicate their love for fly fishing to Mr. Lefty Kreh.

Overall, C. Forbes, Inc has played but a small role in this outstanding project; yet, we are humbled by the opportunity to work alongside the most passionate of anglers the sport has ever seen. These opportunities are the ones this small company cherishes. They are often the ones we speak of most frequently. They are always the most fun.

To see just how we helped to build a product line that further supports the mission of sustainable fly fishing log on to and head over to the online shop. Simply click the “shop” tab located at the top of your screen and begin to browse. There you will find a full line of signature items–all of which further support the shared mission of cleaner fisheries through the efforts of both the James River Association and the Native Fish Society. Together, we can spread the passion of fly fishing and conservation is a fun way–a way we’re sure Lefty would appreciate.


John Bryan, and Rob Carter. America’s Favorite Flies. Charles Creek Publishing, 2017.
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