During my 19 years in professional baseball and 26 years of guiding and running upscale fishing and hunting trips, I experienced a lot of different personalities. Some great athletes, commentators, writers, actors and stars in general can either be the nicest people in the world or really stuck on themselves. Then there are a few that just seem to exude class, people like Nolan Ryan, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Staubach, Vince Scully, Johnny Morris and others. I had the great fortune to spend a week this October in Brazil’s Amazon peacock bass fishing with one of this group of class individuals, fishing legend Lefty Kreh. I had met Lefty before at sports shows where he is always one of the draws of the weekend with his fly casting clinics. But spending a week with him was a treat I will never forget. The only other person I have ever met with as many funny stories as Lefty Kreh was Lefty’s good friend and baseball great, Boog Powell. When Lefty started to tell stories of his fishing adventures around the world & the people he fished with he had his audience, as Boog would say, “quiverin like a perch on a cane pole.” And talk about class, Lefty went out of his way to make you feel that it he was honored to talk to you, not the other way around. This man who is probably the greatest fishing legend alive today is the humblest celebrity I have ever met.
At 87 years old, Lefty showed the enthusiasm he had 70 years ago for this Peacock Bass fishing adventure with Captain Peacock Yachts & Expeditions. Lefty had told Rick Pope of Temple Fork Fly Outfitters (TFO), the company for which Lefty endorses rods, that he wanted to go fishing for Peacock Bass one more time. Rick has put together groups of angers in 2010 & 2011 to fish with Captain Peacock and was happy to oblige Lefty in October of 2013. A month before the trip we received the letter below from Lefty;
September 14, 2014
“Please forgive my delay in thanking you for the trip items—they are much appreciated. I’ve made three trips to the Amazon but they were years ago where we slept on sandbars and my air conditioner was a small fan run by a D battery.
Rick Pope has shown me what we will be enjoying this time and I am REALLY looking forward to it.
Having fished much of the world my two favorite trips have been to New Guinea several times (now too hostile to be there) and the Amazon, so I know this will be one of the highlight trips of my life.”
Lefty was amazing, he fished all 6 ½ days of the Peacock Bass fishing trip with Captain Peacock and never ask for any special treatment. Lefty caught good numbers of fish, but did not tie into one of the bigger ones of the trip that featured a 20 lb Peacock and a good number 15 lbs or better, most of which were taken on fly rods. One of my highlights of the trip was Lefty looking over the collection of flies I had tied and asking me if he could have a couple to fish with! Lefty stated that he was impressed with how well Captain Peacock’s Brazilian guides understood the needs of fly fishermen and how well they would position the bass boats so that both fly fishermen in the boat could reach optimum water. A week after we returned to the US we received the following letter from Lefty;
Oct 18, 2012
“…I want to thank you for taking such good care of me it seems as I near 90 I know I’m not as sharp as I used to be although my enthusiasm is the same.
The trip was a resounding success. I have stayed in many primitive places and even three prior trips beginning in the 1990’s to the Amazon. None approached he quality of this trip. You, Leonardo and his crew did an outstanding job. The guides worked hard and amazed us with their knowledge of the river. Accommodations were terrific considering where we were and what you all had to do and the atmosphere was pleasant. I also thought it and a group I was with in Casa Mar, Costa Rica in the early 1970’s were the best of any.
…Again I want to thank you for all you and Leonardo did and you certainly can use me as a reference in the future.”
An amazing man, I hope I can get around as well when I’m 67 as Lefty did at 87. His ability to cast for 3 hours straight was unreal, the only thing he could not do was to stand up and fish for prolonged lengths of time. The time he spent with us in Brazil will be remembered by the staff at Captain Peacock for a very long time and was one of the highlights of my 50 years of enjoying time with friends and clients fishing and hunting in North and South America.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Captain Peacock Yachts & Expeditions