Bruce Richards | Sunday, 15 February 2015

Thursday's FP about Joan Wulff got me thinking. Usually that leads to trouble, but hopefully not this time. I agree 100% with Craig’s kind words about Joan. She’s been a friend of mine since sometime in the 70s. Back then I spoke more often with her husband Lee. He had an idea for a unique new line taper that eventually turned into the Wulff Triangle Taper. That was a very interesting project, early on in my career at Scientific Anglers, and taught me a lot about fly line design.

But I talked to Joan much more often over the years, mostly about casting and instruction. She had strong ideas and we didn’t always agree, but she was always polite and understanding, not something all others were able to manage. I had a long phone conversation with Joan on Tuesday this week, we’d been playing phone tag for a while. Joan is now 88 years old and spends winters in Florida, a smart move, especially this winter. All is well, but she was bemoaning the fact that water temps remain in the low 70s. Tarpon don’t get active until temps hit the mid to high 70s and Joan wants to go tarpon fishing!

Joan still runs her fly casting school and writes and has a hard time saying no to those who ask for her help.

I also had a very nice conversation with another old friend this week. Lefty Kreh is also 88. I’ve also known Lefty since the 70s. In fact, on my first day on the job at SA (1976) Lefty called me out of the blue to welcome me to SA and the fly fishing industry. I’d never met Lefty, he did not know me, but took the time to give me a call. He doesn’t remember that, but I sure do.

Lefty is also doing fine, although was recovering from the flu when I talked to him. If he hadn’t been sick he would have been at a sport show somewhere working. His travel schedule is still very full, a lot fuller than I’d like. He has a hard time saying no also.

We are all very fortunate to have folks like Joan and Lefty still active in our sport. They have influenced many, many budding fly fishers/fly casters over the years, me included, and I appreciate it!