Brilliant, witty, perceptive essays about fly-fishing, the natural world, and life in general by the acknowledged master of fishing writers.
For the first time, two of John Gierach’s most popular fishing books are collected in one volume—a double dose of delight for longtime fans or first-time visitors to Gierach country.
As Gierach astutely observes in Dances with Trout, “Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It’s not even clear if catching fish is actually the point.” This observation might also describe Gierach’s writing—catching fish might be the subject, but most of the fun and (mis)adventure comes well before that point. Whether it’s fishing close to home waters (Colorado) or farther afield (Alaska, Scotland, Texas); ice-fishing, tournament fishing, or night fishing; fishing for trout, salmon, carp, splake, or grayling; fishing with familiar companions like A.K. Best or the enigmatic “Zen master among fishing guides”; no detail of the fishing life is too insignificant or too absurd for Gierach.
As he writes in Another Lousy Day in Paradise, “The real truth about fly-fishing is, it is beautiful beyond description in almost every way, and when a certain kind of person is confronted with a certain kind of beauty, they are either saved or ruined for life, or a little bit of both.” So start reading and be saved—or ruined—by Gierach’s wonderful insights into the world around us.
Photograph by Michael Dvorak, www.dvorakphotography.com
John Gierach is the author of more than twenty books about fly-fishing. His writing has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Fly Rod & Reel. He writes a column for Trout magazine and the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.