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1 John Gierach A FLY ROD OF YOUR OWN
SIMON & SCHUSTER 1451618352 / 9781451618358 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




John Gierach, ?the voice of the common angler? (The Wall Street Journal) and member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, brings his sharp sense of humor and keen eye for observation to the fishing life and, for that matter, life in general. Known for his witty, trenchant observations about fly-fishing, Gierach once again takes us into his world and scrutinizes the art of fly-fishing. 224 pgs.


'John travels to remote fishing locations where the airport is not much bigger than a garage and a flight might be held up because a passenger is running late. He sings the praises of the skilled pilots who fly to remote fishing lodges in tricky locations and bad weather. He explains why even the most veteran fisherman seems to muff his cast whenever he's being filmed or photographed. He describes the all-but-impassable roads that fishermen always seem to encounter at the best fishing spots and why fishermen discuss four-wheel drive vehicles almost as passionately and frequently as they discuss fly rods and flies. And while he's on that subject, he explains why even the most conscientious fisherman always seems to accumulate more rods and flies than he could ever need.

As Gierach says, 'fly-fishing is a continuous process that you learn to love for its own sake. Those who fish already get it, and those who don't couldn't care less, so don't waste your breath on someone who doesn't fish.' From Alaska to the Rockies and across the continent to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, A Fly Rod of Your Own is an ode to those who fish'and they will get it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gierach
is the author of numerous books on fly-fishing. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Fly Rod & Reel, where he is a regular columnist. He also writes a column for the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
Price: 12.40 USD
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2 John Gierach ALL FISHERMEN ARE LIARS
SIMON & SCHUSTER 1451618328 / 9781451618327 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




The ever-popular Gierach shares insights, musings, and countless stories from the profound to the funny to the downright absurd that he?s collected over a lifetime of fishing. His first book in 3 years, Gierach gives us a book that is wry, contemplative, and as lively as ever, as edifying as it is entertaining. 256 pgs.


'From the Pacific Northwest to the Upper Midwest to the Canadian Maritimes, 'America's best fishing writer' (Houston Chronicle) shows us why life's most valuable lessons'and some of its best experiences'are found while fly-fishing.

For John Gierach, fishing is always the answer'even when it's not clear what the question is. He's fished for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest, bull trout in British Columbia, bonefish in Mexico, and pike in the Upper Midwest. He's even tried winter fly-fishing and braved the remote Alaskan wilderness. Through it all, he has nurtured his enduring love for the sport.

Traveling around North America, Gierach seeks out great fishing experiences with one goal in mind: to have a good time and maybe catch some fish. He talks about fashion in flies and fly-tying, about the mysteries of why certain flies work, and about the etiquette of fishing a popular spot. He reflects on how it feels to approach a new stream, acting nonchalant while experiencing intense excitement and anticipation. He also muses about fishing rods: 'Although I own enough rods to build a picket fence around my property, I can sometimes be convinced that I need just one more.' And though Gierach loses some fish along the way, he never loses his passion and sense of humor. 
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3 John Gierach ANOTHER LOUSY DAY IN PARADISE & DANCES WITH TROUT
SIMON & SCHUSTER 1451621272 / 9781451621273 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $15.00 + shipping 




Two books in one! Whether he's weighing the pleasures & deprivation of fishing solo, extolling the virtues of splake, contemplating the guilty pleasures of fishing on private water, or recounting the perils of trying to get a fishing rod case past airport security, this if John Gierach at his vintage best. 6x8 inches; 448 pgs.


'ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gierach is the author of several previous books, most recently Standing in a River Waving a Stick. He has written for Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, and Fly, Rod & Reel, among other publications. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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4 John Gierach AT THE GRAVE OF THE UNKNOWN FISHERMAN
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0743229932 / 9780743229937 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




America's favorite fly-fishing scribe delights anew with sage & witty observations on how to fit fishing into your life - or vice-versa. Gierach takes readers with him through the year, from his early spring forays out of his house after resisting the temptation to go ice-fishing, to the end of the season in his beloved Rocky Mountains, when the snows begin to pile up & getting to the river is all but impossible. Shrewd & observant, brilliantly capturing human nature as it expresses itself on trout waters. 5.5x8.5 inches, 192 pgs.


'At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman marks a significant event for John Gierach and his legion of fans. It is his first book of linked essays on a single theme, his first unified book on his favorite topic; the vagaries of the fishing life. Gierach takes readers with him through the year, from his early spring forays out of his house after resisting the temptation to go ice-fishing, to the end of the season in his beloved Rocky Mountains, when the snows begin to pile up and getting to the river is all but impossible. In between he travels to Wyoming and Nebraska, among other places, to fish and muse on the fishing life. He writes about his fishing buddies and how they invariably deem every trip a success even when, he says, "the best that could be said is that none of us drowned." He contrasts trout and carp (or "lowly carp"), observing that if you wanted to sip white wine and discuss poetry, your companion would be a trout, but if wanted to dig a ditch, you'd want a carp.

As always, Gierach is shrewd and observant, brilliantly capturing human nature as it expresses itself on trout waters. And, also as always, he tosses off more than his share of memorable one-liners: "I've learned that the trick to being a happy fisherman is to be easily pleased." And, "anyone would go fishing thinking he'll catch something. It's when you go figuring you probably won't that you know you've crossed some kind of line." For those who have crossed the line, the new Gierach is here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Gierach
is the author of numerous classic books about fishing, among them Sex, Death, and Fly-fishing and Standing in a River Waving a Stick. He is a contributor to Field & Stream, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Fly, Rod & Reel, where he is a regular columnist. He also writes columns for the Longmont (CO) Daily Times-Call and the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
Price: 12.40 USD
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5 John Gierach DEATH, TAXES, & LEAKY WADERS: A JOHN GIERACH FLY-FISHING TREASURY
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0684868598 / 9780684868592 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $13.70 + shipping 




America's bestselling flyfishing writer reels us in once again with an irresistible collection featuring 40 of his finest, hand picked favorites from all his books. Line art; 6x9 inches; 416 pgs.


'Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders collects forty of John Gierach's finest essays on fishing from six of his books. Like all his writing, these essays are seasoned by a keen sense of observation and a deep knowledge and love of fishing lore, leavened by a wonderfully wry sense of humor. Gierach often begins with an observation that soon leads to something below the surface, which he finds and successfully lands. As Gierach says, writing is a lot like fishing.

Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders collects forty of John Gierach's finest essays on fishing from six of his books. Like all his writing, these essays are seasoned by a keen sense of observation and a deep knowledge and love of fishing lore, leavened by a wonderfully wry sense of humor. Gierach often begins with an observation that soon leads to something below the surface, which he finds and successfully lands. As Gierach says, writing is a lot like fishing.

This is the first anthology of John Gierach's work, a collection that is sure to delight both die-hard fans and new readers alike. To enter Gierach's world is to experience the daily wonder, challenge, and occasional absurdity of the fishing life -- from such rituals as the preparation of camp coffee (for best results, serve in a tin cup) to the random, revelatory surprises, such as the flashing beauty of a grayling leaping out of the water. Whether he's catching fish or musing on the ones that got away, Gierach is always entertaining and enlightening, writing with his own inimitable blend of grace and style, passion and wit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gierach is the author of several previous books, most recently Standing in a River Waving a Stick. He has written for Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, and Fly, Rod & Reel, among other publications. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.

EXCERPT
I think writing is a lot like fishing, especially when it's about fishing, as most of mine is. Both take curiosity, patience, persistence, lots of time, some skill, a willingness to put things together in odd ways, an appreciation of the process itself (regardless of how it turns out), and faith that it's all somehow worthwhile. What sane person would spend a whole day writing a paragraph that reads like it was dashed off in thirty seconds' The same kind who'd fish for one big trout all morning just so he can look at it and release it.

I like to think I was born to be a fisherman. There's a family story that I caught my first bluegill at age five and wanted to have it mounted. I don't remember that, but it sounds about right. By the time I was a teenager I fit the standard profile of a lifelong angler: I was lazy, shiftless, unambitious, and willing to work hard only at things that were widely considered useless. My folks thought I'd grow out of it.

As for writing, I don't remember why I first thought I'd like it, but I have to suspect it's because writers weren't very well thought of and because they didn't seem to work. At a certain age, playing hard, not really working, and living up to a bad reputation seemed like the way to go.

My first revelation was that writing did involve some work. Lots of it, actually. Some people have a warped view of writers in general, and outdoor writers in particular. Now and then someone will say to me, "Boy, what a life you have. All you do is fish." Usually I nod and smile because that's what I used to think myself and because it's not entirely wrong, but there's a mood I sometimes get into that makes me ask, "Who the hell do you think writes the stories'"

Then there are those who'll tell you you're blessed with talent, which is another way of saying you don't work. If you explain that whatever talent you may have now is the result of decades of toil, they'll say that kind of patience is a gift. There's no talking to some people. If they want you to be blessed, then you're blessed, god damn it! Don't argue.

Then again, one of my more levelheaded friends once said, "Look, if someone thinks you don't work, maybe it means your writing seems effortless, so you should take it as a compliment." I wouldn't mind having more levelheaded friends, but when eventually almost everyone you know is a fly fisher, guide, writer, editor, or publisher, you take what you can get.

I didn't start out to be a fishing writer; I started out to be a "serious" writer, back when I was much younger and still liked the sanctimonious sound of that. I wrote my first stories for outdoor magazines out of curiosity; to see if maybe that wouldn't be a better way for a struggling writer to support himself than driving a garbage truck -- not that driving a garbage truck was all that bad.

That didn't work out the way I had it pictured because writing for a living turned out to be a full-time job that left less time and energy for art than real work had. On the other hand, I found that writing was writing and that any subject -- with the possible exception of golf -- could open up on grand themes if that's what you wanted it to do.

I remember two milestones now: the first story I sold, and the first story I sold that seemed to be about grayling fishing in Canada but that was really about death. At the time I thought I'd fooled the editor who bought it, but years later I ended up fishing for salmon in Scotland with him and he said, "Remember that story you did once about death and grayling' I liked that one."

Some of these stories began in the "Outside" column I've been writing for the Longmont Daily Times-Call newspaper for the last seventeen years and also the one I did for the New York Times for a short period in the early '90s. Being a weekly columnist is grueling, but it's a good job for a writer. If nothing else, it's steady work, and it also keeps you in shape, like hiking two or three miles a day unless there's a good reason not to, which I also do. You know that whatever else happens in a week's time, you'll write one reasonably coherent, 800-word story, and in most cases you'll go fishing at least one extra time so you'll have something to write about.

It really is grueling at times -- the writing, not the fishing -- but by now I'm so used to it I'd probably miss it. I didn't even realize how long I'd been doing it until a few years ago, when, during my rare appearances in the newsroom, some of the younger people there started calling me "sir" and a man in his thirties told me he'd grown up reading my column.

Anyway, some of those short columns hinted at something more, so they went on to become magazine stories, and then finally book chapters, usually getting longer and more genuine in the process. A book is the only place where I don't run into constraints on length, language, or content, and in a few cases book chapters have served as revenge against editors who located the heart and soul of a story and removed it before it appeared in the magazine or who just chopped it for length and accidentally hit a vital spot.

I hadn't read most of these essays since they were published, because by the time a book comes out I'm done with it. For one thing, I've moved on to other fishing trips and other stories. And I've already read the thing dozens of times, carefully, critically, changing this and that, then maybe changing it back to the way it was to begin with. Then I read the copyedited manuscript. Then I proofed the galleys. When the actual book arrives in the mail, I'm happy to see it -- even get a little glow of satisfaction -- but I don't feel like reading it again.

Then I have to pick a nice short chapter to read aloud on the brief publicity tour my publisher now sends me on when I have a new book. (I read the same one over and over so I come to know it by heart and don't stammer too much.) I'm fairly new to book tours and I guess they're not my favorite part of being a writer. There's something in my Midwestern Protestant upbringing that makes me shy about being the center of attention, and of course book tours are almost always scheduled when the fish are biting back home.

Still, I've come to terms. It's fun traveling on an expense account -- even if you don't have much time to abuse it -- and some neat things usually happen. I get to see some of the great independent bookstores -- Tattered Cover, Elliott Bay, Powell's, Boulder Bookstore -- meet guides, fishermen, book people, and other writers; sometimes get an invitation to come back later and go fishing; or maybe even accidentally say something that could be construed as brilliant. And once I ran into an old girlfriend who somehow hadn't aged a day in more than twenty years. She asked if I remembered her. How could I forget'

A few pieces of advice about book tours from more experienced writers helped a lot. Specifically: "Don't start believing your own dust jacket copy" and "Don't let the bastards put you in a necktie."

I enjoyed reading these stories again because I'd all but forgotten about some of them. Sure, a few I remembered nearly word for word and a few more started to come back after I read the first paragraph, but some of the oldest ones were almost new; by now, no more than vaguely familiar. Not surprising, I guess. I figure that since I finished Trout Bum in 1985 I've written over eight hundred newspaper columns, somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred magazine stories and nine books.

I'm almost sorry now that I stopped to figure that out (and also surprised I kept such good records), because adding up numbers is no better a way to look at a life spent writing than one spent fishing. The fact is, I either don't work as hard as it seems, or I do, but I enjoy it so much it doesn't really qualify as work. Years ago Charlie Waterman admitted that writing about fishing can be more fun than actually fishing. Up until then I thought that was my little secret.

I think I'm a better writer now than I once was, but I can't put my finger on anything I do differently. I've always tried to figure out what a story is actually about -- usually it's something other than the fishing, but that wouldn't have come up without the fishing -- and I've tried for the sound of real, spoken language.

I think a good fishing story is like any good story: It either gets at something that wasn't immediately apparent or it gets at something obvious in a way you never thought of before. Beyond that it's honest, plainspoken, and avoids being a billboard for the author's ego. Of course that last one is the trickiest, because your own motives are always the hardest to see and because without a pretty healthy ego you wouldn't be writing in the first place.

Still, you come to understand that if you compose something that you think really shows off your skill as a writer, you should get rid of it because it's self-indulgent and, worse yet, it won't fool anyone. At its worst, this can become what Garrison Keillor recently called "stuff in which there's nobody home," and Jim Harrison could have been talking about fishing stories instead of poetry when he said that most of it was "elaborate harness that never smelled a real horse."

There have been times when I dashed off columns on a portable typewriter set up on a picnic table or tailgate and filed them with datelines like "Last Chance, Idaho," but I do most of my writing at my desk at home. It's best for me to take a good, long time to write a story, and also to let a trip sink in for a while and then see which parts of it float to the top by themselves.

I do keep a fishing journal that I sometimes refer back to -- usually to find something like the correct spelling of "Agulukpak River" -- but besides making short daily entries in that, I really try not to write on the road. (If I did I'd have graduated to a lap-top by now, and although I think typewriters are charming, computers annoy me.) Whatever contraption they're written on, the stories are almost always cleaner and more honest if I don't try to orchestrate them as they're happening, but just go fishing to see what happens and then think about it later. If a trip somehow doesn't produce a story, that just means I have to go fishing again right away. It's my job.

Jim Harrison (obviously one of my favorite writers) recently described the process of editing a collection of his own work as "brain peeling," but for me rereading the six books I've drawn on in this volume was fun, like going back through old photos -- even though a few were the inevitable snapshots of people who are now dead but back then were holding big trout and grinning. Since no one told me to choose the best stories based on some objective standard -- let alone what that standard might be -- I just picked the ones I liked the most, for reasons of my own.

Writers are compulsive tinkerers, and I did feel the urge to edit here and there or maybe revise in light of what I've learned since, but I resisted. If there's ever a time when a story is irretrievably finished, it's when it appears between the covers of a book. And anyway, I like them all the way they are, especially the parts that let you fill in things like the actual size of a fish for yourself, thereby almost surely making it bigger than it really was. A man I've fished with for years was once asked if all my stories were true. He said, "You bet they are -- in a way."

I also noticed that I kept drifting back to old familiar fishing spots in one way or another: the St. Vrain, Platte, and Frying Pan Rivers, some local bass and bluegill ponds and pocket water streams. Fishing writers dote on their home waters and compare everything else to them. (What's the Moraine River in Alaska like' It's like the North Platte in Wyoming except with tundra instead of prairie and brown bears instead of cows.) The home water is where we do our casual, day-to-day fishing, where our friends are most likely to say the offhandedly profound things we end up making our own, and where we sooner or later take on the coloration of our environment.

But there are plenty of new places, too, because writers and fishermen are restless, always sniffing out something unfamiliar to compare with what we think we already know. I remember some of those new places clearly, even if I only fished them once years ago and never quite got around to going back, but some others have pretty much faded. That is, I can picture them well enough, but I don't recall their names and I don't think I could find them again without help. I'm not sure how I feel about that. A little wistful, maybe, but also happy I've done so much fishing that I've managed to lose track of entire rivers.

Naturally, some of the old familiar places I wrote about fifteen and twenty years ago are even more familiar now, but then some waters you could once get on because no one much cared are now fenced and posted, and there have been changes in regulations, overcrowding, floods, fish kills, natural cycles, new fish stocked in some places, an end to stocking in others, and lately whirling disease. Proposed dam projects were defeated on two of my favorite streams, but the rivers seem more fragile now. There are days when I stop casting and think, This could have been under fifty feet of water -- and it might be yet if we're not careful.

But then some places are still the same as when I first saw them, either because they're that resilient or they've somehow been overlooked. A few even seem better than they were, with more and bigger fish, but that's probably just because I'm a better fisherman now. And of course they're as beautiful as ever, like the ageless former girlfriend in Portland. Or was it Eugene'



This is the first anthology of John Gierach's work, a collection that is sure to delight both die-hard fans and new readers alike. To enter Gierach's world is to experience the daily wonder, challenge, and occasional absurdity of the fishing life -- from such rituals as the preparation of camp coffee (for best results, serve in a tin cup) to the random, revelatory surprises, such as the flashing beauty of a grayling leaping out of the water. Whether he's catching fish or musing on the ones that got away, Gierach is always entertaining and enlightening, writing with his own inimitable blend of grace and style, passion and wit. 
Price: 13.70 USD
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6 John Gierach EVEN BROOK TROUT GET THE BLUES
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0671779109 / 9780671779108 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




As only he can, Gierach writes about the hard life of a brook trout in the Rockies; bamboo versus graphite rods; hog holes, secret streams, poachers and, of course, the sport (or is it religion?) of fly fishing. 5x8 inches, 224 pgs.


 
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7 John Gierach FISHING BAMBOO: AN ANGLER'S PASSION FOR THE TRADITIONAL FLY ROD
NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK 1493007432 / 9781493007431 Hardcover BOOK 
Price:  $18.90 + shipping 




This book celebrates the art of the bamboo fly rod & offers a detailed & memorable portrait of the pleasures of "fishing bamboo." Has a helpful bibliography & lists of reliable rod dealers & modern bamboo rod-makers. A classic intro to bamboo rods & to the subculture of people who make, buy, collect & fish with them. B&W illus t/out; 6x9 inches, 128 pgs.


'An introduction to bamboo fly rod fishing by a master of the sport.

Once an angler masters a graphite rod, his interests often move on to the original fly rod, pliant bamboo. Until the mid-twentieth century, nearly all fly rods were bamboo. By the 1970s, fiberglass and graphite changed the world of fly-fishing. But more and more anglers are seeing bamboo rods in retail outlets, and want to give them a try. With this book, John Gierach, one of the nation's top fly-fishing writers, provides a philosophical guide to the angler who seeks this new 'old' method. Gierach discusses how bamboo rods are built, how they differ from graphite rods, and how using one will change a fly fisher's approach to the sport. Fishing bamboo might be the pinnacle of fly-casting skill, and this book will help take you there.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Geirach
is a master fly fisherman who lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
Price: 18.90 USD
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8 John Gierach FLY FISHING SMALL STREAMS
NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK 0811722902 / 9780811722902 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $15.00 + shipping 




Advice on tackle selection, reading water, casting techniques and small stream scouting. Laced with insightful, humorous fishing stories and a few guest appearances from friends like A.K. Best. 10 line drawings, 15 B/w photos; 6x9 inches, 160 pgs.


 
Price: 15.00 USD
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9 John Gierach FLYFISHING THE HIGH COUNTRY
NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK 0811731723 / 9780811731720 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $15.00 + shipping 




A look at the fish which live above 6,000 feet, the tackle & flies needed to catch them, & the various techniques applicable to different weather, seasons, & cycles. 6x9 inches, 108 pgs.


''The mountains--any mountains--can make you pay for your fishing with time, shoe leather, exertion, and even disappointment. But they usually give back more than they take in terms of solitude and a sense of adventure that you just won't find on more civilized waters.'
--John Gierach

* Tactics for fishing high country lakes, the conflicting currents of high mountain streams, and the ever-changing waters of beaver ponds
* Cutthroats, brook trout, goldens, rainbows, grayling
* The best weather and seasons to fish and the tackle and flies to take into the high country

Fly-fishing in scenic and remote mountain waters is a special kind of fishing, explored in depth by veteran fly fisher John Gierach. Along with Fly Fishing Small Streams (0-8117-2290-2), this guide, Gierach's first book now in print with Stackpole Books, explains how to find the best waters and how to fish them to the best advantage.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Gierach
is the author of At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman, Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders, and Good Flies, and he has written articles for Fly Rod & Reel, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Field & Stream. He lives in the high-country state of Colorado. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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10 John Gierach FOOL'S PARADISE
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0743291743 / 9780743291743 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




A lyrical, surprising book of observations on fishing, nature, travel & life. Includes great fish tales, lots of witty observations, criticisms of all that's wrong with the world today (everything that isn't fishing & even some things that are). Gierach weighs in on subjects as varied as cellphones & airports, pick-up trucks & secret streams. B&W illus t/out; 5.5x8.5 inches, 224 pgs.


'Everyone's favorite fishing writer is back with more fly-fishing pleasures in this lyrical, surprising book of observations on fishing, nature, travel, and life.

Classic Gierach at his best: Fool's Paradise is everything that Gierach's loyal fans expect from him: great fish tales, lots of witty observations, and criticisms of all that's wrong with the world today, that is, everything that isn't fishing related and even some things that are. Everything is subject to scrutiny as Gierach weighs in on subjects as varied as cellphones and airports, pick-up trucks and secret streams.

First new book in three years: Gierach's fans have waited for a new book and Fool's Paradise will reel them in. There are stories about fishing from all over North America, from Alaska and British Columbia to Newfoundland.

If John Gierach is living in a fool's paradise, then it's a paradise that his regular readers will recognize and new fans will delight in discovering. Laced with the inimitable blend of wit and wisdom that have made him fly-fishing's foremost scribe, Fool's Paradise chronicles the fishing life in all its glory (catching your biggest fish ever) and squalor (being stranded in a tent during a soaking rainstorm). In Gierach's world, both experiences are valuable, and both evoke humor and insight.

Fishermen everywhere will understand Gierach's quest to discover and explore new waters (and then not to divulge the best locations to anyone), the unlikely appeal of winter fly-fishing ("the ice fishing shanty served the dual purpose of group therapy and the neighborhood tavern"), how impossible it is to predict the best fishing ("Everything that happens is entirely familiar, but I don't always see it coming"), or even the absurdity of the entire exercise ("day after day, you're casting a fly that doesn't look like anything to fish that aren't hungry and may not even be there"). Braving trips on small prop planes and down "Oh-My-God" roads alike, Gierach and his fishing buddies pursue bull trout in British Columbia, steelhead in the Rocky Mountains, and pike so fierce that a wise fisherman wears Kevlar gloves for the obligatory trophy photo.

But as with any activity that depends on unspoiled wilderness, change is constant. Gierach sees this happening both in the landscape ("You never get to point at a meadow full of browsing mule deer and say, 'You know, all this was once condos.'") and at lodges that now require guests to sign liability waivers ("[I] had a brief vision of herds of lawyers coursing over the tundra in search of litigation"). Just the same, he is always awed by the experience of nature, or as he puts it: "You're on a lovely, remote wilderness river in the Alaskan backcountry. There are people who would make this trip and not even bring a fishing rod."

Musing on the enduring appeal of fishing, Gierach theorizes, "We're so used to the fake and the packaged that encountering something real can amount to a borderline religious experience." Equal parts fishing lore, philosophy, and great fish stories, Fool's Paradise may not be a perfect substitute for actually being out on the water, but it's surely the next best thing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JOHN GIERACH
is the author of many books and his work has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Fly Rod & Reel, where he is a regular columnist. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
Price: 12.40 USD
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11 John Gierach GOOD FLIES: FAVORITE TROUT PATTERNS & HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY
NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK 1493007440 / 9781493007448 Hardcover BOOK 
Price:  $18.90 + shipping 




This intimate glimpse behind Gierach's vise focuses on the trout flies he has found most successful & how he ties them. How he developed as a fly tyer - from a hopeless tinkerer to settling on a large handful of favorite patterns that now catch most of his trout. Gierach explores the tools he uses for his tying & he makes his case for the use of natural materials. The flies themselves - small, medium, & large mayflies, spinners, midges, caddis, hoppers, nymphs, & streamers. Throughout, the book is punctuated with fishing stories & observations on days astream as well as days at his vise, all in Gierach's inimitable style. B/w illus throughout; 6x9 inches, 192 pgs.


'A great writer, some great flies, and more practical and amusing observations on flies and fly tying than you'll find in books three times as large.

There are chapters on how he developed as a fly tyer--from being a hopeless tinkerer who tried every pattern there was to settling on a large handful of favorite patterns that now catch most of his trout. The tools he uses for his tying are simple and basic (and few), and he makes his case for the use of natural materials. Then there are cogent chapters on the flies themselves--small, medium, and large mayflies (which is how he arranges them in his fly boxes), spinners, midges, caddis, hoppers, nymphs, and streamers.

Gierach rambles a little, following this thread and that, always full of wit and deft experience and that special down-home style that has made him America's favorite fly-fishing author. No fan of his will want to miss this delightful little book on the heart of all fly fishing: the fly.

REVIEWS
'If Mark Twain were alive and a modern-day fly fisherman, he still would be hard put to top John Gierach.' --Sports Illustrated

'Gierach's skill lies in turning maddening frustration into fun.' --USA Today

PRAISE FOR JOHN GIERACH
'Gierach writes with more knowledge and more humor about all the joys, vicissitudes, horrors, and hallelujahs of pursuing fish than almost anyone else laboring at the craft today.' --John Nichols


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gierach is the author of eleven books, including the famous Trout Bum and such other popular titles as The View from Rat Lake, Where The Trout Are All As Long As Your Leg, Fishing Bamboo, and the recent Standing in a River Waving a Stick. He is a columnist for both Sports Afield and Fly Rod & Reel, and his work has appeared in Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, Gray's Sporting Journal, and most other national outdoor magazines. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
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12 John Gierach NO SHORTAGE OF GOOD DAYS
SIMON & SCHUSTER 074329176X / 9780743291767 Paperback BOOK 
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In his new book about the delightful torture known as fly fishing, John Gierach again demonstrates the wit, eloquence, & insight that have become his trademarks. This is his first new book in three years. 224 pgs.


'Consider this observation about fishing: "From my own experience I can say that a bad back makes you hike slower, stove-up knees keep you from wading confidently, tendinitis of the elbow buggers your casting, and a dose of giardia can send you dashing into the bushes fifteen times in an afternoon, but although none of this is fun, it's discernibly better than not fishing."

Or this explanation for every fisherman's fascination with small streams: "The idea is to fish obscure headwater creeks in hopes of eventually sniffing out an underappreciated little trout creek down an un-marked dirt road. Why is another question. I suppose it's partly for the fishing itself and partly to satisfy your curiosity, but mostly to sustain the belief that such things are still out there to find for those willing to look."

And perhaps the ultimate explanation for the fishing obsession: "I briefly wondered how much trouble a guy should go to in order to catch a few little trout, but then any fish becomes worth catching to the extent that you can't catch it, so the answer was obvious: Once you decide to try, you go to as much trouble as it takes."

In No Shortage of Good Days Gierach takes usfrom the Smokies in Tennessee to his home waters in Colorado, from the Canadian Maritimes to Mexico'saltwater or fresh, it's all fishing and all irresistible. As always he writes perceptively about a wide range of subjects: the charm of familiar waters, the etiquette 27.99 of working with new fishing guides, night fishing when the trout and the mosquitoes are both biting, fishing while there is still slush on the river, fishing snobbery, and the delights of fresh fish cooked and eaten within sight of where it was caught. No Shortage of Good Days may be the next best thing to a day of fishing.


About the Author:
John Gierach
is the author of many previous books, including Trout Bum, Sex, Death and Fly Fishing, and Even Brook Trout Get the Blues. His work has appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, Field & Stream, where he is a contributing writer, and Fly Rod & Reel, where he is a columnist. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
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13 John Gierach SEX, DEATH AND FLY FISHING
SIMON & SCHUSTER 067168437X / 9780671684372 Paperback BOOK 
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Gierach's quest takes us from his quiet home waters to the Yellowstone River; from Utah's famous Green River to unknown creeks throughout Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Along the way, we're introduced to a lively group of fishing buddies and even an ex-girlfriend. 5x8 inches, 233 pgs.


'From the irrepressible author of Trout Bum and The View from Rat Lake comes an engaging, humorous, often profound examination of life's greatest mysteries: sex, death, and fly-fishing.

John Gierach's quest takes us from his quiet home water (an ordinary, run-of-the-mill trout stream where fly-fishing can be a casual affair) to Utah's famous Green River, and to unknown creeks throughout the Western states and Canada. We're introduced to a lively group of fishing buddies, some local "experts" and even an ex-girlfriend, along the way

Contemplative, evocative, and wry, he shares insights on mayflies and men, fishing and sport, life and love, and the meaning (or meaninglessness) of it all.


CONTENTS

1 Sex, Death, and Fly-fishing
2 Bass Fishing by the Numbers
3 Midge Fishing
4 Expertizing
5 I'd Fish Anyone's ST. Vrain
6 The Less-loved Fishes
7 Sticks
8 The Drought Year
9 Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Gloom of Night
10 Fly-fishing's National Bird
11 Guiding and Being Guided
12 The Chairman's Bass
13 Rivers
14 A Quiet Week
15 Wyoming
16 British Columbia
17 The Trout Wars
18 Autumn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A freelance writer and a trout bum, John Gierach has had stories published in most major fishing and outdoor magazines. In addition to The View from Rat Lake and Trout Bum, he is the author of Fishing the High Country. He lives on the St. Vrain River in Colorado.

EXCERPT Chapter 1

Sex, Death, and Fly-fishing

On a stretch of one of the forks of a small river near where I live in northern Colorado, there is, in the month of July, a fabulous Red Quill spinner fall. As near as I can tell, it consists of at least three different species of these reddish-brown mayflies ranging in size from number 12s down to 16s or 18s. The fall lasts for weeks -- sometimes more than a month -- on and off, coming and going, overlapping, hardly ever the same twice.

No, I don't know which specific bugs are involved and, at the risk of insulting the entomologists, I'm not sure how much it would matter if I did. When the fall comes off, you fish one of the Red Quill or Rusty Spinner patterns in the appropriate size. When it doesn't come off, knowing the Latin name of the insect that is mysteriously absent lets you piss and moan in a dead language, but otherwise doesn't help much.

And there are plenty of evenings when this thing doesn't work out from a fishing standpoint, even though the bugs are at least in evidence on an almost nightly basis. As spinner falls go, this is the spookiest one I've seen, probably only because I've seen so much of it. Usually it has to do with the weather.

Here on the East Slope of the Rocky Mountains midsummer is the season for hot, clear, bluebird days punctuated by late afternoon thundershowers. Mayfly spinners -- most of them, anyway -- like to fall in the evenings when the light is low, and the air is cool and maybe a little damp. That's a little damp; a full-fledged rain can put them off, depending on the timing.

If the rain comes early enough in the day, it's over before the spinner fall should happen, and it has actually helped things along by chilling and humidifying the air a little. It's part of the local lore that an early shower can mean a good spinner fall later on.

If a thunderstorm comes late enough, after the flies have already formed up over the stream -- and suddenly enough, without announcing itself with too much wind or cool air -- it can flush the bugs into the water where the trout can get them.

This can make for some great fishing, provided the rain is heavy enough to knock the flies down, but not so heavy it makes the water too rough for the trout to see them -- in which case the fish won't feed on them after all.

When that happens, you race downstream in your rain slicker to where the current pools out at the head of a small canyon reservoir in hopes that when the storm passes, the bugs will be collected down there and the trout will rise to them.

That's assuming the rain doesn't last too long, and doesn't muddy the water so much that the trout, once again, can't see the bugs on the surface of the stream, and, once again, won't eat them.

When the rain comes at its more normal time -- a few hours before dusk, before the spinner fall should start -- it may cool the air in the canyon too much, and cancel the event, although you might just hike up there anyway because some nights the weather clears off, warms up just enough (but not too much), gets very still, and the spinner fall is unusually heavy.

Sometimes.

Not always.

And I am not being sarcastic when I say that trout are known to be particularly fond of spinners.

On rare overcast, drizzly afternoons, the Red Quill dun hatch can last late, and the spinner fall can come early, giving you hours of good fishing with a transition point when both forms of the bug are on the water at once. Many trout can be caught on dry flies then if you're smart enough to notice what's happening with the weather, drop everything at home, and get up there early. Under gray skies and drizzle, dusk is usually too late.

Wet, gloomy summer days are unusual in semiarid Colorado, and this has only happened three times that I know of in something like ten years. I missed it once, although I sure heard about it later from some friends who were there. They caught lots of trout, including some big ones. It was great, they said, in a not so subtle tone of accusation.

The assumption out here is, you should always go fishing, period. If you don't, even for what might appear in other circles to be a good reason, the suspicion is that you are getting uppity or, even worse, lazy. You get some grief for staying home, and when the fishing was great, well...

People will forgive you for missing it once or twice, but no more than that.

On other days when I was there and ready, the air got too cool, or a stiff breeze came up, or the drizzle got too drizzly, or something. Once it was looking just right until a sheet of hail drew itself across the canyon like a gauze curtain, and my friend Koke Winter and I ended up huddling in the flimsy cover of a juniper tree getting whacked hard by a few less hailstones than if we'd been standing out in the open. A big one got me square on the back of the hand when I reached out to pick a nearly ripe raspberry. By morning I had a bruise the size of a quarter.

It was all over in about twenty minutes, and the evening slid into ideal, textbook conditions -- cool, still, dusky, humid -- except that not a single swallow flashed in the air over the stream to eat the bugs because there were no flies, and not a single trout rose for the same reason. The sky was clear with stars, the air was freshly washed and thick with clean, organic smells, the reservoir was a dark, disk-shaped mirror. To anyone but a fly-fisherman it would have seemed peaceful and quite pretty.

We figured the hail had killed all the flies and knocked all the trout senseless, so we went home. Koke doesn't drink anymore, so we couldn't even stop for a beer.

For the absolutely cosmic spinner fall, it seems as though perfect conditions have to also be preceded by perfect conditions, and I don't know how far back in time this meteorological juggling act has to go. I do know that even a slightly larger dose of what would normally be ideal is deadly. I suppose there's a lesson there.

It seems like your best bet for a workmanlike, day-to-day spinner fall is a clear, warm evening with no wind. This kind of conservative weather stops short of being the model of perfection, but it doesn't court disaster either.

The more you fish the more you start seeing these things the way a farmer does: it doesn't have to be great, just, please, don't let it be awful.

On those days you hike up the stream with the last direct rays of sunlight still on the water. This is a shallow, stooped-shouldered, forested canyon with a few rock outcrops at the water, and a few more standing up at the lip. The slope is gentle enough lower down to allow for some patches of wild grass. The stream has a sand and sandstone bottom, so even when it's clear it can seem to have a brownish cast to it. Some evenings it gets amber for a few seconds just before the light goes off it.

A good hundred yards downstream from the riffle we always start at, you can see the swarm of mayflies high in the air above the stream, dipping and climbing, their clear wings flashing. At these times they look like they're spinning, hence the name.

These particular mayflies seem to begin mating about the time the light goes off them. It's not a deep canyon, and it runs roughly east and west, so the sun stays on the water longer than you'd think it should. Not that you're likely to be impatient or anything. The bugs copulate on the wing, and then begin to fall on the water right around dark.

Sometimes, as the insects dip lower and lower over the stream, the odd, eager brown trout will jump out of the water and try to grab one. He seldom gets it. Nine times out of ten this is a little fish and you ignore it, but when it's a big trout you tie on an upright-winged Red Quill and cast it over there.

He almost never takes it. I know this to be true, but I have yet to figure out why. It should work but it doesn't, that's all.

Usually the few trout you see rising sporadically here and there while the spinners are still in the air will be taking ants, beetles, the occasional midge, errant mayfly dun, or caddis fly. Whatever happens to be around, in other words. This is not an especially rich stream, so the fish have learned to eat whatever is there.

On many nights the real spinner fall, and, therefore, the real hot fishing, begins after dark when you can't see what you're doing. You stumble over rocks, wade too deeply and ship water, snag your fly in the bushes, and tie wind knots in your leader that you don't know about until you hear them whistle past your ear. The question then is whether it will be easier to retie the leader or untie the knot, keeping in mind that you can't see what the hell you're doing in either case.

When you do get a good cast on the water, hints as to where your fly is and whether or not a trout has eaten it are sometimes telegraphed back to you in terms of spreading, starlit ripples and/or soft plopping sounds. But they're just hints. You can fish for hours without knowing for sure if you're using the wrongsized fly, getting a bad drift, or if you're getting strikes you don't know about.

There are a few of us who fish this thing regularly, even though the trout aren't normally very big, and even though we often don't catch very many of them. The fact is, we seem to be truly fascinated by it, and I say that based on the evidence.

When we go up there and the spinners aren't happening for some reason, we don't tie on streamers or fish ants to the bank feeders because that might trash the water if the spinners actually do come on later. Nor do we work upstream to fish the pocket water with caddis flies because the spinners might come on while we're gone. We do a lot of standing around with spinner patterns already tied to 5 or 6x tippets, fly rods under our arms, hands in pockets, waiting. Sometimes there's a big beaver to watch, or little brown myotis bats to dodge. It can be nice and peaceful.

I like to think of this spinner fall as one of the great enigmas: the kind of thing that puts all the how-to-do-it fly-fishing writing in its place. If you hit it just right, the problem is not "How to Catch Trout During a Spinner Fall" -- that's something you'll do without much trouble at all -- but hitting it right is a matter of exquisite timing and some luck. It's the kind of puzzle where the challenge isn't to put the pieces together, but just to locate all the damned pieces in the first place.

We sometimes catch ourselves getting a little conceited as we stand out there in the dark without having landed so much as a single trout between us all evening. I mean, this is the really difficult fishing, definitely not for amateurs.

Someone finally says, "I'll tell ya, this isn't something for those guys who have to have 'big fish and lots of 'em,' is it'"

And someone else answers, trying to keep the uncertainty out of his voice, "Nope, it sure isn't."

For the moment at least, we fall into that class of fishermen who fancy themselves to be poet/philosophers, and from that vantage point we manage to pull off one of the neatest tricks in all of sport: the fewer fish we catch the more superior we feel.

Part of the fascination has to do with the mayflies themselves. We fly-fishers have a historic and abiding affection for them, and it's no wonder.

First there's that seemingly magical transformation. The insects spend most of their lives as downright unattractive bugs living under rocks on the stream bottom, but then, one day when all the signals are green, they swim to the surface to emerge as these really pretty flies. Even people who aren't especially interested in bugs will admit that mayflies are quite beautiful, at least after you've explained that they're not some kind of mosquito.

Beauty from ugliness, the sudden freedom of flight after a lifetime under a rock, and all that. It really is something.

These are the mayfly duns, and, as we all know, the ones that aren't eaten up by trout or birds fly to bankside bushes where they soon molt into spinners.

As pretty as the duns are, the spinners are even prettier. Their tails get longer and more graceful, their body colors brighten, and their wings get clear and sparkly. They're lovely, and this seems appropriate to us, because now the bugs' only chores in life are to mate and expire. Scientists call the whole group of mayflies Ephemeridae, from the same Latin that gave us "ephemeral," or "lasting for a brief time; short-lived; transitory." Even "tragic" if you want to stretch it.

We seem to have a real affection for the image of a beautiful insect that only lives for a single day (more or less) and whose only mission is to make love just once. They don't even eat. Poets got off on this as symbolic of the fleeting nature of life, love, and beauty until it became a cliché and had to be dropped or turned into a joke. The last literary reference I saw to it was in an old Playboy cartoon that showed a boy mayfly saying to a girl mayfly, "What do you mean, 'not tonight'!'"

Mayflies and fly-fishing have always been inseparably connected (they're our favorite bug, after all), and that may be one reason why the sport is still seen as contemplative, even now with all our scientific and technical hoopla.

This really is kind of sweet, in a nineteenth-century sort of way, and it's not too difficult to attach religious overtones to it as well, but it's also efficient as all get out in a biological sense. Technically, this behavior is called semelparity, and it is described best by David Quammen in his wonderful book Natural Acts: "An animal or plant waits a very long time to breed only once, does so with suicidal strenuosity, and then promptly dies. The act of sexual procreation proves to be ecstatically fatal, fatally ecstatic. And the rest of us are left merely to say: Wow."

Quammen points out that bamboo trees (from which fly rods are made) do it this way, and that salmon (on which fly rods are used) do it this way, too. I think that's interesting. Could there be some wild, metaphysical connection that makes fly-fishing incredibly sexy'

I sincerely hope so.

Mayflies mate and die en masse (it's been referred to as an orgy, but never as a mass suicide) probably at least partly for the same reason that large numbers of them hatch all at once: because hungry trout eat great numbers of them at these times and, with lots of the bugs making a break for it at once, some will get away to finish the business. It's a kind of suicidal diversionary tactic, and it works just fine in a system where the individual doesn't count for much.

The spinners mate and lay their eggs a little upstream from where the duns hatched, usually over a riffle, thus ensuring that the new eggs, as they wash downstream, will land on the bottom more or less in the same place the last batch did. If they hadn't always leapfrogged upstream like this; that is, if they'd mated and laid their eggs each season where they'd just hatched, they'd have slid downstream a few yards each year, and by now they'd have washed out to sea and become extinct.

And they don't all hatch or fall on the same day either. These things usually stretch over periods of days or weeks, and may start early one year and late the next as conditions dictate, so that something like a random storm or cold snap won't wipe out an entire population.

Hatches and spinner falls are large links in the general food chain, too. The bugs are regularly eaten by creatures like swallows, nighthawks, bats, and, of course, trout. Having the hatches and falls last for days or weeks ensures that the mayflies will survive into future generations, but it also means that trout and others can make dozens of meals out of them instead of just one.

Once the falls have started there are always a few stray, expired spinners floating in shallow backwaters and stuck to weeds. These are clues. While waiting to see what's going to happen this evening, you can cruise the banks and at least see if there was a good rise the night before when you were somewhere else.

And nothing is wasted either. At the end of the spinner fall the few little dead bodies that aren't eaten by trout end up making a small but real contribution to the decomposing organic matter on the stream bottom that serves as fertilizer for more aquatic vegetation that is grazed upon by later generations of mayfly nymphs that hatch to feed new generations of birds, bats, fish, and so on.

It's nothing short of elegant, and the mayfly/trout connection we fly-fishers look so hard for is just a thin slice of it. There are also the game animals that drink from the stream, and the fishing birds that live on young trout, muskrats that eat the aquatic plants, and the swallows that eat the mayflies and live in the cliffs that were excavated by the stream itself.

A good ecologist can put dovetail into dovetail until the whole thing stretches out of sight. We call it an ecosystem now; earlier Americans called it the Sacred Circle. Either way it can make your poor little head swim with a vision of a thing of great size and strength that still depends on the underpinning of its smallest members.

It's a little harder to place our own role in all this because we're the ones doing the placing, so we naturally want to put ourselves at the top somehow, even though we don't actually fit there. Some say we humans have gotten to be so aberrant now that we don't fit anywhere in all this. I don't quite buy that, although it must be admitted that we're not exactly a harmonious species.

This fishing business probably has something to do with play -- practicing a highly refined food-gathering technique as if it really mattered, even though we don't need the food and will probably release any trout we happen to catch. Play is what puppies do. It looks like good, innocent fun -- and it is -- but it also develops the predatory skills that will be needed later in life by the serious adult canine. Ever notice how hard a puppy can bite'

I don't know exactly what fly-fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know.

A mayfly spinner lies on the surface of the stream in what fishermen call the "spent" position. To picture it accurately, remember that the insect has just had the first and only orgasm of its life and is now, in the natural course of things, dying from it. His body lies flush with the water, wings spread, legs out flat, tails splayed wistfully. Usually he's limp. If he struggles at all, he does it feebly at best. There's probably a silly look on his face, although it's hard to tell with insects.

Now picture seventy-five or a hundred of them lying on the water within casting range of where you're standing. As spinner falls go, this is not a terribly heavy one, though if you hit it right it's plenty heavy enough.

You have to imagine this even on-site because the bugs lying flat on the water are all but impossible to see. Even in good light their clear wings will have faded to nothing more than faint outlines, and the light will probably be turning a dull gray by now. It's very possible to fish a spinner fall successfully without ever getting a look at the bug you're imitating so carefully. It can become a matter of belief.

What you will see, if all is as it should be, are the distinctive rises of brown trout. The spinner rise is lazy, or at least businesslike, because, it's said, the fish "know" that the bugs are spent and won't get away.

There are differences of opinion about what trout know in an intellectual sense, but I have to buy the characterization. A trout feeding on an active insect -- say, a mayfly dun, caddis fly, or even an egg-laying spinner fluttering on the surface -- is likely to slash at it eagerly, but the same fish will sip the drifting spinners lazily. In slightly faster water, he might show the porpoising, head and tail rise, but that's about as excited as he gets.

This is important. How hard a trout works to get a given bite of food determines how many of those bites he has to take to first get even, and then make a profit, physiologically speaking. This goes right to survival, with no detours for fooling around or showing off.

During a spinner fall the fish will often ease down into the slower water below the riffle, or even to the tail of the pool. Why fight the heavier flows up ahead' The bugs have had it, and they'll be down here where it's easy soon enough.

Of course the trout understand what's going on. It's nothing less than conceited to think we do, but of course they don't.

The last time it all came together for me was two seasons ago. The weather seemed right, and my friend A. K. Best and I had driven past what was an almost sure caddis hatch on a nearby stream to check on the spinners. It was an act of bravado. It felt promising.

We saw the swallows weaving in the air first, and only spotted the bugs when we were at The Spot with the toes of our waders in the water. Even then they were just faint specks that showed up only because they were moving. There were no wings flashing in the last of the sunlight that evening. It was cloudy, cool for summer, threatening rain, but not raining yet.

We had the stream to ourselves because only tough, smart fishermen like us aren't afraid to get wet.

I don't know what A.K. fished with, although I'm sure he announced the pattern with the usual flourish. I tied on a # 14 Michigan Chocolate spinner, a fly A.K. had turned me on to years before.

This thing has fine split tails of pale dun hackle fibers, spent hen hackle wings of the same color, and a thinly dubbed, dark brown body. Generally the feather wings of spinner flies are white because that's as close as most tiers feel they can come to clear with natural material, but A.K. had once told me that the pale dun wings become more realistically indistinct in the water than the white ones everyone else uses. This from a man who has been known to stop casting when the trout are biting, catch a natural insect, and float it in a backwater next to his imitation, cackling to himself if he likes what he sees, going silent and thoughtful if he doesn't.

The flies began to fall, and the fish started to feed with just enough light left to see by. It was all strangely matter-of-fact, as things you wait for patiently sometimes are when they finally happen. We picked what we thought were the biggest trout, fished long, thin leaders to mimic the flaccid drift of the spinners, and caught fish until past closing time at Andrea's Cafe.

It was as simple as that.

The Red Quill spinner fall on the North Fork is one of the few things in nature that I feel actually belongs to me and a few friends. I don't mean it's a secret. In fact, during the weeks it's on you'll see the odd new face from time to time. Often it's a guy who's well-dressed, well-equipped, and who looks a bit out of place, but he's sniffed this thing out and there he is, ready to catch some trout.

He sometimes picks us out as locals (using the fly-fisherman's innate skill for evaluating fashion and body language) and asks us what the story is on this spinner fall he's heard about.

"Well, some nights it comes off and some nights it doesn't," we say. This sounds pointedly vague and useless and the guy's brow furrows with suspicion. He's no kid. He's been snowed by smart-assed locals before.

I guess we are exercising a little home-courtsmanship, but it's basically the truth. That's all we really know about it.

Of course, waiting out there in the dark with the sky full of bats and owls, we sometimes begin asking the great questions that can kill time so nicely: sex, death, and fly-fishing; the meanings of life and sport; are we real participants or just observers, and what kind of difference does it make'

The new face, who may well disappear after a few more nights of this, joins in the conversation, but he remains wary and watchful. If something wonderful isn't about to happen, then why the hell are we all standing around like this'


Copyright © 1990 by John Gierach 
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14 John Gierach STILL LIFE WITH BROOK TROUT
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0743229959 / 9780743229951 Paperback BOOK 
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Now in paperback, John Gierach's latest masterwork of streamside philosophy is a witty account of all that makes fishing unique & addictive, reminding us once again that there's so much more to fishing than rods & reels. A wonderfully wise meditation that no fisherman will be able to pass up. 5.5x8.5 inches, 224 pgs.


'John Gierach is the fisherman's fisherman, a literary angler who hooks more readers with each of his eagerly anticipated books. In Still Life with Brook Trout, he gives us more of the witty, poignant, and beguiling ruminations that only he seems capable of making, reminding us once again that there's so much more to fishing than rods and reels.

"Imagine the first human to conceive of this," Gierach writes. "He'd have dipped a hook in the water and plucked out a fish. People wouldn't have believed him, so he'd have shown them and it would have seemed like magic. Some days it still does." No one describes the magic of fishing better than Geirach, and no one writes more magically about the subject. From the fisherman's koan ("If the salmon cannot be caught, how can you catch him'") to the lessons of failure ("You are still somehow fulfilling your destiny as a fisherman, and that's bound to be for the best."), this is a wonderfully wise meditation that no fisherman will be able to pass up.

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
Nobody understands better than John Gierach the fine line between healthy passion and clinical pathology that we anglers so comically tread. 'Carl Hiaasen

"Gierach has earned well-deserved recognition as one of fly fishing's finest modern scribes." - Library Journal

"Gierach deserves prominent placement among fishing's A-list literary writers." - Booklist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Gierach
is the author of several previous books. Including At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman and /Dances with Trout. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, Sports Afield and Fly Rod and Reel, where he is a regular columnist. He also writes columns for Colorado's Longmont Daily Times-Call and the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 
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15 John Gierach THE VIEW FROM RAT LAKE
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0671675818 / 9780671675813 Paperback BOOK 
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More sage observations on life and fly fishing in 13 essays filled with Gierach's signature humor. Ranges from fine-leadered trout to brutish battles with pike. Even includes an encounter with an invisible bear. Gierach examines man in nature, nature in man and the high and low comedy that occasionally overcome even the best-planned trip. 5x7 inches, 193 pgs.


 
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16 John Gierach TROUT BUM
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0671644130 / 9780671644130 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $12.40 + shipping 




The people, the places and the accoutrements that surround the sport make a fishing trip more than just a set of tactics and techniques. Gierach, a serious fisherman with a wry sense of humor, shows us just how much more is involved when you're a trout bum. 6x9 inches, 226 pgs.


'While most of us fly-fish to escape from daily life, for John Gierach and his friends fly-fishing IS a way of life. They are trout bums. But John Gierach is also an exceptional writer. The essays in Trout Bum are reflective, bitingly humorous and enormously wise in the ways of fishing and men. In vivid, unforgettable detail they recount the emotional, spiritual and tangible adventures and pleasures of stalking trout in and around the Rockies -- day in, day out, from season to season, with friends and alone. John Gierach's essays join the literary tradition of angling classics like The River Why, and A River Runs Through It.

CONTENTS
1 Trout
2 Lightening the Load
3 Zen and the Art of Nymph-Fishing
4 The Bass Pond
5 Fishing Commandos
6 Camp Coffee
7 No-See-Ums
8 The Fly Collection
9 Kazan River Grayling
10 Cane Rods
11 The Fisher of Small Streams
12 Sawhill Portrait
13 Headwaters
14 Turning Pro
15 The Fly Rod
16 The Adams Hatch
17 Night-fishing
18 Cutthroat Pilgrimage
19 The Fly Box
20 On the Road


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Gierach was born in the Midwest and grew up in Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. He graduated from Findlay College with a degree in philosophy, then moved to the West, where he discovered fly-fishing. That discovery led him to settle down on the St. Vrain River near the small town of Lyons, Colorado. John works as a free-lance writer, photographer, and newspaper columnist and has had articles published in most major fishing and outdoor magazines. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed book Flyfishing the High Country.

PRAISE FOR TROUT BUM
"Trout Bum captures the passion, confusion and left-handed poetry of modern fishing, having his heart to the rivers he fishes, John Gierach conveys the power of his experience without pretense."
--Thomas McGuane

"Trout Bum is one of those delightful finds, like Norman McLean's A River Runs Through It. John Gierach is simply one of the more wonderful outdoor writers to come down the pike in many a season. I laughed out loud on almost every page, and found much of what he has to say very lyrical and touching. This book is a treasure trove of fishy witticisms, outright belly laughs, and enough technical lore and love of nature to keep the most avid (or even the least avid) outdoors person turning pages relentlessly.

Gierach obviously loves deeply and cares for this world he has chosen to make his stand in. It's a beautiful book, humorous, sly, rich, and touching. Once you read the first page, you'll be hooked...and love every minute of it...I promise!"
--John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War, The Magic Journey, and American Blood

REVIEWS
"A brilliant collection of narrative essays about flies, fly rods, float tubes, and just plain fishing. Trout Bum will be a classic of angling literature, not because it adheres to an ancient model, but because it updates a tradition....The way Gierach tells a story is an act of pure generosity...."
--Rod & Reel

"If you enjoy incisive comment, wry humor, and some inventive insight into trout and trout anglers, then Trout Bum is just the book for you...this is highly intelligent stuff indeed, but it is masterfully tempered by Gierach's polished and congenial style."
--Rocky Mountain Streamside

EXCERPT
Chapter 1

Trout

Let's say you're nymph-fishing on Colorado's South Platte River. You've hiked up into the canyon where those deliciously deep potholes are -- the big-fish water -- but have found that today the trout are working the shallow, fast runs. It took you two hours to figure that out, but it's a good sign. They're hungry and, as your partner says, they are "looking up." You're fishing a scud pattern, not the scud pattern, but one you worked out yourself. The differences are minute but are enough to make it your fly and you are catching fish on it, which is highly satisfactory.

You're working the near edge of a fast rip about thirty yards above a strong plunge pool, flipping the weighted nymph rig upstream and following its descent with the rod tip. Your concentration is imperfect as you toy with the idea that this is okay, a fascinating and demanding way to fish, actually, but that too many days of it in a row could make you homesick for the easy grace of real fly-casting.

At the little jiggle in the leader that was just a hair too intelligent looking to be nothing but current or a rock, you raise the rod to set the hook, and there's weight. And then there's movement -- it's a fish.

It's a big fish, not wiggling, but boring, shaking its head in puzzlement and aggravation, but not in fear. It's impressive.

Almost lazily, the trout rises from the bottom into the faster current near the surface, rolls into the rip, and is off downstream. What you feel is more weight than fight, and the wings of panic begin to flutter around your throat. This is the once- or twice-a-year "oh-shit" fish. You should have tried to catch a glimpse of him when he turned -- the only glimpse you may get -- but it all happened so fast. No it didn't. It actually happened rather slowly, almost lazily, as you just pointed out.

You are careful (too careful' not careful enough'). The hook is a stout, heavy-wire number 10, but the tippet is only a 5x, about 4-pound test. The rod is an 8 1/2-foot cane with plenty of backbone in the butt, but with a nicely sensitive tip (catalog talk, but true). The drag on the reel is set light, and line is leaving it smoothly. You drop the rod to half-mast to give the fish his head and are, in fact, doing everything right. It's hopeless.

The trout is far downstream now, on the far side of the rip and the plunge, but the local topography makes it impossible for you to follow. The line is bellied, no longer pointing at the fish.

At some point you are struck by the knowledge that the trout -- that enormous trout -- is no longer attached to you and all your expensive tackle, though you missed the exact moment of separation. You reel in to find that he did not throw the hook but broke you off fairly against the weight of the river. You get a mental snapshot of your fly hanging in the hooked jaw of a heavy...what' A rainbow' More likely a brown. You'll never know.

Losing a fish like that is hard. Sure, you were going to release him anyway, but that's not the point. The plan was to be magnanimous in victory. You ask yourself, was it my fault' A typically analytical question. You can avoid it with poetry of the "it's just nice to be out fishing" variety, or you can soften it with the many levels of technical evasion, but there's finally only one answer: of course it was your fault, who else's fault would it be'

Your partner is out of sight and, although you would have hollered and screamed for him and his camera had you landed the fish, it's not even worth going to find him, now. When you finally meet in the course of leapfrogging down the canyon, you'll say that a while ago you executed an L.D.R. (long distance release) on a hawg, which will summarize the event as well as anything else you could say.

A trout, on this continent at least, is a rainbow, golden, brookie, brown, cutthroat, or some subspecies or hybrid of the above, though every fly-fisher is secretly delighted that the brook trout isn't a trout at all, but rather a kind of char, not that it matters.

Much is actually known about trout and much more is suspected. The serious fly-fisherman's knowledge of these fish draws heavily on science, especially the easygoing, slightly bemused, English-style naturalism of the last century, but it periodically leaves the bare facts behind to take long voyages into anthropomorphism and sheer poetry. Trout are said to be angry, curious, shy, belligerent, or whatever; or it's suggested that when one takes your Adams with a different rise form than he's using on the Blue-winged Olives, he "thought" it was a caddis fly. Cold science tells us that a trout's pea-sized brain is not capable of anything like reason or emotion. That's probably true enough, but in the defense of creative thinking, I have a comment and a question: actions speak louder than words and, if they're so dumb, how come they can be so hard to catch'

The myth of the smart trout was invented by fishermen as a kind of implied self-aggrandizement. To be unable to hook the wise old brown trout is one thing, but to be outsmarted by some slimy, cold-blooded, subreptilian creature with only the dullest glimmerings of awareness is, if not degrading, then at least something you don't want spread around. Trout are smart, boy, real smart.

The way we perceive trout is probably as faulty, from a factual standpoint, as the way they see us, but our folksy ideas about them are useful and are, in that sense, correct. If you tie a streamer fly and fish it in a way designed to make spawning brown trout "mad" and, in the course of events, manage to hook a few fish, then those fish were, by God, mad. End of discussion.

Let's say a fisheries biologist tells you that his studies, and the studies of others, demonstrate that brook trout are not piscivorous; that is, they don't eat other fish. To that you counter that you have caught countless brook trout on streamers (fish imitations), that many of the now-standard American streamer patterns were developed around the wild brook trout fisheries of the East, and that, further, fly-fishermen have believed brook trout to be fish-eaters for nigh on these many generations.

"Well," he says, "we all know brookies are stupid."

Thank you, Mister Science.

Finally, the things fishermen know about trout aren't facts but articles of faith. Brook trout may or may not eat fish, but they bite streamers. You can't even use the scientific method because the results of field testing are always suspect. There are too many variables and the next guy to come along may well prove an opposing theory beyond the shadow of a doubt.

The hatch is the Blue-winged Olive so common in the West. It's a perfect emergence from the fly-fisher's point of view: heavy enough to move all but the very largest of the trout but not so heavy that your pitiful imitation is lost in such a crowd of bugs that the surface of the stream seems fuzzy. Oh yes, hatches can be too good.

When the rise began you fished a #18 dark nymph pattern squeezed wet so it would drift just a fraction of an inch below the surface. This copies the emerging nymph at that point where it has reached the surface but has not yet hatched into the winged fly. Early on in the hatch, these are the bugs that are the most readily available to the fish, the ones they're probably taking even though at first glance it looks like they're rising to dry flies. The difference in position between an emerging nymph and a floating fly is the almost nonexistent thickness of the surface film of the water, and there is often zero difference between the trouts' rise forms.

When the hatch progresses to the point where there are more winged flies on the water than emerging nymphs, you switch to the dry fly, only a few minutes after most of the trout have. There are two mayflies on the water now, identical except that one is about a size 18 and the other, the more numerous, is more like a #22. The larger is the Baetis and the smaller is the Pseudocloeon. You heard that from the local expert and looked up the spellings in Hatches, by Caucci and Nastasi. It sounds good, but what it means is that you fish either the Blue-winged Olive or the Adams in a size 20, to split the difference.

The fish are an almost uniform 14 to 16 inches -- rainbows with a strong silvery cast to them, bodies fatter than most stream fish, with tiny little heads. They are wild and healthy, and you would drive five times farther than you did to fish here.

They're rising everywhere now. In the slower water they're dancing and darting, suspending for a few seconds now and then as if to catch their breath. They will move several inches for your fly, taking it matter-of-factly, completely fooled, but leaving you only a single, precise instant that won't be too early or too late to strike. This has you wound up like the E string on a pawn shop guitar.

In the faster water they are all but invisible, but they're out there because there are enough bugs to make them buck the current. They come up from the bottom through two feet of water, taking the fly with such grace and lack of hesitation that the little blip on the surface seems unconnected with that fluid arc of greenish, pinkish, silvery light in the riffle.

You are on, hot, wired. You've caught so many trout that the occasional missed strike is a little joke between you and the fish. This is the exception rather than the rule -- the time when everything comes together -- but it feels comfortable, like it happens all the time. A hint of greed creeps in. You would like, maybe, a little bigger trout, and to that end you work the far bank. Still, though the trout are now almost part of a process rather than individual victories, you admire each one momentarily before releasing it and going confidently for another.

It's late in the hatch now. Most of the river is in shadow, and the remaining light has a golden, autumnal cast to it. The little rusty-brownish spinners could come on now. This could last. But it's too perfect; it can't last.

Trout are wonderfully hydrodynamic creatures who can dart and hover in currents in which we humans have trouble just keeping our footing. They are torpedo shaped, designed for moving water, and behave like eye witnesses say U.F.O.s do, with sudden stops from high speeds, ninety-degree turns, such sudden accelerations that they seem to just vanish. They seem delicate at times but will turn around and flourish in conditions that look impossibly harsh. They like things clean and cold.

They are brilliantly, often outrageously, colored (the wild ones, anyway) and are a pure and simple joy to behold, though they can be damned hard to see in the water. Even the most gorgeously colored fish are as dark and mottled on the back as the finest U.S. Army-issue jungle camouflage to hide them from predators from above: herons, kingfishers, ospreys, and -- only recently in evolutionary terms -- you and me. Then there are those rare times when the light and everything else is just right, when they're as exposed as birds in the sky, in open water under bright sun as if they were in paradise. At such times they can look black. You feel like a voyeur, delighted with a view of something you have no right to see; but don't feel too guilty -- they'll spook at your first cast.

In one sense trout are perfectly adapted working parts of a stream, a way of turning water, sunlight, oxygen, and protein into consciousness. They feed on the aquatic insects when those bugs are active, and they all but shut down metabolically when they're not. They find glitches in the current where, even in the wildest water, they can lounge indefinitely by now and then lazily paddling a pectoral fin. They have the flawless competence that even the lower mammals have lost by getting to be too smart. They operate at the edges of things: fast and slow currents, deep and shallow water, air and stream, light and darkness, and the angler who understands that is well on his way to knowing what he's doing.

In another sense, trout are so incongruously pretty as to seem otherworldly: that metallic brightness, the pinks and oranges and yellows -- and the spots. One of the finest things about catching a trout is being able to turn it sideways and just look at it. How can so much color and vibrancy be generated by clear water, gray rocks, and brown bugs' Trout are among those creatures who are one hell of a lot prettier than they need to be. They can get you to wondering about the hidden workings of reality.

Releasing trout is a difficult idea to get hold of at first. It doesn't seem to make sense. You want the meat; you want the proof.

In the beginning, catching a trout on a fly is one of those things you have to do before you actually come to believe it's possible. Those first maddening weeks or months with a fly rod make other fly-casters seem like the guy in the circus who can put the soles of his feet flat on the top of his head. Sure, he can do it. If you don't flip out and go back to the spinning rod, you eventually find that it can be done, though the gap between the first time you take trout on a fly rod and the second time can be so wide you come to wonder if it ever really happened. It's easy to lose the clarity of that initial vision. You hear it all the time: "I tried fly-fishing; couldn't get the hang of it."

You keep the early trout (anyone who doesn't is too saintly to be normal) but in time you begin to see the virtue of releasing the wild fish. The logic is infallible: if you kill him, he's gone; if you release him, he's still there. You can think of it in terms of recycling, low impact, all the properly futuristic phrases.

With some practice it's easy to do correctly. Smaller trout can be landed quickly -- the barbless hook is turned out with a practiced motion of the wrist, and it darts away, baffled but unharmed. You haven't lifted him from the water or even touched him.

Larger fish require more handling. You're careful not to lift them by the gill covers or squeeze them too much, causing internal damage. A landing net with a soft cotton-mesh bag helps. Big fish played to exhaustion on tackle that's unavoidably too light are carefully resuscitated (held gently in the current and pumped until they get their wind back and can swim off under their own steam). They seem dazed, and you know that if they were stressed too much, with too much lactic acid built up in their systems, they'll eventually die. It's something to wonder about. Some of your released fish have probably expired later, but you don't know enough about it to determine the actual medical condition of any particular one.

It begins to feel good, the heft and muscle tension of a bright, pretty, live trout held lightly in the cold water. It's like a mild electric shock without the pain. Finally, there's not even an instant of remorse when they dart away. At some point your former values change ends; the bigger the trout, the more satisfying the release. Having all but lost your taste for fish, you begin to release everything -- wild fish, stockers, stunted brook trout, whitefish, bluegills -- with an air of righteousness that pains many of those around you.

At some point you become an absolute snot about it. You are incensed that even staunch antihunters aren't bothered by the killing of fish, that vegetarians will bend the rules for seafood. This, you come to realize, is because trout are not seen as cute by the general population, though of course they are wrong. You begin to feel misunderstood.

That feeling can go on for years, and in some anglers it calcifies into the belief that killing a trout is murder. But maybe one day, without giving it much thought, you go down to the reservoir, after having spotted the hatchery truck there in the morning, and bag a limit of stockers (pale, sickly-looking things with faint purplish stripes where the pink stripe would be on a wild rainbow). It doesn't feel half bad.

Breaded with yellow cornmeal and flour and fried in butter, they're okay, not unlike fishsticks, but with a livery undertaste.

That same season, or perhaps the next, you take a brace of wild fish for what you refer to as a "ceremonial" camp dinner, carefully pointing out that they are small brook trout from overpopulated water. They taste good. They taste wonderful.

You come to realize that you have to kill some now and then because this whole business of studying, stalking, outsmarting, and overpowering game is about death and killing. Take two (three, if they're small) coldly and efficiently, and if you comment on it at all, say something like, "That there is a nice mess of fish."

You still release most of the trout you catch, even in waters where that's not the law, but it's no longer a public gesture. Now it's just what pleases you. When they're big and pretty, you take a photograph, with Kodachrome for the hot colors.

The river was the Henry's Fork in Southern Idaho, at a place that I have been politely asked not to describe. I'll try not to. It's not far upstream from the spot where Archie (A. K.) Best and I saw a yard-long rainbow try to eat a blackbird who was standing at the end of a sweeper picking off Brown Drakes. Honest. Biggest trout either of us had ever seen. The bird got away.

This was the following year and, hunting for the Brown Drake hatch that never materialized, we located another big trout, maybe 25 inches long (maybe longer, it's hard to tell), who was unbelievably feeding on #18 Pale Morning Dun spinners. Only on a bug factory like the Henry's Fork would a fish of that size still be interested in little mayflies. We decided it would be great fun to hook a trout like that on a dry fly and, say, a 5x tippet. I say "hook." We never discussed how we'd land it and I doubt either of us seriously considered it could be done. Still, with all that open water, slow current, and plenty of backing...It would have been something.

It was early June. The Pale Morning Duns were coming off, with simultaneous spinner falls and a smattering of Green Drakes that the fish would switch to when they showed up. Some locals and some hot-dog tourists said the fishing was "slow." A. K. and I wondered what the hell they wanted.

By day we fished in the crowd, sometimes taking an afternoon break to hit the campground, ease out, sip coffee, tie some flies. One day we went up to another stream and caught some little rainbows and brookies for lunch. As we do on the Henry's Fork, we discussed the possibility of taking a day and hitting the Madison or the Teton, or even the Warm River, but never went. We were Henry's Fork junkies on a typical extended trip.

By night (early evening, actually) we would drive to a certain turnoff and then walk to a certain spot where the impossibly big rainbow would be rising to the spinner fall like clockwork. We had Rusty Spinners, Cream Spinners, quill-bodied and dubbed-bodied spinners, spinners with poly wings and hackle-tip wings and clipped-hackle wings, and, for later, Michigan Chocolate spinners for that sharp, dark silhouette against the night sky.

We were fishing rods we'd each built up from identical blanks, old 9-foot, 6-weight waterseals. They were heavy rods, but slow and powerful, just what one would need to land that heavy a trout on a little fly and light tippet. We'd thought this out very well.

For five, maybe six, nights we showed up regularly at that spot and returned to the campground just as the last few friendship fires were down to coals. It would be too late to start anything, so we'd sit on the ground around our cold fire pit, sipping a beer before turning in and muttering arcanely about the fish, the flies, the insects, leader diameters, knots, and the hoped-for commencement of the Brown Drake hatch that we thought might give us a real crack at The Trout. If he (she, probably, but I can't help thinking of big trout as masculine) was taking the little spinners, he'd surely move for the huge #10 Drakes. The big flies would help, and their nighttime emergence and large size would let us go to heavier leaders. In our quiet madness we actually tried to quantify how much of an advantage that would give us. It was time. It could happen any night now. Exactly one year ago the hatch had been on.

Our colleagues at the campground figured we had something going -- probably fishwise, possibly womanwise -- but, although they sometimes hedged around it a little, they never actually came out and asked. Night-fishers are seen as a distinctly antisocial breed and are best not pushed.

We would take turns casting to The Trout, alternating who started first on successive nights. We were perfect gentlemen about it, wishing each other well with complete unselfishness, and then cringing with covetous greed as the other guy worked the fish. One night I broke down and fished a big, weighted Brown Drake nymph and then, later, an enormous streamer on an Ox leader. Not even a bump. A.K. stayed righteous with the dry fly.

Another night a mackenzie boat with a guide and two sports came down from upriver. The guide obviously knew about the fish and wanted to put his clients over it, either because he thought they were good enough to do some business or just to blow their minds. He was pulling for the channel when he spotted me casting from a kneeling crouch and A. K. sitting cross-legged next to me waiting for me to relinquish my turn.

The guide gave us only the briefest sour look and then delivered the obligatory we're-all-in-this-together-good-luck wave.

Two turkeys on the big trout. Damn!

During the course of those evenings we each hooked that fish once and were each summarily, almost casually, broken off, causing our estimation of his size to be revised upwards to the point where inches and pounds became meaningless -- a fish of which dreams are made, known to the local guides.

You could hear him rising through the layered silence of the stream: "GLUP!" He'd start rising late, when the spinner fall was down nicely and the smaller fish were already working.

The smaller fish. We caught a few of those, measuring up to 19 and 22 inches, our two largest. Such is the capacity of the human mind to compare one thing to another, thus missing the moment and thinking of a 22-inch trout as a little fish.

Exactly what a trout is, not to mention its considerable significance, is difficult to convey to someone who doesn't fish for them with a fly rod. There's the biology and taxonomy, photographs, paintings, and the long history of the sport, but what the nonangler is incapable of grasping is that, although individual fish clearly exist, The Trout remains a legendary creature. I'm talking about those incredible fish that we see but can't catch, or don't even see but still believe in. The big trout -- another concept the nonfisherman thinks he understands but doesn't.

What constitutes a big trout is a relative thing, regardless of the efforts of some to make it otherwise. You'll now and then hear a fly-fisher say a trout isn't really big until it's 20 inches long, a statement I invariably take to be jet-set bullshit, although I'll grant you that 20 inches is a nice, round figure. Fisheries managers often refuse to consider a piece of water as gold medal (or blue ribbon, or whatever) unless it demonstrably contains x percentage of trout over x inches in length. The magazines are filled with photos of huge, dripping trout, the ones you'll catch if you'll only master the following technique.

In another camp are the fishermen who claim not to care how big a trout is. "It's the challenge," they'll say, "the flies, the casting, the manner and method. Nothing wrong with a foot-long trout. Oh, and the scenery, and the birds singing, etc." I use that line myself and, like most of us, I sincerely believe it, act upon it regularly, and am happy, but tell me you know where the hawgs are and I'll follow you through hell.

Fly-fishing for trout is a sport that depends not so much on catching the fish as on their mere presence and on the fact that you do, now and again, catch some. As for their size, the bigger they are, the better, to be honest about it, though all that stuff about the manner and the method and the birds singing isn't entirely compensatory.


Copyright © 1986 by John Gierach 
Price: 12.40 USD
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17 John Gierach TROUT BUM
INGRAM PUBLISHING SERVICES 0871089742 / 9780871089748 Hardcover BOOK 
Price:  $25.40 + shipping 




<i>Trout Bum</i> is a fresh, contemporary look at fly fishing, and the way of life that grows out of a passion for it. The people, the places, and the accoutrements that surround the sport make a fishing trip more than a set of tactics and techniques. 6x9 inches, 238 pgs.


'Trout Bum is a fresh, contemporary look at fly fishing, and the way of life that grows out of a passion for it. The people, the places, and the accoutrements that surround the sport make a fishing trip more than a set of tactics and techniques. John Gierach, a serious fisherman with a wry sense of humor, show us just how much more with his fishing stories and a unique look at the fly-fishing lifestyle.

Trout Bum is really about why people fish as much as it is about how they fish, and it is ultimately about enduring values and about living in a harmony with our environment. Few books have had the impact on an entire generation that Trout Bum has had on the fly-fishing world. The wit, warmth, and the easy familiarity that John Gierach brings to us in Trout Bum is as fresh and engaging now was when it was first published twenty-five years ago. There's no telling how many anglers have quit their jobs and headed west after reading the first edition of this classic collection of fly-fishing essays.

REVIEW:
'Trout Bum captures the passion, confusion, and left-handed poetry of modern fishing. Having given his heart to the rivers he fishes, John Gierach conveys the power of his experience without pretense.' 'Thomas McGuane

'You and your friends are swapping fishing stories, and a good one comes to mind. It feels like a story someone just told you, but then you realize you read it in a Gierach book. John's the best kind of storyteller'the kind who tell us our own stories.' 'Paul Schullery

'Trout Bum is one of those delightful funds, like Norman McLean's A River Runs Through It. John Gierach is simply one of the more wonderful outdoor writers to come down the pike in many a season. I laughed out loud on almost every page, and found much of what he has to say very lyrical and touching. This book is a treasure trove of fishy witticisms, outright belly laughs, and enough technical lore and love of nature to keep the most avid (or even the least avid) outdoors person turning pages relentlessly. Gierach obviously loves deeply and cares for this world he has chosen to make his stand in. It's a beautiful book, humorous, sly, rich, and touching. Once you read the first page, you'll be hooked...and love every minute of it . . . I promise!' 'John Nichols 
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18 John Gierach WHERE THE TROUT ARE ALL AS LONG AS YOUR LEG
SIMON & SCHUSTER 0671754556 / 9780671754556 Paperback BOOK 
Price:  $9.80 + shipping 




John gives a most entertaining peek at those secret places of fly fishing, full, as usual, of his wry humor and quick wit. Illustrated with Gyotaku prints; 5x8 inches, 244 pgs.


 
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