Tournament of Books 2015

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 19, 2015

    Emma Hooper: IMG From Musician to Novelist

    I was asleep on the floor of the magicians' apartment. Not one, but three magicians lived there, and their mysterious, mischievous, and sometimes... Continue »


This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.

Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Standing in a River Waving a Stick

Standing in a River Waving a Stick Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The solution to any problem
— work, love, money, whatever —
is to go fishing,
and the worse the problem,
the longer the trip should be."

This is John Gierach's perspective on fishing and life, and it isn't entirely tongue-in-cheek. But Gierach knows that there is more to fishing than actually catching fish, or as he puts it, "The real lessons of fishing are the ones that come after you've caught some fish. They have to do with things like solitude, quietude, patience, perspective, humor, and the sublime coffee break." In Standing in a River Waving a Stick, Gierach addresses all these and more with his trademark combination of wit and wisdom.

In this new book, Gierach visits his favorite trout-filled waters, from the Colorado foothills to British Columbia and points between, recounting both memorable fishing spots and memorable fish. He discusses such topics as the differences between fishing in ponds and fishing in streams; what makes a good fly pattern ("The good ones are the ones that work...and the great ones are those that survive beyond their own generation"); the ethics of writing about undiscovered trout waters; and the fly-fisher's progression from Stage One — "when you fish from dawn to dusk without a break, get quickly drunk on something cheap, [and] spend the night wrapped in a wet blanket" — to something slightly more civilized.

Gierach takes in his surroundings with the keen and appreciative eye of a naturalist, whether he's observing the hatching patterns of flies, catching subtle clues to the presence of potentially big fish nearby, or taking note of the local denizens in his wry and philosophical way ("Rural people understand that life is basically a dangerous, unmanageable mess, so when things go wrong, their suspicions are confirmed and it's just a blessing no one was killed"). Above all, however, Gierach is an example of his own assertion that good fishermen have "the uncanny ability to immediately turn any conversation to angling with a fly rod, on the theory that the essence of anything is in how it's either like or unlike fishing."

Rich in fishing lore, humor, and the seasoned know-how that has won him a devoted readership, Standing in a River Waving a Stick is sure to delight fly-fishers everywhere.

About the Author

John Gierach is the author of several previous books, most recently Another Lousy Day in Paradise. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, and Fly Rod & Reel, among other publications. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.

Table of Contents


1. The Happy Idiot
2. A New Pond
3. Grizzly Central
4. An Embarrassment of Riches
5. Fish Camps
6. Belief
7. Boatmen
8. Patterns
9. Getting Stuck
10. Getting Skunked
11. Ponds
12. Second Nature
13. The Fly Box
14. McCook
15. Taking It Personally
16. The Right Thing
17. Where to Fish
18. Stage Two
19. Big Thompson
20. The Lake
21. States of Mind
22. Jordan River

Product Details

Wolff, Glenn
Wolff, Glenn
Gierach, John
Simon & Schuster
New York :
Fishing - Flyfishing
Fly fishing
Fly fishing -- North America -- Anecdotes.
Fishing - General
General Sports & Recreation
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.4375 x 5.5 in 13.728 oz

Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Fishing and Hunting » Fishing » Lore and History

Standing in a River Waving a Stick
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Simon & Schuster Books - English 9780684824253 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at