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Still Life with Brook Troutby John Gierach
Synopses & Reviews
In Still Life with Brook Trout, John Gierach demonstrates once again that fishing, when done right, is as much a philosophical pursuit as a sport.
Gierach travels from Wyoming to Maine, and to points in between, searching out new fishing adventures and savoring familiar waters with old and new friends. He ruminates on the importance of good fishing guides (Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good guide can't is write prescriptions); the necessity of keeping some trade secrets (Paul kept pointedly referring to it as 'The River Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken'); and the difficulty of fishing with dignity (The few who I've seen try all ended up looking like pompous fools, although to their credit, many of them came to realize that and eventually would fish only with other pompous fools); as well as more serious topics, such as the effects of the drought in the West and the politics of dam building. Gierach shows us that fishing begins with a rod and reel but encompasses so much more — a passion shared among friends, a way of experiencing the natural world that is uncommon these days, or as Gierach puts it: Living gracefully in any kind of natural environment takes patience and acceptance: the two qualities we Americans have pretty much bred out of ourselves.
Reflecting on a recent trip to a familiar small creek near his home, Gierach writes, In my brightest moments, I think slowing down...has opened huge new vistas on my old home water. It's like a friendship that not only lasts, but gets better against the odds. Similarly, Still Life with Brook Trout proves that Gierach's prose, like fishing itself, only becomes deeper and richer
Brilliant, witty, perceptive essays about fly-fishing, the natural world, and life in general by the acknowledged master of fishing writers.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In andlt;iandgt;Still Life with Brook Trout,andlt;/iandgt; John Gierach demonstrates once again that fishing, when done right, is as much a philosophical pursuit as a sport. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Gierach travels to Wyoming and Maine and points in between, searching out new fly-fishing adventures and savoring familiar waters with old friends. Along the way he meditates on the importance of good guides ("Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good guide can't is write prescriptions"), the challenge of salmon fishing ("Salmon prowl. If they're not here now, they could be here in half an hour. Or tomorrow. Or next month"), and the zen of fishing alone ("I also enjoy where my mind goes when I'm fishing alone, which is usually nowhere in particular and by a predictable route"). On a more serious note, he ponders the damaging effects of disasters both natural and man-made: drought, wildfires, and the politics of dam-building, among others. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Reflecting on a trip to a small creek near his home, Gierach writes, "In my brightest moments, I think slowing down...has opened huge new vistas on my old home water. It's like a friendship that not only lasts, but gets better against the odds." Similarly, andlt;iandgt;Still Life with Brook Troutandlt;/iandgt; proves that Gierach, like fly-fishing itself, becomes deeper and richer with time.
About the Author
John Gierach is the author of several previous books, including At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman, Standing in a River Waving a Stick, and Dances with Trout. 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 also writes a column for the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.
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