Synopses & Reviews
Proving that fishing is not just a part-time pursuit, At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman
takes us through a year with America's favorite fishing scribe, John Gierach, who dedicates himself to his passion despite his belief that "In the long run, fishing usually amounts to a lifetime of pratfalls punctuated by rare moments of perfection."
Beginning with an early spring expedition to barely thawed Wyoming waters and ending with a New Year's Eve trip to the Frying Pan River in Colorado, Gierach's travels find him fishing for trout, carp, and grayling; considering the pros and cons of learning fishing from videos ("video fishing seems a little like movie sex: fun to watch, but a long way from the real thing"); pondering the ethics of sharing secret spots; and debunking the myth of the unflappable outdoorsman ("masters of stillness on the outside, festering s***holes of uncertainty just under the surface").
With an appreciation of the highs, the lows, and all points between, Gierach writes about the fishing life with wisdom, grace, and the well-timed wisecrack. As he says, "The season never does officially end here, but it ends effectively, which means you can fish if you want to and if you can stand it, but you don't have to." As any Gierach fan knows, "want to" and "have to" are never very far apart.
"[O]ne of the most many would say the most enjoyable outdoorsmen writing today....The strange and unexpected days astream often yield gems and sudden insights..." Kirkus Reviews
"These 20 magazine columns...follow Gierach's year of outings in Northern Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Pennsylvania, and include some of his best strokes of style since Sex, Death and Flyfishing." Publishers Weekly
"Perhaps the highlight of a consistently strong book is Gierach's account of carp fishing, which brings all of the best qualities of the author's work: eloquent prose, angling expertise...and, best of all, remarkable wit and humor." John Rowen, Booklist
"[Gierach's] latest marks a return to form, his consistently best storytelling and writing to date....As a bonus, the sketches by Glenn Wolff add whimsically to Gierach's tales." Library Journal
"[Gierach's] evocative prose and humorous, often bittersweet insights will appeal even to those who don't know a nymph from an earthworm." Joe Guidry, The Tampa Tribune
"The next best thing to fly-fishing is reading John Gierach's essays about it." Carl Hiaasen
The bestselling collection from America's favorite fly-fishing writer features a trove of witty essays on everything from the etiquette of sharing secret fishing spots to the strange subculture of bamboo rods.
About the Author
John Gierach is the author of numerous books on fly-fishing, including At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman, Standing in a River Waving a Stick, Dances with Trout, Another Lousy Day in Paradise, and No Shortage of Good Days. 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.