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STANDING IN A RIVER WAVING A STICK by John Gierach

STANDING IN A RIVER WAVING A STICK

By John Gierach

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-82425-6
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The philosophical trout bum is back in cold water up to his hips with a collection of 22 pieces that take him all over the Midwest. Gierach’s 11th book (Another Lousy Day in Paradise, 1996, etc.) is a mellow excursion through familiar waters, both literally and figuratively. In this volume, he offers essays on fishing in his local trout stream, on looking through his fly box in the off-season, and on his experiences in Montana and Canada. As he has in almost all his previous books, Gierach offers a gently funny and easygoing take on life at the business end of a flyrod. At the heart of this compendium is a running theme not too surprising for a man who’s growing both amused and tormented by the encroachments of middle age (Gierach is 48): he feels the push-pull attraction-repulsion of home and away. Should he fish his local waters more? What is he missing when he’s not on the road? A faint air of melancholy creeps into Gierach’s writing, as great old streams fall victim to overdevelopment or over- fishing. Indeed, the best piece here is a musing on the ethics of outdoors journalism: do we tell everyone where that great secret spot is and thereby ruin it for ourselves and our friends? Technical fishing talk abounds, too, but you don’t have to be a hard-core fly-fishing enthusiast to glean the best of Gierach, just someone who likes good writing. Thanks, Mr. G., for another wonderful day in paradise. (Author tour)