No Shortage of Good Days

John Gierach, illus. by Glen Wolff, Simon & Schuster, $24 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9175-0
In the same charming style of his previous books, Gierach (Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing; Still Life with Brook Trout) offers plenty of enthusiasm for nonanglers, but is also full of the firsthand knowledge and sagely guarded secrets that keep fishermen coming back for more. This collection of essays offers envy-inducing travelogues, such as "Baja," "Tennessee," and "Atlantic Salmon," as well as others that focus on the intricacies of "taking someone fishing," such as "The Perfect Host"; others, like "Book Tour," explore the ups and downs of the writing life and publishing business. The most personal look at Gierach, who is both a bamboo-rod snob and free-spirited trout bum, comes in the revealing "Cheating," which covers how anglers "fight over how the fish should be caught" and allows the author to share his biases, transgressions, and some secondhand gems about poaching. No matter the subject, Gierach's prose, complete with catchy one-liners ("the river you see is like a slide show run by a speed freak"; "fishing is like any other quest in the sense that when you finally close the deal, you can be at a loss about what to do next"), combines the naturalist poetics of Norman Maclean and the nascent practicality of Benjamin Franklin. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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