Noted fly-fishing writer Gierach (At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman) chronicles his adventures with rod and reel on some of the most remote lakes and streams in North America, from the Labrador taiga to the grizzly-infested forests of the Alaskan outback (as well as favored spots closer to his Colorado backyard). These undertakings generally involve pre-dawn risings, four-wheel drives, floatplanes, taciturn guides, and of course, fish, although—as Gierach practices catch-and release—they’re all the ones that got away. Twenty- one chapters explore the realms of fly-fishing, from camp cooking to casting strategies. Gierach’s deceptively laconic prose masks an accomplished storyteller. He isn’t a humorist per se, but his alert and slightly off-kilter observations place him in the general neighborhood of Mark Twain and James Thurber. He’s dead serious about fly fishing, but he also recognizes its inherent contradictions and is astute enough to project those absurdities onto the larger range of human aspirations and endeavors. This voice of a thoughtful, cantankerous, and tolerant fisherman in late middle age unifies the various chapters and keeps the pages turning. In his introduction, he writes, “Those who fish already get it... don’t waste your breath on those who don’t.” Yet even for those whose idea of paradise isn’t standing thigh-deep in an icy stream for six hours hoping for a bite, Gierach is charming company. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017 Release date: 04/04/2017 Genre: Nonfiction
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