Book Review: Sex, Death, & Fly-Fishing

Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing

My Rating – Must Read

Level – Quick, easy

Another collection of musings from John Gierach. Topics include bass fishing, private ponds, walking sticks, British Columbia, and of course the title chapter – ‘Sex, Death, & Fly-Fishing’. I’d say spoiler alert, but the book was published almost 30 years ago, so that seems unnecessary. The title comes from the first chapter, and honestly, it is surprising poetic. It comes from the Mayfly hatch. The midge, a little bug at the bottom of the river, emerge out all at roughly the same time to mate, then eggs are laid and then all die. All of the bugs emerging and all the Mayflies dying/falling back to the water, leads to a feeding frenzy for the fish. This in turn leads to a great time for fly-fishing. Get it?

My Thoughts
Geirach is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I wouldn’t call it love/hate, because I don’t dislike him, just endlessly envious of his style and ability to write. I’m almost annoyed that he isn’t more famous, he isn’t even on twitter or the fishing blogosphere (interestingly/ironically, wordpress say that isn’t a word). I’m sure a guy who has written 15 books, including one called Trout Bum (my review), isn’t worried about the opinion of a guy born after he was already publishing books.

His books really are something like proto-blogs. Imagine a successful outdoor blogger who writes a number of interesting series of posts, then picks the best few series over a number of years, pulls them out, and cleans them up, his books are what you’d get. His writing is narrative and personal, but can also be surprisingly informative. He is a master story-teller in a first person, short-story style. For anyone even remotely interested in fishing, this book is another must read from Gierach.

Book Review: Trout Bum

Trout Bum – John Gierach

My Rating – Put it on the list (if you are a fishermen; if not, pass)

Level – Short, easy, requires some familiarity with fly fishing.

It is hard to summarize this book. Basically it’s just a guy writing a few short essays/stories, roughly grouped together in broad categories. It is a pre-internet blog, edited and published, roughly 30 years ago. Categories include things like: Bass Pond, Fly Collection, Cane Rods, Adams Hatch, etc.

My Thoughts
Gierach is an entertaining writer, who tells good stories and does so humorously. As a writer, he is essentially a full time fisherman/fly-tier and therefor seemingly has more good stories than I feel I will have in a lifetime. Anyone who has spent at least a moderate amount of time fly-fishing will enjoy this book, especially as he gives the types of people to avoid a fishing trip with or how to make the best camp coffee. If you’ve never fished or don’t intend to again, I’m not sure why you bought this book, but I doubt you’ll like it. Any other fishermen, fly-tiers, maybe even just people who great enjoy the outdoors and like well written, funny stories, this is a book you should put on your list.