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Standing in a River Waving a Stick

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Brilliant, witty, perceptive essays about fly-fishing, the natural world, and life in general by the acknowledged master of fishing writers.

With his inimitable combination of wit and wisdom, John Gierach once again celebrates the fly-fishing life in Standing in a River Waving a Stick and notes its benefits as a sport, philosophical pursuit, even therapy: “The solution to any problem—work, love, money, whatever—is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” After all, fly-fishing does teach important life lessons, says Gierach—about solitude, patience, perspective, humor, and the sublime coffee break.

Recounting both memorable fishing spots and memorable fish, Gierach discusses what makes a good fly pattern, the ethics of writing about undiscovered trout waters, the dread of getting skunked, and the camaraderie of fellow fishermen who can end almost any conversation with “Well, it’s sort of like fishing, isn’t it?” Reflecting on a lifetime of lessons learned at the end of a fly rod, Gierach concludes, “The one inscription you don’t want carved on your tombstone is ‘The Poor Son of a Bitch Didn’t Fish Enough.’” Fortunately for Gierach fans, this is not likely to happen.

Photograph by Michael Dvorak, www.dvorakphotography.com

John Gierach is the author of more than twenty books about fly-fishing. His writing has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Fly Rod & Reel. He writes a column for Trout magazine and the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado. 

Jessica Mazwell The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) [The] prose flows across the page at the same graceful tempo as a well-cast fly line. Cover-to-cover, chapter and verse, it never falters, never stops.

Patti Ross San Antonio Express-News This is the next best thing to standing by a beaver pond full of trout on a perfect spring day.

Jeff MacGregor The New York Times As fine a representation of outdoor writing as you're likely to find -- wise, funny, and well wrought.

More books from this author: John Gierach

More books in this series: John Gierach's Fly-fishing Library