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Still Life With Brook Trout

Gierach, John

ISBN 10: 0743229940 / ISBN 13: 9780743229944
Published by Simon & Schuster, 2005
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Fireside Angler (Smithtown, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

[8], 213 pp. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 130197

Bibliographic Details

Title: Still Life With Brook Trout

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


In Still Life with Brook Trout, John Gierach demonstrates once again that fishing, when done right, is as much a philosophical pursuit as a sport.

Gierach travels from Wyoming to Maine, and to points in between, searching out new fishing adventures and savoring familiar waters with old and new friends. He ruminates on the importance of good fishing guides ("Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good guide can't is write prescriptions"); the necessity of keeping some trade secrets ("Paul kept pointedly referring to it as 'The River Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken'"); and the difficulty of fishing with dignity ("The few who I've seen try all ended up looking like pompous fools, although to their credit, many of them came to realize that and eventually would fish only with other pompous fools"); as well as more serious topics, such as the effects of the drought in the West and the politics of dam building. Gierach shows us that fishing begins with a rod and reel but encompasses so much more -- a passion shared among friends, a way of experiencing the natural world that is uncommon these days, or as Gierach puts it: "Living gracefully in any kind of natural environment takes patience and acceptance: the two qualities we Americans have pretty much bred out of ourselves."

Reflecting on a recent trip to a familiar small creek near his home, Gierach writes, "In my brightest moments, I think slowing down...has opened huge new vistas on my old home water. It's like a friendship that not only lasts, but gets better against the odds." Similarly, Still Life with Brook Trout proves that Gierach's prose, like fishing itself, only becomes deeper and richer


Over the course of 14 books, John Gierach has become the fishing buddy to countless anglers he's never met. Waterlogged and dog-eared and thrown in the back of pickup trucks, Gierach's classics Trout Bum and The View from Rat Lake gave voice to the inner wanderings and wonderings of fly fishers the world over. In Still Life with Brook Trout Gierach continues his enviable jaunts--he seems constantly to be traipsing off to some undiscovered creek, private water, or middle-of-nowhere secret spot--but this time, there's a difference. More than ever, Gierach is forced to deal with an aging body that can't quite scramble over logjams, bushwhack through the brush, or wade quite as deeply as before. Running parallel with these observations, Gierach ponders the effects of a three-year drought in the mountain West. But whether it is his aching knees or dropping levels in reservoirs, rivers, and streams, Gierach always retains hope without dismissing the often grim odds, ridiculous situations, and glum prospects so familiar to anglers. And while Gierach nurses his hope like an ember, he never abandons his appreciation for the sport's absurdity, humor, and humbling moments. He has become the master of the literary shrug, as if to say, "What can you do? Might as well go fishing." Like the best of Gierach's work, Still Life with Brook Trout mirrors the exquisitely languid pace of the sport. He meanders, explores side roads and bends in the river, and never fails to take note of "a deer crossing a meadow or a circling hawk ... even if it means missing a strike when it finally comes." Gierach is on his game here, and longtime fans will rise to this offering hook, line, and sinker. --Steve Duda

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