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Still Life With Brook Trout
ISBN 0743229959 / 9780743229951 / 0-7432-2995-9
Publisher Simon & Schuster
List price $13.00
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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 [via]