A Fly Rod of Your Own – John Gierach

52154993It has been 30 years since I fished a North American trout stream during a slightly hair raising rafting trip down a Colorado river. At around the same time John Gierach published his first book Trout Bum that introduced the angling world to his wry humour and perceptive insight into fly fishing and fly fishers.  In the intervening years Gierach has published some 20 more volumes of fishing essays while my career brought me back to the UK, yet each time I pick up one of his books I experience the same sense of anticipation of leaving on an angling adventure as I did all those years ago. Gierach’s books have changed subtly over the years, from stories focussed on the high mountain trout streams of his Colorado home to ones involving travel across much of North America in pursuit of the array of salmonid species that continent has to offer. His latest work, A Fly Rod of Your Own, is in the latter camp taking in remote lakes and streams from Alaska to Labrador, with a few familiar sojourns to his Colorado backyard. The laconic prose and wry observations of this master storyteller makes compelling reading whether the topic is a serious one, Gierach is a thoughtful and perceptive environmentalist, or an exploration of the more light-hearted, and at times absurd, life of a travelling fly fisherman.Fly2