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Book review and technical detail AT THE GRAVE OF THE UNKNOWN FISHERMAN ~ John Gierach

author John Gierach
ISBN 92820
Category Entertainment & Sports
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Pages 192
Publishing Date 1st January, 1970

Book Reviews:

Through a fishing year with Gierach (Standing in a River Waving a Stick, 1999, etc.), one of the most—many would say the most—enjoyable outdoorsmen autograph today.“Most canicule I'm a altogether blessed fisherman—it's my mission in life,” he writes. But Gierach is additionally a bear and an Old Fart, which is affiliated to Old Soul, admitting of the acutely angry sort. (“Disapproval has consistently been a antecedent of advance for me,” writes this latter-day Demosthenes in waders.) While there is a apparent bulk of annoyed in these pages over the accepted abatement in aggregate from chargeless time (“If you're activity driven, you accept to ask yourself, Who's accomplishing the driving?”) to fly shops, Gierach still knows how to booty abundant amusement in the particulars of his called sport: the Green Drake hatches that assume to never end, maps that booty you further abroad and added in, the abstruse personalities of fishing journals, the specific backpack of a pikestaff rod, the quiet joy of alive the margins, the ambiguous edges of the greatly rural, area “the fishing is acceptable but not too good. This is the affectionate of atom that block accurately amid the cracks.” Gierach proves already afresh to be alert to the atmosphere of his surroundings, to the appearance of altered firewoods, to the American asset and the March Brown and the Townshend’s solitaire. And he provides abundant advance to get out and airing the baptize in all seasons and conditions. The aberrant and abrupt canicule astream generally crop gems (“a few anemic angle in a anemic landscape”) and abrupt insights: “If you don’t accord a dog a specific job, he’ll ad-lib one for himself and it will consistently be fun. There's a assignment there.”That’s not the alone capital assignment imparted by these musings, which back the acumen of fishermen who “spent so abundant time apathy added important things that they eventually redefined importance.”

"At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman" is a journey through the year with America's finest fishing writer, John Gierach. The journey begins with an early spring expedition to Wyoming, where the dirt roads are still covered with a thin sheen of ice that quickly turns to mud underfoot. The conditions are so uninviting that everyone involved agrees they must be crazy to be fishing so early in the season. But, as Gierach observes, "nothing makes a fisherman happier than to have just proved that he must be crazy." Gierach's fishing year ends with a winter fly-fishing trip in the Colorado Rockies, a time of year when, Gierach says, "it's still possible to have what seems like a whole river all to yourself." Of course, the chances of catching any fish are small, a situation about which Gierach comments, "Anyone would go fishing thinking he'll catch something. It's when you go figuring you probably won't that you know you've crossed some kind of line." In between, Gierach entertains us as always, mixing the one-liners about the fishing life with deeper insights into friendship, how we spend our time, and why nature still matters to us. "At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman" contains Gierach's trademark blend of humor and acuity. Comparing trout and carp, he says, "If you wanted a fish that could sip white wine and discuss Italian poetry, you'd look for a trout. If you needed a ditch dug, you'd hire a carp." Commenting on the value of a good map, he observes, "It seems like I've spent half my life trying to locate myself on maps, either just out of curiosity or to answer specific questions like Where the hell am I?' and 'How do I get out of here?' Gierach offers his opinions on theetiquette of sharing secret fishing spots, the ethics of lying to protect these spots, the secretive subculture of bamboo rods, and many other topics important to fishermen everywhere. Above all, however, Gierach understands that the real pleasure in fishing is greater than the sum of its accessories. He describes fish, mountain streams, birch thickets, and the joy of a beautiful day outdoors with a naturalist's eye and appreciation. And he understands fishing like the sage observer that he is: Fishing is one of the few ways I know of to let go of the past, forget about the future, and live in the moment." Keenly observed and wryly recorded as always, John Gierach's latest book of fishing adventures and misadventures is sure to be enjoyed by anyone who fishes -- and everyone who wishes he fished more.

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