Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing by John Gierach
I can't decide whether this man is a better writer than he is fisherman. How can I know? Fisherman are known to lie--nay, say exaggerate--but it sounds as though his catch-and-release has allowed him years of fishing pleasure, pain, and travail as is only right for one who writes of it. I adore his crotchety voice, his clear descriptions of locales we outsiders will never see, had we the time and the hand-tyed flies.
The laconic tales of grown men who spend their time (and not just vacations and weekends!) catching fish, only to release them again, somehow makes the absurdity of our modern life more bearable. The effort lavished on the deceit by the artful tying of a fly that matches a molt that occurs only once a season must describe the craziest hobbyist or the most righteous artist at his task. This kind of passion enriches his life, and ours, too.