Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders
A John Gierach Fly-Fishing Treasury
Brilliant, witty, perceptive essays about fly-fishing, the natural world, and life in general by the acknowledged master of fishing writers.
Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders collects forty of John Gierach’s finest essays on fishing from six of his books. Like all his writing, these essays are seasoned by a keen sense of observation and a deep knowledge and love of fishing lore, leavened by a wonderfully wry sense of humor. Gierach often begins with an observation that soon leads to something below the surface, which he finds and successfully lands. As Gierach says, writing is a lot like fishing.
This is the first anthology of John Gierach’s work, a collection that is sure to delight both die-hard fans and new readers alike. To enter Gierach’s world is to experience the daily wonder, challenge, and occasional absurdity of the fishing life—from such rituals as the preparation of camp coffee (for best results, serve in a tin cup) to the random, revelatory surprises, such as the flashing beauty of a grayling leaping out of the water. Whether he’s catching fish or musing on the ones that got away, Gierach is always entertaining and enlightening, writing with his own inimitable blend of grace and style, passion and wit.
Gierach, perhaps the most original, entertaining and keen outdoors writer working today, is in fine form in this anthology of 40 stories, which the author has selected from his past books. In pursuit of noble trout, scrappy bluegill and other fish, Gierach (Trout Bum, Fishing Bamboo, etc.) has traveled from Texas to Scotland and back again. Here he treats readers to observations compassionate, scathing and frequently hilarious. Though once a philosophy major who harbored more serious literary ambitions, Gierach writes without a trace of pretension, a trait that sets him refreshingly apart from other fly fishermen, whose disdain for spin casters is mostly unwarranted and always tiresome. Gierach dissects the issue with his usual wit in one of the book's finer essays, "The Purist." Speaking of the fly-fishing elite, he writes, "To do it right you'd have to live naked in a cave, hit your trout on the head with rocks, and eat them raw. But, so as not to violate another essential element of the fly-fishing tradition, the rocks would have to be quarried in England and cost $300 each." As the stories are all culled from past works, longtime fans will find nothing new except the largely unremarkable illustrations that introduce each chapter. But for those lovers of outdoors writing who are uninitiated to Gierach's style, a finer collection of the author's work could scarcely be found.
Gierach is my favorite fly fishing author. Love his way of spinning general life lessons into everything and doing it with a twist on fishing.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance FOR FLY FISHERS
Sure I read the rhah-rah written in the description, but make no mistake this book is modern philosophy. It will tickle your funny bone and touch your soul. Just give it a try. As a fly fisher you will almost certainly enjoy the facts of the stories as well as the philosophy of a life well lived.