Brilliant, witty, perceptive essays about fly-fishing, the natural world, and life in general by the acknowledged master of fishing writers.
“In the world of fishing there are magic phrases that are guaranteed to summon the demon. Among them are: ‘remote trout lake,’ ‘fish up to 13 pounds,’ ‘the place the guides fish on their days off,’” writes John Gierach in this wonderful collection of thirteen essays inspired by a fishing trip to Rat Lake, a remote body of water in Montana. Once again John Gierach does what he does best—explain the peculiarities of the fishing life in a way that will amuse novices and seasoned fly fishers alike. The View from Rat Lake deftly examines man in nature and nature in man, the pleasures of fishing the high country, and the high and low comedy that occasionally overcomes even the best-planned fishing trip.
Some typically sage observations from The View from Rat Lake:
“One of the things we truly fish for [is] an occasion for self-congratulation.”
“In every catch-and-release fisherman’s past there is an old black frying pan.”
“We . . . believe that a 12-inch trout caught on a dry fly is four inches longer than a 12-inch trout caught on a nymph or streamer.”
For devotees of fly fishing, this collection of 13 congenial essays takes readers to prime locations for the sport in the western U.S., including lesser-known streams and lakes. Gierach (Trout Bum) introduces certain innovations like the "fishing car,'' used only to transport anglers to their quarry, and with wit assesses the snobbery of ``purist'' fly-fishers. Along with relating his personal fishing successes, he explains differing practices in the sport occasioned by seasonal changesfor example, ice fishingand defines what constitutes a ``big catch,'' be it trout or bass. Beyond Gierach's evocative descriptions of the angler's anticipation when on the water, the book is flavored by arch humor that suggests the author doesn't take fishing as seriously as he pretends. But he is clearly having a good time here, and readers are likely to share his enjoyment.