Dances with Trout

by John Gierach

This was a fun, lighthearted read. It\’s a bunch of stories about fly-fishing. Well, not all. There\’s also chapters about hunting grouse, snowshoe hares, deer and a few other things but the majority of it is fish. I don\’t go hunting or fishing myself, but my father does and my uncle and others in the family and I doubly appreciated that this author has the same attitude towards hunting and fishing as the men in my family. Being out there more to enjoy nature and the challenge of it all, than for killing something.

His stories range all over different aspects of fishing, but it\’s mostly about fly-fishing in rivers he knows well at home, or travelling to different places with friends. He goes to Texas after Guadalupe bass, Alaska and Scotland for different kinds of salmon, West Yellowstone to fish on a bunch of rivers famed among fly-fishermen. He even goes fishing through holes in the ice in winter (that description was particularly intriguing), and casting at night. Mostly it\’s trout, though. In the daytime. There\’s some stuff about tying your own flies, and local fishing competitions, and a few amusing bits about how much he hates doing book tours, but all in all it\’s stories of him and his friends and other fishermen they run into and the experiences they have. I really enjoyed it. Gierach really knows how to tell a story well. He\’s got wry humor and friendly wisdom and keeps enough details of the craft in there to interest me, but doesn\’t get so technical I\’m lost (I couldn\’t picture all the flies and bugs named, but it didn\’t matter to me). It was useful having read Trout Reflections directly before this book, so that I knew a little about the life cycle of the fish and the insects they feed on and when he spoke of those things in context to the story it wasn\’t just blank words but meant something.

I liked this book. Enough that if I come across more by this author, I\’m very likely to read it.

Rating: 3/5 …….. 205 pages, 1994

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Tennessee Valley Angler

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