Friday, April 18, 2014

All Fishermen Are Liars...

I make no bones about the fact that I'm a huge John Gierach fan. I've read all of his books, I've got a Fly Rod & Reel magazine with John on the cover, autographed and framed in my den. I've been known to ambush him at fly fishing events to grab a few pictures and have a few words. I admire the man, both as a fly fisherman and writer.

To be honest, I haven't finished this book yet. I will probably be done tomorrow, but I wanted to register my first thoughts because this book is a little different.

If you expect me to rave about All Fishermen Are Liars, you'll have to find that somewhere else. Was I disappointed? No, not exactly. It just didn't sound like vintage John Gierach. The man has to have enough fishing stories for any three fishermen, yet at times it seems like maybe he's run out of tales to tell. There just weren't any comfortable old characters around.

Maybe I'm missing those stories that always included A.K., Ed Engel and the rest of John's fishing partners. They are so familiar and comfortable, especially those of us out West. I have't exactly put my finger on what's different, it just is. That's not to say the book isn't enjoyable. John's humor is there, as is his philosophical outlook on life and fishing; two things I always enjoy.

In one story, John says, after steelheading all day in the rain, that he hadn't realized that he was soaked to the skin. The same way a frog doesn't notice that his ass is wet. That's vintage John Gierach.

Hardcore Gierach fans will probably still like the book. If you're new to John's writing, this probably isn't the book you want to start off with.