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Fly Fishing in Small Streams - John Gierach

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

When I read a book, I always do my very best to finish it, however much of a struggle that might be. I do have failures though. Some books I have finished only after a real struggle: Annie Proulx's The Shipping Forecast is a good example and I still don't know why it created such a fuss. A recent failure was by the incomparable Alan Bennett. I started Writing Home with great expectations but failed to go the distance with it. So it was nice to read a book that kept me interested from cover to cover. John Gierach is pretty reliable.

Fly Fishing Small Streams was published in 1989 but its still very readable and as relevant today as it was then. Everyone who enjoys - or aspires to - fishing back-country streams, flowing through mountain or moorland, will delight in this book. The philosophy running through the book is summed-up by 'You want peace, quiet, wildlife, scenery, wild trout and you don't expect miracles.'

It's worth quoting the titles of the chapters: A Finely Balanced Environment, Sneaking Around on Your Hands and Knees, A Crisp, Low, Sidearm Roll Cast, You Can Catch 'Em on Anything, The Comforts of Stuff and finally, Where There Are Trout, There's Hope. Within these quirky titles there is a wealth of really practical information put over in a very readable way. Once I started reading this book, there was never any likelihood of my not finishing it!

Anyone who is looking to fish small, wild streams whether at home or abroad, will be well-advised to read this book before setting off in search of satisfaction - but not miracles. And even if you fish 'regular' streams and rivers without a sniff of a beaver pond, there is a whole wealth of fishing lore here.

Fly Fishing Small Streams by John Gierach, with illustrations by Deborah Bond. Paperback, 159pp. Published by Stackpole Books at $19.95.

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