In case you missed it in my recap of the 2019 Denver Fly Fishing Show, I thought I’d repost my chat with renowned fly fishing author John Gierach. Every year, we bump into each other at our mutual smoking spot just outside the main entrance of the show and talk trash about the industry over an ashtray. I didn’t capture our whole conversation–it’s one of those occasions where the moment has already fled before you’ve thought to pull out the camera. But this is just a small glimpse of some of the things we talked about. I had a lot of coffee that day.
Back home, I was inspired to revisit a few passages from an old classic …
Author: Jason Klasshttp://tenkaratalk.com
Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.
How cool! Thanks for this, Jason!
I own every one of John’s books except the very early poetry one. Although I have spent a ton on my collection…I refuse to spend $1000 for just this one book, which John himself has said wasn’t that good as it was so early in his life.
I have all his books prominently displayed in office…middle shelf…in order from the earliest (minus the poetry one) to the most current. Outside of the Holy Bible, John’s books are my favorite read. I’ve read them all many times. A favorite would be hard…but an early work entitled Fly fishing the high country or the one …Small Streams would be my first pull off the shelf. I like the fact he used to write so much about his friends, his fear, and if you pulled out some maps and studied along as I read … I could pretty well “get close” to where he was describing, and I like that.
I am fond of saying a line from his books when asked if I’d like to fish someone’s spot. John wrote that A.K. said…” I’d fish anyone’s St. Vrain!” Sometimes the other party will get it and we talk about the books…and a lot of time ‘no’ which is fine too…but it always reminds me that I take John and his friends fishing with me every time I go, even if I’m alone.
I meant his Gear not fear. Lol.
I just started reading my first Gierach book, which is the one about sex shown in your picture. So far, so good, but lacking pictures 🙂
Also have all the fishing books. I have enjoyed them many times!
Always waiting for the next one.
Roger, he told me he has a new book coming out in May. All new content.
That’s funny, Jason — nothing new at the show worth commenting on. I guess we go mostly just to reconnect. And what else are you going to do with a fly fishing buddy in the dead of winter? Okay, maybe re-read one of your favorite Gierach books . . . yeah, they’re as good the second time around. “Standing in a River Waving a Stick,” 1999 & “Fool’s Paradise,” 2008, are two favs . . . though they’re all most worthy, reinforcing our sacramental relationships to fly fishing, friends, and our special places — “waters we’d question taking our closest friend to . . . because if he doesn’t like it you’ll take it personally.” Well, off to a show myself this weekend. Yup, when they charge $3 for a bottle of water, an $8 beer actually starts to make sense.
I still recall meeting him and A.K. Best on the Pan. They had made camp on Roy Palm’s place of course. Some of the kindest folks I’ve ever met in the fishing industry.