A Double Dose of John Gierach


Written by: Phil Monahan

It’s no secret that fly fishermen, as a whole, love John Gierach. He has served as the sport’s philosopher for almost 30 years, during which time he has published 16 books and countless magazine articles, yet he has never sought to become one of those fly-fishing “celebrities” who travel from sports show to sports show soaking up the admiration of the masses. Instead, he fishes…a lot. And then he sits in his house in Colorado and writes about it. I’ve met Gierach a few times, through my friends Jim Babb and Ed Engle, and he seems like he’d make an excellent fishing companion—self-deprecating, full of great stories, and quick to admire a fish of any size.

The video above is a short from the Fly Fishing Film Tour, and it features Gierach expressing his philosophy of life and angling in plain, often humorous terms. Over on the Trout Underground blog, Tom Chandler has posted a great interview with Gierach that touches on everything from why he loves to fish for steelhead, to the ins and outs of his writing process, to his views on modern “extreme” fishing. As usual, his words are not fancy, but his descriptions are spot-on:

When I fish small streams, I tend to catch a lot of fish and that’s great, but steelheading is very different. I know my local small streams pretty intimately and I’ve got the timing down, but with steelhead, you’re suddenly playing chess against somebody who really knows what they’re doing.

Both the film and the interview make it clear why Gierach has remained so popular over the years.

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