Mr Gierach is not sure whether he is a writer who fly fishes or a fly fisher who writes and he wonders how good he might become in one element if it wasn’t for the other.
Well, I haven’t seen him fish, but if he does that only half as well as he writes he is the man you need to show you how to finesse a five-pounder from an impossible lie in a swollen river on a home-tied size 22 BWO in a snowstorm. Yes, he is that good — by far the best outdoor writer in the US today and, probably, in the world. (I only threw in that ‘probably’ because there just might be someone writing in Spanish, say, or Japanese, who can craft words as well as he does.)
In ‘Another Lousy Day’ he is right at the top of his form; there isn’t a single wasted word and some of his philosophic paragraphs really reached out and grabbed me. I am not going to quote any, you will have to buy or borrow a copy for yourself. But I will confess that I read right through the book in one sitting, even the All Black trial game was being shown live on Sky, which possibly hints at its quality.
A critic said of one of his earlier books that it was so good that ‘even people who don’t fish will find themselves carried along by the flavour and skill of it’. This one is so good that it makes me want to take off for Colorado and live the life of a self-confessed trout bum in the vain hope that it might make me almost as good a writer as John Gierach.