“Once an angler has become serious about the sport (and ‘serious’ is the word that’s used), he’ll never again have enough tackle or enough time to use it. And his nonangling friends and family may never again entirely recognize him, either.” In other words, he (or she) will have entered Gierach territory. And fishermen who choose to brave the crowds at the big hold, commune with the buddies at the “family pool,” or even wade into questionable waters in the dark of night are sure to recognize themselves in Even Brook Trout Get the Blues.
Whether debating bamboo versus graphite rods, describing the pleasure of fishing in pocket waters or during a spring snow in the mountains, or recounting a trip in pursuit of the “fascinatingly ugly” longnose gar, Gierach understands that fly-fishing is more than a sport. It’s a way of life in which patience is (mostly) rewarded, the rhythms of the natural world are appreciated, and the search for the perfect rod or ideal stream is never ending. It is not a life without risks, for as Gierach warns: “This perspective on things can change you irreparably. If it comes to you early enough in life, it can save you from ever becoming what they call ‘normal.’” Even Brook Trout Get the Blues will convince you that “normal” is greatly overrated.