I want to start and share with you that, reading IN-Fisherman and Field & Stream is one of my favorite things. The magazines are full of great information for all kinds of fishing. But what's even greater is that they have old fishing stories from the editors in them. One of my favorite things to do is go to the back of the magazine and read those stories about how the old fellas had the greenhorn in the group clean all the crappie while they sat inside drinking beers and playing cards, only to give him a spot at the table as a right of passage.
These stories make me think of my own experiences fishing with my father and our best fishing buddy, Steve. It makes me think of the times I have fished with my Uncle Ken. I think about the things they have told me and the stories that have been passed on to me from their experiences. I am grateful for them.
They are my family history. A rich tapestry of nonsensical, sometimes wise sometimes not, stories that someday I can pass down to my children.
The reason I tell you all of this is because I stumbled upon an avid fly fisherman and author by the name of John Gierach. I was at my wife's father's house and noticed a book that was called Trout Bum. I have been looking for a good read for a while. Seeing the book, it looked interesting. I read a few pages and it immediately struck me that this was very much like those stories in the back of the fishing magazines.
Now, I don't presume to be the most knowledgeable person in the world on Mr. Gierach. I very quickly realized that fly fishing is a VERY different world compared to your run of the mill spinning style of fishing. But, lack of full understanding aside, he is a fantastic writer. The stories he tells in this will remind you of times you have gone fishing.
The first chapter opens you to the experience where John hooks into a big fish. He states "What you feel is more weight than fight, and the wings of panic begin to flutter around your throat. This is the once or twice-a-year "oh-shit" fish." An avid fisherman, will have felt this experience.
I had my "oh-shit" fish in February of this year already. Some of my previous posts have been the same. Personal bests...big fish...big moments. Fortunately for me, these fish got to my hands. In John's instance, He had a long distance release, or LDR.
I want to close by saying, reading is fundamental. Grab a book. Read something. Read this and my previous posts! Here is a link to John's book. He as a plethora of books beyond this one as well. If you are like me, and enjoy a good fishing story, grab it. It will draw you in, even if you do not fly fish. It very likely will get you into fly fishing, like it did to me.