The gift of good words

One man’s off-season is another man’s steelhead season.
I’d like to claim the latter, but since I have yet to swing for steelies, I must claim the former.
If you’re like me, even when I do get the time to dip myself into frigid water or chilly lakes, it will still be obvious my fishing year is in its decrescendo. It doesn’t completely end but it certainly is no summer in Alaska. The slower time lends itself nicely to reading season. Those of you in the market for a couple nice reads while waiting for your turn on the Trinity, here you go.

No Shortage of Good Days by John Gierach.
Gierach’s latest book is much like the other eight of his I have. It doesn’t matter how many essays of his I read, I still get to the back cover and want more. Gierach takes his rods all around North America and returns with plenty of wit and light philosophical garnish.

The River Why by David James Duncan.
This book is the classic tale of a fishing-obsessed young man that isolates himself in a cabin on an Oregon river. While that sounds like fun, it’s the self-discovery, the quest for purpose, love and meaning that make this book so popular. If you’ve already read this novel, read it again.

A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean.
Everyone has heard of the book and or seen the movie, but the lack of those that have flipped the book cover to cover is surprising. The novella is different than the movie, but they are both outstanding. Buy it and have it on your shelf. If it’s already on your shelf, actually read it.

Trout Madness by Robert Traver.
I got a first edition of this book that has a stamp from the Yuba College Library that reads DISCARD. It smells like old book is a perfect pairing to its great contents. It’s everything you could want from a book about fishing. This is why it’s so highly regarded.

The Same River Twice by Michael Burke.
We’re all a little curious about where our ancestors fit into the Wildness of the West, and Burke embarks on a journey to chart a relative that ran boats in Alaska and Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Burke (who guided on the Stanislaus River) tries to confront the inevitabilities of age during his three week adventure. While the writing is not at the level of a Gierach, or Duncan or Maclean, the adventure is plenty fun.
This book made me want to buy a raft.

If you’re more of a DVD type, Trout Bum Diaries I (Patagonia) and II (New Zealand) are fun. You don’t get any insight, but you will want to buy a waterproof camera and document your own trip to the river next time.
For those in a steelhead type mood, Metalhead takes you to Canada for mammoth steelies on quiet secluded rivers. Any of these are perfect for the evenings you want to put the legs of the recliner up, turn off the brain and pace yourself through a pizza.

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