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Dances with Trout Hardcover – April, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The latest paperback offering from Geirach includes a healthy dose of his trademark antidotes to civilization--sly, knowing essays on sport (read: life) wrapped in humor and empathy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The steps of this dance will be familiar to Gierach fans: wry, just-might-be-true fishing reports from road trips, river floats and Rocky Mountain hikes, set to the rhythms of a restrained, good-natured polka. This collection of 18 witty pieces, most of which appeared originally in his column for Sports Afield , could have been titled "Dances with Salmon, Deer and Texas Bass and Cha-Chas with Grouse All Over the Place." Gierach relates more hunting adventures here than in such earlier collections as Sex, Death and Fly-Fishing ; the salmon story relates a full-dress British ritual expedition in Scotland, in which Gierach comes across a little like Ralph Cramden on a PGA tour. Most of these pieces demonstrate the author's low-key storytelling style, which occasionally strains, perhaps under the pressure of producing a regular column. Fans will rate this collection somewhere below his classic Where the Trout Are All as Long as Your Leg.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671779249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671779245
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
You don't have to be a fly fisherman to enjoy Gierach, though it does help. When he waxes ecstatic over bamboo rods, or explains how the Green Drake mayfly (Ephemerella grandis) is differentiated from its cousins, E. doddsi and E. flavilinea, perhaps only a fisherman can understand exactly why this is so important.
But reading Gierach isn't something you do to learn about the technique or the science of fishing, or how to select a rod, or how to cast. He's more about the philosophy of fishing, about why we are willing to stand in the middle of a cold stream wearing silly clothes and waving a stick over our heads. He's the ultimate Trout Bum, to quote an earlier book, a man for whom there really is no other life, and who has made a modest living for years just celebrating this life. And of course he does this in a wonderfully witty way; no jokes, just a lot of observations that will still make you smile the umpteenth time you read them.
"Dances with Trout" is not just about trout fishing, or about fishing, for that matter. The "Scotland" chapter doesn't have much to say about how to fish for salmon; "Fool Hen" is about grouse hunting, and "In the Woods" is about still hunting for deer.
What ties all these stories together is Gierach's feeling of comradery with his hunting and fishing pals, and even more so, a real connection with the outdoors. In a time when for many, "outdoor sports" means something like racing through the woods in a snowmobile, tearing up the peace and quiet of a lake in a jetski or "four wheeling", Gierach writes about the simple pleasures of being outdoors and absorbing the world around you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "rlowery78" on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Eyes getting tired from tying those #18 cahills? Too Cold to fish? Sit back and go fishing with Geirach. Great Book, great stories!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By troeb on May 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm an avid bass angler who has never done much flyfishing, but after reading a good Gierach,(they're all great,) I'm ready to head out to that little creek in Montana, or that bass pond in Texas, or even Scotland with a fly rod and join him. This was the first book of his I read and now I'm on my fourth. I love how relaxed and fun his writing is, and I, personally, can relate to a lot of his views and feelings about things. Even for the non-angler, John Gierach is alot of fun, even if you have no idea what the heck a #14 Royal Wulff is. If you're looking for some great reading, go with Gierach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harry P Davis on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gierach has a way of lulling the reader into a world of strange illusion. I keep forgetting I'm reading and start thinking I'm eaves-dropping at a campfire. The rhythm of a writer is important and can fan the flame of imagination or dowse it like cold beer on your last match. Dances fans, man...it fans! The stories within the covers are told like stories should be told...easy with lot's of real words. There's too many writers,today,who write like evil spawn of New Age English classes! John bucks 'em all and writes like a story teller...taunting us with worlds filled exotic adventures...like killing porcupines with rocks. Good stuff!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1996
Format: Paperback
Gierach's book is an excellent book of short stories for the
fisherman/outdoorsman. He is able to quickly whisk you away
on whatever trip he's detailing and make your remember your
best (or worst) fishing experiences. You're also likely to
meet counterparts to outdoor buddies you've fished with in
the past. His stories make perfect 5-15 minute reads and
are guaranteed to lift your spirits. Gierach deals with
hunting as well as fishing. I've purchased this
and other Gierach books as gifts several times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul R. Wagner on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
A great blend of humor, serious information, nostalgia, and unique insight into flyfishing as a way of life. Great reading when you can't be on the stream.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Fly fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It's not even clear if catching fish is actually the point' is what the author shares and what I 100% agree with!
Loving Scotland and fly fishing (as well as New Zealand) I love his Chapter 8 titled Scotland and where he writes on page 89 of how the river was held in private hands and 'rented' out which was a subtle reminder to me of how fortunate I am to be able to drive a mere six miles to the Mokelumne here in the Sierras of California and with my California fishing license and my rod and a few flies, fish to my hearts content for native trout no less.
The book is well written and part diary, part educational how to and in an odd way but a positive way, a lesson in the mysteries of fly fishing and the people who are drawn and hooked for life.
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