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All Fishermen Are Liars Hardcover – April 15, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In his seventeenth book, Gierach, who gave us the term “trout bum,” describes North American trout and salmon fishing in all seasons—from Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland, through Chinook salmon in Pacific estuaries, and on to trout fishing across the American West. An engaging autobiographical introduction opens the book, which includes 22 perceptive and witty essays, recalling numerous fishing trips and offering insights on fly rods and fly patterns. Among the many highlights are “Tenkara,” in which the author examines a new fly-fishing technique from Japan, and “Montana,” which delivers an appealing take on a mainstay in angling literature, the almost mystical experience of catching many fish in a secret fishing hole. These lyrical essays explode with descriptions of beautiful places, big fish, and beautiful fish (brook trout from a lake in winter “so brilliant that they seemed to be lit from within”). But Gierach can write about more than trout and salmon. Among the fish, there are reflections on Zen, some musing on Sun Tzu, and spot-on cameos from Richard Russo and James Crumley. --John Rowen

Review

“All Fishermen Are Liars is rich in the savvy, humor, and sidelong takes on our sport that have made all of John’s books such addictive reading.” (Paul Schullery, author of If Fish Could Scream and The Fishing Life)

“From the early days . . . to his present cult status, [Gierach’s] candor and canniness at the water’s edge have been consistent. . . . [His] grizzled, laconic persona is engaging. . . . The voice of the common angler.” (David Profumo The Wall Street Journal)

“A reader can learn a whole lot about fishing—and about life—than they might have expected reading this book.” (Kate Whittle The Missoula Independent)

“John Gierach remains the most consistently eloquent fly fishing writer of modern times.” (James R. Babb, Editor, Gray’s Sporting Journal)

“John Gierach is one of the most successful fishing writers of all time, and with good reason. In his 17th book, Gierach reminds us in a delightful way that fishing never has been just about catching, though he can teach us a lot about that, too. . . . Despite taking trips as a famous angler to exotic fishing locales, Gierach has retained his down-to-earth fishing honesty and has never forgotten that some of the best stories are about wading a trout stream just down the road.” (David Shaffer Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“[Gierach's] writing here is unfailingly witty, generous of spirit and full of hard-won but easily shared knowledge. . . . It goes without saying that Gierach is a masterful storyteller, but what's even more obvious after reading Liars is that he is a profoundly skilled writer.” (Steve Duda The Flyfish Journal)

“A fisherman’s testimony to the faithful. . . . [An] Elegiac tribute to the elusive art and ineffable pleasure of fly-fishing, with plenty of information about how it’s done by true practitioners.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Perceptive and witty. . . . These lyrical essays explode with descriptions of beautiful places, big fish, and beautiful fish. . . . But Gierach can write about more than trout and salmon.” (Booklist)

“Yet another Gierach masterpiece and well worth a read, even if you aren't into fishing.“ (David Keene The Washington Times)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First edition (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145161831X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451618310
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I disagree with the first review, if i were to recommend a Gierach book for first timers it would be "Death ,Taxes and Leaky Waders" or "Sex ,Death and Fly Fishing". But its only an opinion. One of my favorite things about this author is the Glenn Wolff illustrations in most of his work. Kinda feel like I know both of these guys a little.My wife has talked to Gierach via Mike Clark rods in Colorado and I communicate with Wolff via email.I own all of Johns books and treasure them plus a few of Glenns prints from the Gierach books. This man writes about life while fishing,he's not a fishing writer.Not for everyone but give him a read.You may be pleasantly surprised.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a great fan of Gierach. I've read all of his books and, whenever I've reviewed them for Amazon, I've assigned them a 5-star rating. However, I found "All Fishermen Are Liars" a little flat. I thought perhaps my lukewarm feelings about this book were a result of having OD'd on all his writings. But, when I went back to some of his previous books, I thoroughly enjoyed them as much as when I first read them. So, it's this book that I found wanting. I liked the introductory chapter in which he presents kind of a semi-autobiography, describing his childhood, his venture out West, his bohemian lifestyle early on, the innumerable itinerant jobs, his evolution into an accomplished fly fisher and writer. However, a number of other chapters I simply found uninspiring---no clever turn of phrase, no humorous situations, no point. Some of the chapters just felt forced and stilted. Don't get me wrong, there were some good chapters--in addition to the introductory chapter, I really enjoyed the chapters labeled 'March' and 'Montana' but, again, I found the book as a whole uneven---and, thus, a little disappointing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's not lost on you, reading Gierach, that he attained a degree in Philosophy many moons ago. Like all the Gierach I've read, (which would be all his output), Fisherman Are Liers never disappoints. Gierach has an eye not only for the fishing, but for the place, the world, and the broad spectrum of fishermen. He'll describe, in some technical detail, fly fishing, but also knows and notes the species of tree, bird and critter around him.
The author is, by his own admission, fairly reclusive these days; nonetheless, were you so fortunate as to run into him on a river or lake, a float plane or an airport, I have no doubt you'd recognize the gleam in his eye, and be treated to a bit of the joy, reflection, and passion he infuses his work with every. If you've not read Gierach, you've got a treat ahead. Start with Trout Bum and work your way forward; you can thank me later.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great quality book! one star off because I thought it was a little boring. I'm not an avid fly fisherman. Theres nothing better than fishing for me. But this is more about the experience of fly fishing than actually stories about catching fish. A kind of rambling on that an old fisherman would do. Not my style but I still enjoyed it! I'm more into deep sea angling and catching rod bending halibut. This author is all about the rod bending of a 3wt fly rod.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book I have read by this author. I believe he is someone who could write a blog about his every day and it would be good reading. Unfortunately others who blog or tweet regularly don't have his skills. The book would be interesting to anyone with and interest in fly fishing, being outdoors, or being around interesting people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gierach is unquestionably one of the modern fly fishing era's more popular writers. He earned that title with a stream of books that divulged his candid opinion of many fishing related topics. This book does not exhibit his unvarnished look at issues but it seems a bit protective of his sources, venues; a step back from previous efforts. I like this author and this book but it seems to be the effort of a writer who is tired or has become protective of his privacy. Given Gierach's popularity I can understand his attitudinal change but his latest book is not the same. It is like reading his previous work through some sort of filter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own many of John Gierach's books, and this one is as good as any of them.....maybe better than a couple. One of the stories gives a sort of timeline of his growing up fishin' and just life experiences, in a rather interesting way. If you like his writings you'll enjoy having this one in your collection for sure!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great collection of stories by Mr. Gierach. The first story in the book is obviously autobiographical, and I couldn't help but wonder as I read it if this may be John's final "book." I sure hope not. The book is story telling and word crafting at it's best. I can't find words to do it justice. For those who have not yet read any of John's books, and are not sure if the genre is right for them, don't hesitate, get this book. The stories are entertaining, and are about "things" most people can relate to. As an added bonus, there are tidbits of fishing wisdom and know-how that either reinforces what is already known to be true, or informs of things not yet fully learned.
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