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All Fishermen Are Liars
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All Fishermen Are Liars [Format Kindle]

John Gierach
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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All Fishermen Are Liars



Chances are you’re raised in the country or in a small town surrounded by country: someplace where you can easily walk or ride your bike to the edge of what until recently had been the known world, and then on into the fields, woods and creeks beyond. Some of this is private land and you occasionally have to crawl through a barbed-wire fence to get on it, but the niceties of ownership are left to the adults to sort out. To a kid, it’s all just unpopulated and there to explore. The first time a farmer yells at you for trespassing, you honestly don’t know what he’s talking about.

You’re equipped for this wilderness with a hand-me-down folding knife and the Army-issue compass your father brought home from World War Two. The weight of these items in your pocket feels comfortingly substantial; although you understand only in a theoretical way that the compass is some sort of insurance against getting lost. You haven’t yet learned the hard lesson that it doesn’t matter where north is if you don’t know which direction you came from.

In addition to the knife and compass, you have a cane fishing pole with a line stout enough to land a tarpon, as well as a slingshot that seems potentially lethal but maddeningly inaccurate. You also have a crude homemade spear that you keep hidden because you know Dad will ask what you plan to do with it and you won’t have an acceptable answer. Taken together, these items constitute the beginning of a lifelong fascination with the tools of sport.

You experience the kind of freedom that will be unknown to future generations. This is the 1950s, when kids are still allowed to run wild as long as they’re home by dark. It’s also a time when low-grade delinquency—like trespassing, truancy or the odd fistfight—comes under the heading of “boys will be boys.” You might get scolded or spanked, but you won’t have to undergo counseling.

Like all children, you take your play as seriously as any young predator. The only difference you see when you begin to tag along with the grown-ups on actual hunting and fishing trips is that their toys are larger, heavier and in some cases louder than yours. At first you’re there as a mascot, unable to keep up and making too much noise, but eventually you see that this is serious adult business and prove yourself enough to trade the slingshot for a .22 rifle and graduate to a rod with a reel on it.

Dad begins to sense an opportunity. When the time comes for you to have your own shotgun, he gives you the Fox Sterlingworth 12-gauge he got from your grandfather. (It’s a little more gun than you can handle, but you’ll grow into it.) Then he acts surprised to find that he no longer has a shotgun and says he guesses he’ll just have to buy himself a new one. It turns out to be the sexy Italian double he’s been mooning over for years. The same thing happens with other gear until, by your late teens, Dad has all new stuff and your room looks like a used sporting goods store.

Hunting and fishing are the two things you and your father can always talk about easily, but over time other subjects become quagmires. There’s the competition over the family sedan that comes with the first driver’s license; the first serious awareness of politics spurred by the civil rights movement and the assassination of President Kennedy; books that weren’t assigned at school and that some of your teachers disapprove of; loud rock and roll and a certain dark-haired girl with big, soft eyes. In hindsight, you think you must have been confused, but at the time, you seem pretty damned sure of yourself.

By the time you head off to college, you’ve begun to drift away from sport and are now trying to picture yourself as a poet and intellectual. On the other hand, you bring along your .22 and take the occasional break in season for some rabbit hunting. You now understand what trespassing is, and this time when the farmer yells at you, you explain that you’re a struggling college student just trying to get a cottontail for dinner, exaggerating the poverty angle a little, but not exactly lying. He takes in the long hair and the attempt at a beard. Then he says, “Next time, stop by the house first.”

You’ve also brought a rod and there’s a slow, brown river flowing through town, but you’ve never seen anyone fishing it and can’t imagine anything living in water with that peculiar industrial aroma. It’s only years later that you wonder what you’d have found if you’d followed the thing upstream, past the outflow from the brewery and on into farm country. But at the time, you’re too busy with books, lectures, political demonstrations, music, beer, early struggles with writing and another girl with big eyes. She’s your third. Or maybe fourth.

After graduation you’re offered a job in the bar you’ve been drinking in for the last four years. You suspect this is an act of charity. Your major was philosophy, which the bar owner has described as “a quaint but useless discipline.” With your bachelor’s degree in hand and no plans for graduate school, you begin to see his point.

This tavern has seemed more like home than your various apartments and trailers, but you’re envisioning a bigger change than switching from one side of the bar to the other. You’re unemployed if not actually unemployable and have no other prospects, so you drive out to the Rocky Mountains to look around.

In Colorado, in a town at an elevation of 10,000 feet with five year-round residents (how did you end up here?), you go to work in a silver mine for room, board and shares. You’re living in a cabin on the mine property with two other young guys at loose ends: an out-of-work actor and a sullen revolutionary type who reveals nothing whatsoever about his past, including his last name. It’s possible that he just values his privacy, but you suspect he’s on the lam.

The room is okay, but the board is on the thin side, tending toward beans and tortillas, so you rediscover fishing, this time for trout. They seem small—on the order of bluegills—but they’re the loveliest fish you’ve ever seen and they live in country where both the scenery and the altitude take your breath away—one figuratively, the other literally.

You don’t have much money, but you buy a fly rod and later a rifle for mule deer. You had a deer rifle of sorts when you came west, but somewhere along the line you traded it for a used fuel pump and a tank of gas. It was a surplus .303 Enfield. No great loss.

The Second World War has been over for twenty-five years now, but the used equipment is still readily available and cheap, so it constitutes most of your outdoor gear: clothing, packs, pup tents, sleeping bags, tarps, sheath knives, canteens, mess kits, Dad’s old compass and so on. If our troops in that conflict had been issued fly rods, you’d have one of those, too.

In the end, the shares in the mine you’ve been counting on don’t pan out. It turns out that the owner sold several hundred percent of the thing to gullible investors and it’s largely worthless anyway. Eventually the authorities get involved.

But no one comes to evict you from the cabin and you realize you could squat there indefinitely. It’s tempting. There’s firewood to cut, water to haul, fish and game in the surrounding mountains and some blue-collar fun to be had in a tavern twenty miles down a dirt road. On the other hand, you’re broke, there’s no work and you’d freeze over the winter, so you and your partners drift off in different directions. You never see either of them again.

There’s a side trip to New York City, where you stay with a girlfriend from college, work a low-paying job and try to be a writer. None of it works out and one day you inadvertently panhandle a friend from college. You don’t recognize him at first because he’s wearing a sport coat and has cut his hair short. He buys you lunch and slips you a twenty. You’re embarrassed, but you eat the cheeseburger and take the money.

Not long after that you go back to Colorado. You tell yourself you weren’t defeated by the city, it’s just that you couldn’t stop thinking about mountains and rivers and brightly colored trout swimming in cold, clean water.

You find a cheap place to live, trade your car for a seriously used four-wheel-drive and register it in Colorado so you can buy resident fishing and hunting licenses. You begin a series of manual-labor jobs to get by. You’re young and strong and a good worker, but your mind habitually wanders to the fishing and writing you now do in every minute of your time off. One day a boss catches you daydreaming and says, “You know, another hump like you comes down the pike every day.” You reply, “Yeah, and there’s another shitty job like this one around every corner.” It’s becoming clear that you don’t have a future in the diplomatic service. In fact, you’re not at all sure what you have in mind for yourself, but it’s beginning to look like it might involve a typewriter instead of a shovel.

You marry one of the girls with big, dark eyes, but it doesn’t last. When the justice of the peace who tied the knot asked if you’d thought this through, you said, “Sure,” but in fact you hadn’t. The divorce is painless. Sh...

Revue de presse

“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)

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

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gierach is back! 15 mai 2014
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Je l'attendais avec impatience comme tous les romans de Gierach et je suis entièrement satisfait.
Tout amateur de littérature (de vraie s'entend!) et de pêche à la mouche doit avoir au moins plusieurs volumes de l'oeuvre de Gierach dans sa bibliothèque.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  73 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 OK, but a little uneven 28 avril 2014
Par J. P. Weimer - Publié sur
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.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 All Fishermen Are Lairs John Gierach 20 avril 2014
Par Robert Dils - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
John Gierach has come with another great book It is entertaining and extremely readable hard to put down once you have started reading for evening. With books like this it is hard to see why TV would have many viewers.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Been waiting to long for a new Gierach book! 19 avril 2014
Par shark - Publié sur
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.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another marvellous read 24 avril 2014
Par Mike Bailey - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have read all of Mr Gierach books. All are excellent. I just wish he would write more of them ! Thank you again Sir
4.0 étoiles sur 5 All fisherman are liars 16 septembre 2014
Par Richard Edward Blazek - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I'm only missing one of John's books (that sounds familiar and I've never met him). As with the others this one is filled with stories about his travels and in a sense some advertising. If some one were to tell him about their personal fishing honey hole he won't reveal the location but probably will fish it. Enough cynicism. It's well written but I'd like to hear more about the fishing, birds, and insect and maybe less about political bent, a bit more humor wouldn't hurt.
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