I finally did it. After reading almost everything John Gierach has written, with the exception of Trout Bum, I went to the local library and checked out the 20th anniversary copy of his seminal work, complete with Foreward by Gary LaFontaine and accolades from other outdoor writers.
While I enjoy his books, reading them too often will encourage thoughts of quitting your job, buying a pickup truck, and chasing fish full time. A possibility when you’re in your 20’s, but if you’re over 40 with a young family to support, reality usually kicks in before you finish the final chapter.
Like most who have read Trout Bum, I really appreciate his writing style and approach to the sport. What I found interesting about reading this book was that, while some of his other works chronicle his fishing trips, Trout Bum also focuses on key elements of fly fishing such as the bass pond, cane rods, night fishing and camp coffee.
Chapter 12, Sawhill Portrait, was probably my favorite chapter because he writes about the fun and ease of catching panfish. And although he mentions that he finds it hard to take fly fishing for chub, carp, and catfish seriously, I’m sure that there are others who would disagree.
Chapter 20, On The Road, was also enjoyable and instructive primarily because it lays out guidelines for the types of people you should and should not invite on your next fishing trip. Based on my experiences, his descriptions are pretty accurate.
I thought about writing my own fishing manifesto. I even had a photo shoot for the cover. But somehow Bream Hobo doesn’t have the same enticing ring as Trout Bum. That should be no surprise. Imitations usually pale in comparison anyway.
Chances are, you’ll like Trout Bum. It’s a good read and you’ll see why he has become such a successful author. However, don’t blame me if you decide to quit your job and chase trout full time. Enjoy!