Fly fishing uber-writer John Gierach has always given the appearance of a reclusive nature, but the last couple years have found interviews popping up like mushrooms (including mine).
It’s just possible we’ve learned almost as much about him via other people’s writing as we have his own.
This interview (found via Moldy Chum) was conducted by a Colorado writer, and it’s long and detailed and while the writer occasionally heads a little far afield into gonzo journalism territory, he does a nice job of profiling John Gierach’s conservation work, which we don’t read about much in Gierach’s own essays:
“I have no idea if anything I’ve done will make a difference in the long run, but you have to try. Every generation has to try. Because if you give up, the bastards win.”
There are other engagingly candid moments (he quit working with the New York Times because “they were all assholes”), and frankly, quotes like this make it worth the read:
“I wouldn’t over-analyze it too much,” Gierach said when I asked if his philosophy degree influenced his passion for the sport. “I think it’s trendy to link fly fishing with spirituality these days. There might be something like that involved, but most of it’s crap. In the end, it comes down to this: I like catching fish.”
(This dovetails nicely with one of the Underground’s Absolute Rules Of Fly Fishing Writing: the sport is special and all, but descriptions of fly fishing should not include the word “soul.”)
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.