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Bookworm of Edwards hosts free virtual event with fishing writer John Gierach

John Gierach has been an outdoorsman his whole life, and has become one of the most recognizable names in fishing.
Special to the Daily

Take a walk down by the river on a warm day and chances are you will see at least one or two fishermen casting into the current. For those that have spent their lives on the river, the appeal of a slow afternoon with rod in hand is obvious. For John Gierach, a lifetime of slow afternoons has turned into a career.

Join bestselling author and streamside philosopher John Gierach for the launch of his new book, “Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers.” This virtual event, hosted by the Bookworm of Edwards, is free and open to all.

John Gierach is and has always been an outdoorsman.

“I spent most of my early childhood in the woods near where I lived in Illinois, doing whatever stupid things unsupervised kids do,” he said.

Although he has found many passions in his life, from hiking to camping to hunting, the common thread through his life is fishing.

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“The earliest evidence I’ve found of me fishing is a snapshot in a family album of me at about three-feet-tall posing with a small bullhead and a cane pole,” Gierach said. “Near as we can tell, it was taken in 1950 when I was 4 years old and they say we can’t remember anything before the age of five.”

So when it was time to try and start his adult career, he decided to look at his hobby from a different angle.  

“I’d been trying to be a writer since high school,” Gierach said, “and first wrote about fishing just to make some money. As time went on, it took on a life of its own.”

This life of writing has resulted in over twenty books about fly-fishing as well as published writing in multiple magazines and publications. These have made Gierach a household name in the fly-fishing community.

His new book, “Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers,” looks at his life on the river as a whole and describes the lessons he picked up along the way. The book itself is full of wisdom for any reader, from practical advice on rods and flies to philosophical tales on the ups and downs of the fishing life.

“Everyone takes something different from a book and you can read a favorite book multiple times and get more out of it with each reading,” Gierach said. “What I get out of it is the momentary satisfaction of having said what I had to say, but don’t ask me what that is. If I could sum it up in a few sentences, the book wouldn’t have to be 70,000 words long.”

Overall, “Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers” reads like a love letter to a life spent on the river.

“I think what I love most about fishing is the idea of trying to read the minds of fish and drawing on centuries of tradition to do it,” Gierach said. “And the peace and quiet is nice, too.”

If you go …

What: A Virtual Book Launch with John Gierach

When: Tuesday, June 2, 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom and Facebook Live. Follow the Bookworm of Edwards on Facebook for access.

Cost: Free

More information: Call 970-926-7323 or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com for more information on how to join.


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