New Book by John Gierach Coming Soon!

John Gierach is one of my favorite authors of all time! I wrote a review on him here. A new book of his will be released soon by Simon & Schuster. Here's the lowdown:

John Gierach, “the voice of the common angler” (The Wall Street Journal) and member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, brings his sharp sense of humor and keen eye for observation to the fishing life and, for that matter, life in general.

John Gierach is known for his witty, trenchant observations about fly-fishing. In A Fly Rod of Your Own (Simon & Schuster; April 4, 2017; $25.00), Gierach once again takes us into his world and scrutinizes the art of fly-fishing. He travels to remote fishing locations where the airport is not much bigger than a garage and a flight might be held up because a passenger is running late. He sings the praises of the skilled pilots who fly to remote fishing lodges in tricky locations and bad weather. He explains why even the most veteran fisherman seems to muff his cast whenever he’s being filmed or photographed. He describes the all-but-impassable roads that fishermen always seem to encounter at the best fishing spots and why fishermen discuss four-wheel drive vehicles almost as passionately and frequently as they discuss fly rods and flies. And while he’s on that subject, he explains why even the most conscientious fisherman always seems to accumulate more rods and flies than he could ever need.

As Gierach says, “fly-fishing is a continuous process that you learn to love for its own sake. Those who fish already get it, and those who don’t couldn’t care less, so don’t waste your breath on someone who doesn’t fish.” From Alaska to the Rockies and across the continent to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, A Fly Rod of Your Own is an ode to those who fish—and they will get it.

Conservation of Our Outdoor Resources

We must keep the lands public, the water clean and the forests thick with life.

Many of the most well-known outdoorsmen of days passed were also strong conservationists and naturalists. Theodore Roosevelt comes to mind as a person who championed many national parks and also supported conservationist ideas up until the day he died.

As president of the United States, he kept his outdoorsman roots and continued to hunt and fish throughout his presidency. Teddy was an outdoorsman who explicitly understood that the state of our environment directly translates into the state of our sport within it.

If the streams are pure and pristine, then the fish within will be strong and healthy and bountiful for all fisherman to enjoy and partake in. If the stream is soaked in oil and chemical run-off, then the fish’s existence will mirror that unhealthy environment.

As outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen we all have a responsibility to be champions for the land and waters we explore. We must keep the lands public, the water clean and the forests thick with life.

One act of conservation that anglers and hunters can partake in is that of switching from using lead weights and shot to steel or tungsten.

Lead is harmful to the ecosystem. The toxic metal can be lethal for game birds like geese and ducks which swallow rocks in order to digest their flora based diets. Sometimes along with the rocks they may inadvertently swallow some lead.

Some statistics indicate that the number of organisms that die from lead poisoning each year ranges from 10 to 20 million with most deaths stemming from migratory bird species.

Along the same lines, many other organisms may ingest lead when scavenging the carcasses of already deceased animals. These numbers are harder to determine because they seldom die near the point of ingestion.

Whether or not we live in a state where lead is banned from use in outdoor pursuits we can all consider making the switch and do our part to protect the health of our public lands and waters.

These little acts, however insignificant they may seem, can add up when more and more people take up the effort.

If we do our part, our public land and water can remain public and healthy for all of us to enjoy for generations to come.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of My Hunting & Fishing.

The Studious Outdoorsman

by Timothy

Most if not all outdoorsmen employ self-teaching at one point or another for the simple reason that there are not readily available classes that coincide with the space in busy schedules. For most people, the outdoors is a wholesome hobby and not a job title. At least that statement is true enough for me especially given that I am a young man. With a lot to know, more to learn, and a filled schedule holding you back from your next adventure, what options are there for pursuing outdoor arts?


The man left from around his parked car and sauntered along, parallel to the meandering river that his eyes traced patiently. They paused upon the water’s gentle countenance, the air damp and wet in the cold, the ducks that hobbled slowly along the dune-shaped shoreline, the water that pulled from his soul the fear and worry he had felt moments ago.

Though fishing this water was entirely new to him, he had studied its curves and pools for days, scouting out the features that slowed the ceaseless current in the hopes of discovering what lay finning lazily within it.

His walking had revealed to him the small set of falls his eyes set upon as a prime spot for a large trout to drift. The water down from him was on the outskirts of the main water column and swirled lazily.

‘The eddy,’ he thought to himself.

The fisherman left his gear bag and crouched forward to sneak next to the river. Choice lures prepped on a cotton patch attached to his vest and his rod well-oiled and re-spooled with fresh line, the fisherman had the utmost confidence in his gear.

Tying on a lure using a loop knot for maximum movement in the water column, he cast up from his slight downstream position to get the longest drift possible.

After a few tries he’d switch retrieve style or lure until he was down to his last one; a silver 1/8th ounce kastmaster.

‘One more,’ he thought sadly, ‘There has to be a fish in these waters.’

The line arced out over the foamy mess below and splashed neatly into the center of the eddy.
Almost immediately, there was a jarring yanking of the rod and a moment after, the fisherman held up proudly the fruits of his labor. A perfect eating-sized rainbow trout with the still shining spoon in the corner of its mouth.

Now, how is it we can learn something from this story? Let me impart upon you a word of advice a close friend recently gave to me. He told me that, “We do what we have to do now to do what we want to do later.”

The main character in this story spent his downtime cleaning rods, choosing lures, prepping gear, and went so far as to scout out the water he hoped to fish using google maps. The fisherman studied. He studied knots and lures and water and river and he got an A for it.

It is important that an outdoorsman remain sharp and knowledgeable about his or her craft whether in or out of the field. Honing one’s skills on a computer or a floor at home, will pay off later when the knowledge must be used.

That is the importance of a studious outdoorsman. And frankly, it’s studying that I don’t mind doing.

True Food

by Timothy,

The morning sun filters in through my closed tent flap and gently wakes me. My eyes open to the glow and immediately I feel the chill in the air. Although hot elsewhere, the mountains still retain a measure of the cold easily felt in the first rays of the morning sun. Before the sunlight lifts the cool veil, I shrug off the confines of the sleeping bag and step out into the day.

My first, long exhale plumes into a white cloud before me and withers away as I step through it to stoke the morning fire. Brought to life by a shower of sparks, the flame licks at the damp wood and curls back the bark. Allowing myself small moments to tune in to the subtleties around me is one of my favorite aspects of camping. The little things tend to be the easiest to remember.

The fire’s crackle is a soundtrack as I proceed to assemble my gear for the morning activities. Rods, reels, baits, and bags are corralled into a pile and wait patiently until I smother the fire. Its smoke swirls up through the pine trees and wafts through the air mingling with other woodsy scents. The important bags are donned, rods gripped in one hand, and the camera hangs from my neck eager to immortalize these moments in voiceless pictures.

My walk begins. The hunt for breakfast is afoot.

Taking my time to the lake, my eyes dart constantly between forest and floor, the former glance in search of a break in the trees, and the latter making note of my sure-footing. The gear around me rattles and claps with each step. Small hops dropping the heavy backpack down upon my shoulders as the campfire scent lingers further and further behind me.

The crunch of gravel greets me upon my arrival at the pristine lake, nestled in a mountain basin.

Although the sun has not yet crested the mountain tops, I can just barely see the dark silhouettes of cruising trout. Nearer the water, the plucking of rising fish is a strum on my instincts and my hands begin to work, tie, and cast a rod into the depths. The water is clear enough for me to watch the worm, sourced from beneath damp rocks, sink ever so slowly, its ends twirling tantalizingly in the new aquatic realm.

I settle in and wait.

The subtle thrum of my heart slows and the breaths I take are deep and full.

Sunlight pierces the water and the click of my shutter is the single disturbance to the picturesque morning.

The fervent bouncing of a rod tip commands my attention and as the sun raises higher, the silver, frantic flash of my prey shines in the water. The pumping reminds me of my heartbeat that was felt just moments before.

I land the creature and end its life with sharp taps from a stick, breaking the spine to show it a quick and merciful death. My breath plumes again as a sigh of respect escapes my lips.

The gear is stowed away and I begin the trek back through the woods. I follow the deepening scent of wood smoke and begin the transformation from hunter to cook. My mind stays focused yet the task and manner is different. Where once my goal was primal, an urge to kill, the urge is now to feast, to cook, to transform my energy spent into energy consumed. The sun stretches our shadows as hunter carries prey.

Upon my arrival the fire is stoked to a raging inferno and a mountain of embers are born. The fish is set nearby and begins the transformation between raw and cooked.

At first, the stench of the fish is akin to algae and mud, something not wholly appetizing. Its slime dries and adheres to the skin while the eyes grow cloudy. As time continues however, the scent becomes meaty and pleasing. The mouth waters as the skin crackles open revealing succulent, steaming flesh.

Breakfast, no longer trout, is removed from the coals and set on a plate.

Bones are fed to the fire, skin is fed to the dog, and meat is consumed, proudly, by me. The meat was taken respectfully in the most intimate of pursuits. Not a bit is wasted and as the day truly starts, every spark of the energy will be put to good use.

Starting my day like this means I have a greater respect for myself and the food I eat.

Most people never form the understanding of where and how their food actually comes from. They have no relationship with real food. Because of this it’s fair to say that hunters and fisherman have more than hobbies; they have a way of life.

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