John Gierach breaks out an amazing episode in this one as he talks about how he came to become one of the greatest fly fishing writers in the world. We dig into some of his books including the famous, Trout Bum and we also chat about his favorite writers.

We also talk about the hippie movement in the 60s, weed, death in Colorado fly fishing, and much more. I’m excited to share a little perspective into the life, times, struggles and stories of the great John Gierach.


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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Show Notes with John Gierach

12:45 – John Shewey was on in episode 16 and talked about the process of writing and battling resistance.

15:20 – Thomas McGuane said as a writer, your only currency is your readership. My currency is my guests as noted by John in this episode.

17:00 – Tim Rawlins was on the show in episode 27 to talk about Spey Casting.

19:20 – Trout Bum was one of John’s first books published. He talks about how he has always just told stories.

john Gierach

21:55 – Roger Angell wrote for the New Yorker and wrote the essay This Old Man – John noted how amazing Roger described the hand pistol in the essay.


27:10 – April Volkey was on the podcast in episode 30

34:00 – Ed Engle and John McPhee are two big mentors for John.

34:20 – Draft No. 4 is a great book that John says everyone should read if you are interested in writing.

john gierach

33:20 – AK Best was a big mentor who helped John really get started early on. Ak’s Fly Box was one of Ak’s biggest books.

john gierach

36:30 – A Fly Rod of Your Own is John’s most recent book. John describes a little about his writing style in the podcast.

john gierach

39:25 – In episode 5 Jim Teeny noted the article on throwing rocks on fish to move steelhead into place. I noted the idea of throwing spoons out to get steelhead into range for the fly fisherman to catch it. John didn’t recall what I was talking about but shared another great story.

56:30 – John tells the story of when he thought he was going to die in a plane crash

1:05:30 – A cougar killed a hiker in Oregon and it’s the first time ever that happened in Oregon history – read more here

1:15:00 – The Joe Rogan Podcast where the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, smoked weed on live air. I ask John if he would smoke in our episode today.

elon musk weed

1:16:15 – The Beatles came out with the White Album partly due to a change in drug use. I ask John the same question about his writing and whether there were changes before and after.

1:18:05 – The Parachute Hare’s Ear and a hares ear soft hackle behind it are his goto flies.

hare's ear parachute fly
Photo by Tightline Videos

1:18:30 – Mary Alice Monroe tells a great story and a writer he follows along with Jim Harrison and Peter Mathison.


You can reach John at and find his upcoming books there.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Trout Bum by John Gierach

A Fly Rod of Your Own

Draft No. 4 by John Mcphee

Ak’s Fly Box by AK Best


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Conclusion with John Gierach

I hope you enjoyed that episode with John Gierach as much as I did. Did you catch the few times that I was completely surprised by John? We went down a few rabbit holes unrelated to fly fishing including weed and the 1960s.

John also covered a bunch of topics related to the 20 great fly fishing books he has written over the years. I could have gone for hours with John on this one but had to respect his time.

Gierach PDF Summary

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