John Gierach - a thank you from Shenzhen

My work takes me to many different cities in the world, and I spend a good amount of time in China. My trips to China are usually a mix of lot of meetings, a lot of meeting people, and even a fair amount of drinking (with more people). While there are a lot of things I love about China, access to nature isn't one of them (lack of). I am usually okay with this, as metropolitan city & access to nature isn't usually a set, and sometimes I find that this even enhances my appreciation, when I'm standing in a quiet creek. My current trip to China is no different, except this is the fall season, and I can't help but think about the cool water running in the mountain creeks, the hungry trout eagerly checking out the flies floating by ... my ears hunger for the kind of sounds a fall creek makes.

Fortunately, on this trip, I brought along John Gierach's book, Fly Fishing Small Streams. I've been reading it slowly, carefully timing the chapters, so that the book will last throughout the entire trip (it's a short book). I read it in the car from one factory to another, I read it as I wait for samples, and I read it sitting in a small coffee shop, filled with too many people & too much noise. I find that it takes intense concentration to read the words and to tune out the environment around me...

Perhaps "adjust" is a better word because as I read, I use my imagination to translate the sight & sounds to something else... something a little closer to what I'm reading about in the book. I am imagining the people & traffic as the cool running current and the city block/ buildings as boulders and rocks. I still haven't determined what I will select as the trout in this stream, but even without having decided that, the picture in front of me looks a little better. I start to see how this current is flowing, the eddies, and where riffles are formed as people rush past stationary things. The city is a living thing (not only the people but the city itself) and it's wonderful to observe the change throughout the different times of the day. I hope that with training I will be able to see this anytime at call. I described all of this to my friend here, and he looked at me a long while and said - "have you been drinking during the day?". Maybe I am going out of my mind, but if I am going to go out of my mind, this might not be a bad way to go.

John Gierach was quoted in an article in MidCurrent ... “I don’t travel or fish to ‘get away', because my life at home isn’t something I need to escape from.” Right now, I need a little escape and this book is providing me that space. So, thank you Mr. John Gierach, your book is helping one stressed out designer to keep it together at this moment.


  1. I guess when you can't fish while you travel for work, you can do several different activities to entertain yourself. Reading a good book about the fishing is one of them, and I tried to tie couple of times by bringing tying material (Worried of getting accuse of bringing bird disease) and tools (Super Heavy unless you have travel version). One down side of bringing tying equiptment is you will make your hotel room garbadge can super messy (Leave a lot of tip on the table).

  2. ㅋㅋ and then you're all worried what the maid will report to hotel... "I think Mr Choe in room 331 is doing something bad to animals...there's feather and fur all over the room!". You offset that by leaving $10 tip everyday for the maid. I think we should have a little 25% sized rod & reel you can actually cast. That will also come in handy when we drink, casting the fly across the bar into a shot glass.

    형 Yosemite 너무 뜸들이는거 아니야? 좀 보자.