Mr. Gierach is arguably the best fishing writer working. Like all of his books, his new one is a collection of informal narrative essays about fly-fishing—but only loosely. Fly-fishing is merely the lens through which he regards what William James called the 'human core' ... There is a wonderful honesty and restraint in Mr. Gierach’s writing. In situations that a lesser writer might have milked for dramatic effect, Mr. Gierach pulls his punches elegantly ... In each instance, I had the sense that a lesser writer would have striven for—and failed to achieve—a greater effect. There’s no exaggeration or grandiosity here. Mr. Gierach never tries to wow you. He knows that less is more.
Gierach hones in on the ups and downs of fishing, and those looking for how-to tips will find plenty here on rods, flies, guides, streams, and pretty much everything else that informs the fishing life. It is the everything else that has earned Gierach the following of fellow writers and legions of readers who may not even fish but are drawn to his musings on community, culture, the natural world, and the seasons of life ... Most readers will be profoundly moved by the meditation on mortality within the blandly titled 'Up in Michigan' ... In these insightfully droll essays, Gierach shows us how fishing offers plenty of time to think things over.