John Gierach

Close to Home

I live in the foothills of the northern Colorado Rockies with a dozen trout streams within day-trip range, so it’s easy for me to recommend fishing close to home. The advantages are endless. You can go fishing at a moment’s notice; it only takes one trip to the pickup to pack your minimal gear; you know exactly where you want to go and have plenty of backups in case someone is in your spot; a rained-out day is no big deal—you just go home and come back when the creek clears—and so on. Fishing becomes a normal part of daily life instead of always being an expedition. I know not everyone is so lucky. Many have it harder and some have it even easier. I might once have said you make that kind of luck for yourself, and in some ways you do, but it’s just as true that people often end up where they end up through no fault of their own and are then faced with making the best of it.   

I know that because I’ve temporarily ended up in a few places I didn’t care for over the years (Cleveland comes immediately to mind), but I was young and unattached enough to be able to move on as soon as I comprehended my predicament. I may also have understood that option would begin to wane with the accumulation of time and entanglements, which in the moment only made the idea of blowing town seem more attractive. I didn’t exactly weigh all my options before I sank roots and bought property where I am now; it was more the time for that had come and I liked where I was… 

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