It may be hard to fathom, but John Gierach, renowned flyfishing writer, Colorado resident and lover of trout in hard-to-get-to places, has never owned that one thing he’s always coveted: a Jeep. Now, after years spent in clunky pickup trucks and borrowed 4×4 rigs, Gierach goes fishing for his brand-new, second-hand 2000 Jeep Wrangler. Like any good fishing story (or episode of Car Talk), “Jeepology’s” bumpy trail finally leads to that thing Gierach loves more than his new prize – a quiet stream and hungry trout.At a recent family reunion, my 92-year-old mother asked me what was new and I told her, among other things, that I’d bought a Jeep. She said, “You’ve always wanted a Jeep; ever since you were a little boy.” Then she added, in a less wistful tone of voice, “And anyway, you need it for your fishing.” I took that as absolution. We native Midwesterners are not the kind of frivolous people who would fork over hard-earned money for something just because we wanted it, but as a fisherman living in the Rocky Mountains I needed a Jeep the way a farmer needs a tractor—never mind that he’s wanted a tractor ever since he was a little boy.

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