Robert Traver – Testament of a Fisherman

Robert Traver, whose real name was John D. Voelker, was a lawyer, author, and fly fisherman from Upper Michigan. He is best known for the novel, Anatomy of a Murder, that was turned into a critically praised and popularly successful movie that starred Jimmy Stewart – it is considered one of the best trial movies of all time.

But it is for his fly fishing that he’s recalled here. It was said of him he fished five to six times per week for over 20 years. Whether true – or not, he lived for the sport that also filled out the character of Paul Biegler in the movie.

He sent the following to his friend Craig Matthews, former police chief and then owner of Blue Ribbon Flies – both in West Yellowstone Montana. Craig provided the background in one of his posts.

If someone wanted to summarize what fly fishing means to so many (including me), it would be difficult to find anything better.

And it’s a good thing to reflect on during the first day of a new year – a new year that begins as grimly as the last one ended. Where hope is still a good thing.



Author: Tom

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