Madness, Trout and Otherwise...

I spent a recent snowy afternoon tying a few flies, feeling a bit nostalgic and thinking of John Volker (aka Robert Traver) and his Testament of a Fisherman.  It's a classic piece.  I suspect that it's a rare angler who hasn't read it.  For the sake of mental refreshment, here 'tis......

I fish because I love to;

Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful,

 and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly;

Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing
 I thus escape;

Because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate,

 my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion;

Because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power,

 but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience;

Because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time,

 and I for one don’t want to waste the trip;

Because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters;

Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness;

Because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there;

Because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid;

And, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important

 but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant

and not nearly so much fun.

More Traver, here's a blast back to the sixties.  It's worth thumbing through if you can find a copy: 

While poking around the internet, I was happy to stumble onto this video.  It's a piece of angling history.  The footage is of John Voelker.  He narrates as well.

And finally, here is an interesting biographical link to his life:

That's enough nostalgia to keep one occupied on this first day of spring.  Wouldn't it be nice to go back to the days when there were no phones on the water........


  1. Thanks Les. Always to re-read or to hear the Traver meditations. Happy spring!

    1. Hi Walt, likewise as regards this first full day of spring. The Testament of a Fisherman is angling cliche, but it still rings true. Now, if I could only get this danged reply button to work......

    2. Amazing, after who knows how many months it works. I did have to change browsers though.

  2. Lester
    What a great post to lift ones spirits during these trying times----hope everything is going well for you guys out there---my fishing holes are some of the places I can go and feel safe and secure. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Bill. All is well here. Thankfully, the natural world is impervious to "news". I've yet to see trout and robins hoard toilet paper or tortillas!


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking time to comment.