Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Book Review: Anatomy of a Fisherman by Robert Traver

This is an old favourite I pull out of the vaults from time to time. It was written in 1964 by Robert Traveraka John D. Voelker. Traver is best known to the world at large for writing Anatomy of Murder, the novel that was turned into a movie by Otto Preminger, and starring Jimmy Stewart. To fly fishermen, he is best known for a collection of stories called Trout Madness, one of the finest collection of fly fishing stories I have ever read. Traver / Voelker lived on the Upper Michigan Peninsula, in the Marquette area, and fished the Escanaba and countless other trout streams.

In Anatomy of a Fisherman, he collaborated with Life Magazine photographer Robert W. Kelley. The book is exquisite, full of photos of the UP, along with Traver and his buddies plying their trade.

The Best Time to Go Fishing: "My old father, who was my youthful supreme court, once said it all. One day out at South Camp I squinted up at the sky and asked him if it looked all right to go fishing. Does it, Pa? Now old George was not a man who discussed his views with any man - he simply announced them. Son, he said, looking me square in the eye, the best time to go fishing is when you can get away. Now scat.
Some men will fish only when the moon is full, others when it's empty, and still others only in between. But sun, moon, fog, mist, time, tide and crashing barometers are all alike to the real gone fisherman. In his secret heart he still knows that the best time to go fishing is when he can get away."

I'm looking at this book because spring is in the air and I long to get out on a trout stream. Anatomy of a Fisherman, if you haven't guessed, is perfect porn for the fly fisher. I confess, I'm real gone.


Candy Minx said...

Aw thats so nice. I read this once at your suggestion and I loved is a magic homey book. I forgot about the history of the pics.

mister anchovy said...

The picture is Robert Traver with Jimmy Stewart. Traver was well known for smoking foul-smelling Italian cigars. He was also elected to the Michigan Supreme Court from which he eventually retired to fish his beloved Escanaba and write books.

mister anchovy said...

Those of you who have seen Anatomy of a Fisherman will recall the scenes where Jimmy Stewart pulls in to his place after an evening's fishing with a fine brace of trout.