Regular readers will recall that I recently re-read Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver. Since doing so, and also because I’m planning a little trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in June, I decided to re-read his trout fishing books as well, Trout Madness and Trout Magic. Trout Madness was the first, published in 1960, the year I was born. Trout Magic was published in 1974. I started with the more recent of the two. For the fly fisherpeople in the crowd, these books are simply perfect. If you aren’t a flyfisherperson, I’d prefer that you didn’t read these books, because if you did you might find yourselves compelled to start fly fishing. We already have plenty enough people out there on stream today, thanks just the same.
Trout Magic begins with Travers’ Testament of a Fisherman. Here’s a snippet:
“I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout 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…..”
There is a third Robert Traver fishing book, called Anatomy of a Fisherman. I have Salvelinas Fontinalis’ copy (he’s not likely to get it back – har!). It’s a book dominated by the photographs of Life Magazine photographer Robert Kelley, taken at some of Travers’ secret trout spots on the UP. I think I’m going to have to dig that one out and enjoy it all over again.