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Volume II, Issue 3, October 20, 2003
Wargin, E. (2003). Voelker’s Pond: A Robert Traver Legacy. With essays by James McCollough. Chelsea, MI: Clock Tower Press. 144 p. $45.00. [ISBN: 193239903]
“To paraphrase a deceased patriot, I regret that I have but one life to give to my fly-fishing.” – John Voelker
The essence of a devout outdoorsman echoes in the prophetic words of the late John Voelker. Voelker was a justice in the Michigan Supreme Court, known by the nom de plume of Robert Traver, who wrote the famous crime thriller Antaomy of a Murder. He was also fly-fishing’s pantheon and author of Anatomy of a Fisherman, Trout Magic, and Trout Madness, to name but a few. As a fitting tribute, Voelker’s Pond: A Robert Traver Legacy invites the reader inside a majestically bucolic, yet cryptic fishing hole, Voelker’s private fly-fishing sanctuary.
Through impossibly composed images, photographer Ed Wargin captures the ethereal world of an inspirational and envied fly-fishing fantasy camp. Without giving away the location of the legendary hideaway, essayist James McCullough fills the white space between the dreamy images with his recollections of fishing with Voelker nearly three decades ago.
Voelker jettisoned a lucrative judicial career to pursue the denizens of his pond. Unhampered with the negative pull of busy city life, Voelker built a sparse cabin in the rugged beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Apart from a few trusted friends and blessed invited guests, the location is still a best-kept secret. In Voelker’s words, “most fisherman swiftly learn that it’s a pretty good rule to never show a favorite spot to any fisherman you wouldn’t trust with your wife.”
Reviewed by Michael Atkinson, Student, Library and Information Science Program, Wayne State University, email@example.com.