Reviews - What do customers think about Voelker's Pond: A Robert Traver Legacy (Michigan)?
The Ghosts of John Voelker, interesting as ever Sep 28, 2006
This book injects new life into the nationally-acclaimed stories of Voelker (aka Robert Traver) as told in "Trout Magic," "Anatomy of a Fisherman" and various periodicals.
John Voelker camped & fished in the rugged basin of the East Branch of the Escanaba River, just upstream from my grandmother's house in Gwinn, Michigan.
My own first big trout fishing experience was on Green Creek, up M-35 from Gwinn and in the same "neck of the woods." One of the nicest brookies I ever caught came from Warner Creek, just south of Palmer on the edge of the Empire Mine and yet closer to the mystical "Voelker's Pond."
Makes you wanna grab your pole & seek out a few speckies for yourself, hey?
Even better than expected Feb 27, 2006
The writing and the photographs in this book are excellent. I have always wanted to visit "Frenchman's Pond" and now I feel like I have been there. The vivid photographs capture so many little details of John Voelker's life at the pond that a visitor would never see. The outstanding essays give insight into how much he loved this place. Out of respect for John Voelker and his family, I no longer feel the need to trample the bushes and snap a few tourist photos. My appetite is satisfied and I will leave Voelker's pond well enough alone. Instead I am left with a deep appreciation of John Voelker's favorite place and a desire to find one of my own.
Voelker would have liked this book Nov 10, 2003
Trout fishing is not for the impatient. Whether you come to trout fishing, especially fly-fishing, with the requisite patience, or it teaches it to you, I'm not certain. But I am certain that the legendary fly-fishermen have it. I am also certain that patience doesn't guarantee success. Or else I would do better.
John Voelker must have been a patient man. He knew what it took to catch a brook trout with a fly and he was good at it. He also knew how to write about it, which he did with great skill and precision, as if casting a fly to a wary trout. In fact, he was famous for his writing, at least in fly-fishing circles, where he has achieved the status of a legend.
Voelker is probably better known to the general population by his pen name, Robert Traver, under which he wrote the 1950s best seller, Anatomy of A Murder, which in turn was made into an award-winning movie of the same name. (But for a little movie called Ben Hur in 1959, Anatomy of A Murder might have been one of the biggest Academy Award-winning movies of all time.) He also was well known in Michigan as a Supreme Court Justice, but he gave it all up in his prime to fish and to write. "To paraphrase a deceased patriot," he said, "I regret that I have but one life to give to my fly-fishing."
Voelker, a simple man with a quick wit and a love for nature and a good drink, would have turned 100 at the end of June. He died in 1991. A new book by photographer Ed Wargin and writer James McCullough, both near-Petoskey, Michigan, residents, celebrates his life by exploring his secret fishing hole somewhere in the middle of michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Wargin's photos are crisp and clean, simple and celebrative at the same time. They seem to catch Voelker's demeanor as they show his favorite places and things, his secret pond, his fly rods, flies, and reels, his small, rustic cabin. A display of Wargin's photos at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette in June was impressive, but had nothing on the book, which seems better with each reading.
Part of the book's charm is the writing of McCullough, who now teaches English and education at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. As a 15-year-old, McCullough had the chance to meet and fish with Voelker at his secret camp, and he uses that event, and his own fly-fishing experience, to infuse his narrative with an understanding of Voelker's take on life and living. This is fine reading and will make any non-fishing day a better one.
Voelker probably wouldn't have been too keen about all the hoopla surrounding his birthday. I suspect he rather would have been fishing. But he would have been patient. And he would have liked this book. And anyone who has found peace on a stream will like it, too.
A Fly Fisherman's Walden - A Tribute to Traver Jun 15, 2003
While focusing on the legacy of Robert Traver, a famous Michigan statesman, novelist, and fisherman, this book manages to also capture the soul and unique philosophies of fly fishermen everywhere. Wonderfully photographed throughout the book, James McCullough, through his series of essays, recounts his memories as a young man meeting the famous Traver on Voelker's Pond and his experiences years later returning to the pond after Traver passed on. Simply a peaceful and entertaining book to read through, with glimpses of the secret solitude of the fly fisherman's world with lessons of life that extend beyond the rod and pond.
Breathtaking Photography! Jun 11, 2003
This book is an amazing delight for those who love fly fishing, as well as those who simply love Michigan, great photography, and beautiful hidden places of nature. I learned things I didn't know about John Voelker, who wrote under the pen name Robert Traver, and through the stunning images, I felt as if I were right there at his beloved pond, fishing with him, something many of us flyfisherman have dreamt about for years. This books gives that dream new meaning. Thank you Mr. Wargin and Mr. McCullough, for capturing this place so beautifully!!!!!!