Traver Award Winners

Traver Award Winners

  • By: Joe Healy
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It’s my great honor to introduce the winner and the second-place finisher in the 2009 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award Competition. Our lead short story this year, “The Land Beyond Maps”, which begins on page 42, is written by Pete Fromm, a Montana resident and the winner the first year we co-sponsored this important award with the John D. Voelker Foundation(1994). Fromm’s pace-setting story 15 years ago was “Home Before Dark” and is included in his collection of fishing stories Blood Knot (The Lyons Press) and will be the title story of a French edition of the same book, Avant La Nuit, to be published by Gallmeister Editions next spring. It’s also the opening story to our Fly Rod & Reel Books edition In Hemingway’s Meadow, a collection of Traver Award stories coming out this fall and available at flyrodreeel.com. Part of the proceeds of this book will go to the Voelker Foundation; Robert Traver was the pen name of John Voelker, the Michigan judge and beloved fly-fishing author in whose honor the foundation exists; go to voelkerfdn.org. The foundation has long made recognizing and rewarding great fly-fishing writing part of its mission, and contributes a cash prize of $2,500 each year for the winning stories we publish. We thank them once again for helping to celebrate fly-fishing’s deep literary traditions.

Our second Traver Award short story in this issue, titled “The Secret Life of Walter Troutty”, is by RC Hooker. He’s a graduate from Youngstown State University with a degree in philosophy, which he says is “a haunting honorarium that was both a social liability and a personal asset.” Naturally, the degree led to his teaching math and science and coaching basketball. But as writing about the outdoors became his destiny, the Montana resident quit teaching and began a freelance career in dreaming about fish in fishy places. His Traver story is a rollicking parody of James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”