The 2004 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Fiction Award

The 2004 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Fiction Award

The winner of this year's Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Fiction Award is Bil Monan, for his story, The Surrender. Monan's piece was chosen from among more

The winner of this year's Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Fiction Award is Bil Monan, for his story, The Surrender. Monan's piece was chosen from among more than 120 short stories submitted in fly-fishing's most prestigious writing contest. Monan-our eighth Fiction Award winner since 1995-lives in Virginia and works as a landscape manager and event planner. This is the first writing contest he has ever entered. The story is set in Austria during the closing days of the Second World War, and is a tribute to Monan's father, a WWII veteran and retired CIA officer.During the war, 2nd Lt. Monan served in the Army's 83rd Infantry Division, 331st Regiment, Company A. He landed on Utah Beach at the beginning of July, 1944 during the Allies' invasion of Normandy. On July 28, he was wounded by a landmine near the town of Villages des Saints. He was released from the hospital in 1946 and then went on to serve in the CIA until his retirement 1989. During his government career, he was posted throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, including a stint in Austria. It was while living in Austria with his father that the author discovered and fished the river featured in his story. The river-Erlauf-is a short drive northwest of Vienna, where the Monan family lived during their three years in Austria. While learning to fly-fish for the resident browns, rainbows and grayling, Monan would come across discarded shells and machine guns along the river-remnants of battles between the Russian and German armies during the war. It was from these relics of WWII that he drew inspiration to write his story. As the world marked the 60th Anniversary of D-Day this past June, we were reminded of the sacrifices of the men who fought in WWII, as well as all the men and women who have served in the armed forces. In fact, Monan said of his story, "This is dedicated to my dad and all soldiers, not just vets." Monan's $2,500 prize for The Surrender comes courtesy of the John D. Voelker Foundation, the organization that honors Voelker's memory. Writing under the pen name of Robert Traver, Voelker-a Michigan Supreme Court judge, angler and author-wrote a number of books including Anatomy of a Murder, Trout Madness, Trout Magic; and Anatomy of a Fisherman. To find out more about the Voelker Foundation and its good works, which includes a scholarship fund for Native Americans, visit their Web site at www.voelkerfdn.org. This year's Traver Award panel included Nick Lyons, Fred Baker, John Frey, Richard Vander Veen, Ted Leeson, Seth Norman and last year's winner, Keith McCafferty. Our thanks to them for participating and helping to ensure the continuation of quality angling literature.