The 2007 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award

The 2007 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award

Traver Award-winner Jeff Day Donna Chiarelli The results of the 2007 Traver competition have left us shocked-but only in a good way. If you'll remember,

Traver Award winner Jeff Day

Traver Award-winner Jeff Day

Donna Chiarelli

The results of the 2007 Traver competition have left us shocked-but only in a good way. If you'll remember, we announced earlier this year that we had decided to experiment with changing our 14-year-old "fiction" competition into a "writing" contest in order to open it to all comers-essays as well as short stories.

Although at first we had some deep doubts about tampering with tradition, it turned out to be the best thing we could have done. Not only did we receive several essays worthy of the award but, by some miracle, the quality of the fiction entries rose dramatically as well. Last year's relative drought has been followed by a deluge of fine writing on the subject of fly-fishing-so much of it, in fact, that not only are we able to present you with a special "reading issue" just like we used to do in the good old days, but we could not even fit all of the deserving stories and essays into one magazine. You'll find three Traver pieces in this issue: the winning essay, "Hemingway's Meadow," by Jeff Day, along with a fine essay about the magic of bamboo rods ("Lives of Fly Rods" by Donald J. Goodman) and an excellent piece of fiction ("Shake and Float" by Josh Greenburg). Yet another terrific short story, "Time to Kill," by Michael Baughman, will appear in a future issue.

Traver Award-winner Jeff Day's life, by the way, is just as interesting as the essay he wrote for us. He is a woodworker and a home-improvement writer who lives with his wife and their three children in a 250-year-old farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Jeff tells us that his first memory is of fishing with his father-and that his second is of reading Hemingway's "Big, Two-Hearted River."

As always, we have the John D. Voelker Foundation to thank for the $2,500 cash award that annually goes to our contest winner. We are also grateful for the help of several of their board members in selecting that winner. This year, our panel of judges included the Foundation's Fred Baker, John Frey and Richard Vander Veen along with Nick Lyons, Seth Norman, Ted Leeson and FR&R's editors.

The Voelker Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the memory and works of Robert Traver, pen name of the Michigan judge who wrote Anatomy of a Murder, Trout Magic, Trout Madness, and many other popular books. The Foundation's charitable activities include a scholarship fund for Native American law students.

Please enjoy our "reading issue," and don't forget to let us know how you like it.
-The Editors