Robert Traver 1964, (Judge John Voelker 1903-93)

I fish because I love to;

Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly;

Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape;

Because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion;

Because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience;

Because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters;

Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness;

Because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there;

Because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid;

And, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant – and not nearly so much fun.


We should probably run this quote twice a year, just so we remember why we are here, the fraternity of the long rod. Happy 2009 from all of us at the Mountain River Fly Shop


  • “Bourbon out of an old tin cup”…. I am struck with a flood of memories, most of which slightly distorted.

    Great Quote.

  • We used this writing at my Dad’s Memorial service where we stood at the bank and spread his ashes on his favorite trout stream in Pennsylvania… on April 1, 2002, the first day of trout season… where he went every year and met the same group of men… they were old and long time friends. All the guys were there in their camo, crying, and watching me, my mother, and my sister as we said goodbye to him. This was the only poem we could find about fishing that would capture who he really was. I love it!

Comments are closed.