Saturday, November 28, 2020

The thoughts of an outdoorsman

  “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 what 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 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 in the woods I can find solitude without loneliness. ... 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.”     - John Voelker 


The same can be said for deer hunting, bird hunting, gardening and a host of other, outdoor pursuits.


  1. I knew John Voelker quite well. I was introduced to him in about 1973-74 by our mutual friend Ted Bogdon who owned the Holiday Inn at Marquette which was what was then at the west end of town. I lived at Marquette then and saw John often. Especially in the bar at the Holiday Inn and a few others we frequented. He was in his 70s then and I in my late 20s so actually it was a perfect match. He loved telling stories and I loved hearing them. He and Ted and I and Buck Gotschall, Guy Nakarado, Fred Schaefer and some others did some fishing up on the Yellow Dog and Dead River and would usually end up at Big Bay in the Lumberjack Bar and Big Bay Hotel where John would soon have a audience sitting around our table listening to his stories. I bought a bunch of his books, five of Anatomy of a Murder and Trout Madness, my favorite, for him to autograph for me but never seemed to have them on hand when I was with him. Then one day Buck La Vassuer called me and said that John had died so I never got it done. I do miss him all these years later. Along with most of those other guys in our group. ---ken

  2. John Voelker, he could not have said it better. The only modern concession I bring camping and/to fish is my small trailer, I am too old and crippled up to sleep on the ground. I like my small soft mattress and an indoor potty... I get away, I don't want a radio, or TV, just an fishing pole and a good book or my thoughts.

  3. "...and a host of other outdoor pursuits."

    "Believe me my young friend, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
    Kenneth Grahame - 'The Wind in the Willows'


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