The John D. Voelker Foundation and the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) recently announced the winner of the 2019 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award.
“A Wet World That Burns” by Jimmy Watts of Bellingham, Washington, tells the heartbreaking true story of the 1999 Whatcom Creek explosion and connects the author’s life of fire and water as a professional fireman and bamboo fly-rod builder with Liam Wood, an 18-year-old angler who was killed while fly fishing in the creek.
The winning entry will receive a $2500 prize and be published in the Spring 2020 edition of the American Fly Fisher, the journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. The story was previously published in the Summer 2018 edition of the Drake.
The 2019 competition drew a field of 156 entries. Entries were judged anonymously to narrow the pool down to ten finalists. The other seven finalists were:
“Osprey, the Fisherman” by Colten Braybrooks of Seattle, Washington
“Some Fish Make Rivers” by Frank Sargeant of Union Grove, Alabama
“The Last Brook Trout” by Bob Linsenmen of Rose City, Michigan
“The Wading Game” by Kristin Millgate of Idaho Falls, Idaho
“At the Heart of Hollows” by Ben Moyer of Farmington, Pennsylvania
“The Manistee River Waltz” by Tim Schulz of Houghton, Michigan
“Learning to Mend” by S. Paige Wallace of Portland, Oregon
The Traver Award judges also awarded honorable mention recognition on two humorous short stories: “The Honeymooners” by Richard Chiappone of Homer, Alaska, and “Les Poissons Toxiques” by Michael Doherty of Seattle, Washington.