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Gone Fishing

Life on and off the waters of the Wood River Valley
Best Hockey Movies

12/12/12

Best Hockey Movies

  IN WHAT SEEMED LIKE A STORY only Hollywood could tell, last spring the Los Angeles Kings barely made the NHL play-offs, but then went on to win their first Stanley Cup in convincing fashion—and they did so with an American-born goalie to boot. Since the Cup will reside in the filmmaking capitol of the world for the foreseeable future (NHL owners and players are fighting about money—again!—and no games are being played), here’s one former puckhead’s Top 10 lineup of the best hockey movies ever.       10: Mystery, Alaska (1999) A bunch of small town, pond hockey playing buddies get their day on the ice with the New York Rangers. The great Phil Esposito and Barry “The Mullet” Melrose make cameos....

Posted at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

Top 10 White Elephant Holiday Gifts

12/05/12

Top 10 White Elephant Holiday Gifts

Well Ho, Ho, Ho what do you know? ‘Tis the holiday season once again. That wondrous time of the year when we happily swill eggnog (so long as it’s spiked) and celebrate the birth of baby Jesus (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) by giving our friends and relatives gifts they may neither want, need, nor know how to legally get rid of. Such gifts are known as “White Elephants.” To help you avoid giving any, or to give you some good ideas for a White Elephant party, here are the Top 10 White Elephant gifts for 2011/12.   10. Chia Pets, Chia Professor, Chia Scooby Doo, Chia SpongeBob, Chia President Barack Obama or any of the other two million products they make: In their defense, unlike real pets, Chia Pets never poop on the rug—and they do make a Chia...

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3

Three Reads: Autumnal Themes

11/07/12

Three Reads: Autumnal Themes

Autumn is a great time of year to be a reader. There’s just something especially enjoyable about opening the pages of a new book as the leaves and temperatures are falling. In autumn’s honor, here are three fall-inspired reads for a variety of literary appetites: One is about the last days of a man’s life during an autumn in Italy. Another is about a famous writer spending the autumn of his life driving across the country with his dog. And the third, a story about a bloody slice of America’s overlooked history—the fall of the nation’s most powerful Indian tribe, the Comanches.   Across the River and into the Trees By Ernest Hemingway (1950, Scribner) Colonel Richard Cantwell is the prototypical Hemingway protagonist....

Posted at 03:04 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Idaho’s 8th Annual Crosstoberfest

10/18/12

Idaho’s 8th Annual Crosstoberfest

In the eyes of many, it’s nothing shy of a match made in heaven: bicycle racing meets beer, they fall in love and decide to throw a party. The annual Idaho Crosstoberfest presented by Scott Sports is just such a celebration. Combining two days of cyclocross races with a craft beer festival, Crosstoberfest—as it’s simple called in the Gem State—will be celebrating its 8th year this October 26 -27th. While cyclocross racing has been popular in Europe for over 60 years, the sport is essentially just catching on here in the States—but it’s doing so swiftly. Cyclocross is America’s fastest growing cycle-sport. Cyclocross events traditionally take place in the autumn and early winter and consist of short races (usually lasting less than...

Posted at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Shots of the Week: The Bow Bridge opens

10/09/12

Shots of the Week: The Bow Bridge opens

  There once was time when the land along the Big Wood River by Lions Park in Hailey was little more than a landfill, an eyesore, a place better left ignored than embraced. But thanks to the great work of the Wood River Land Trust (WRLT) and an anonymous donor, that stretch along the river nestled below Della Butte is no longer a place to dump garbage. It’s now a healthy ecological spot, highlighted by a beautiful new bridge and a walking trail that allows visitors to recycle their spirits among the natural splendors of our little corner of the Northern Rockies. Last Saturday, the WRLT celebrated the opening and dedication of the Bow Bridge, which crosses the Big Wood River at the Draper Preserve in Hailey. Festivities included a 5k Fun Run & Walk, live...

Posted at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Take a Damn Staycation!

09/18/12

Take a Damn Staycation!

The best advice I ever got about living in a ski town came from my boss at the time, a short fiery native Spud named Mark Fisher. “The only way you’re ever going to be happy living in a ski town is if you occasionally take a vacation and don’t go anywhere,” Fisher said, about a decade ago, from across the pick-up window at the Sun Valley Brewing Company and Café in downtown Hailey—where I was running the bar during my first go-round in the Wood River Valley. “Sometimes you’ve got to play tourist too, and remember why you live here,” explained Fisher, who usually had a head and face full of dirty blond hair, and who tragically passed away a half-dozen years ago while driving down one of the old dusty Idaho mountain roads...

Posted at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Back Alley Parties

08/15/12

Back Alley Parties

In case you didn’t know it, Hailey, Idaho, (not to be confused with the comet) is one of the coolest towns in the country. And if you don’t believe it, then you’ve obviously never been to a Back Alley Party. Held on Wednesday nights in the summer for the last nine years now, Back Alley Parties have helped raised thousands of dollars for local non-profits like The Hunger Coalition, the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, The Senior Connection and the The Advocates - for Survivors of Domestic Violence. The format for each week’s party is pretty much the same: The Wicked Spud is the site for the free event, which offers live music (an opening act followed by a headliner) starting at 6pm while keg beer (generously donated by even host Figgleaf...

Posted at 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Gift of Golf

07/25/12

The Gift of Golf

For some of us, golf is more than just a game. It’s more than simply swinging the sticks or making scratch marks on a scorecard. It’s more than chasing dimpled balls across freshly cut grass or trying to play at least one stroke better than your partner. For some of us who swing the sticks, golf is a passion and a love affair that lasts a lifetime. Born and bred Idahoan, JJ Astorquia, is one of those folks. Back when JJ was only about as tall as a nine iron, his grandparents introduced him to the game of golf. Little did the six-year old know that he’d been introduced to a sport that would have an extremely positive and long lasting influence on his life. All he knew was that—much like the average duffer’s drive—he was hooked. “I just...

Posted at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

The Doc of the Drakes

07/18/12

The Doc of the Drakes

The world is full of fishing stories that sound too good to be true. Tall tales about catching fish—and big ones to boot—that seem to be more the stuff of magic and wishful thinking than reality. So most of the time, that’s exactly what great fishing stories are—fantasy passed off as fact. There’s a good reason why the old angling saying goes: “Early to bed, early to rise. Fish all day, tell big lies.” But even the worst odds—like trying to beat Parkinson’s and keep on casting days away when you’re in your eighties—still hit every once in a while and a terrific fishing tale is actually based in truth. The story of the “Doc of the Drakes” is just such a tale. It’s a real miracle in every...

Posted at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments: 3

Happy Buns Make Happy Riders

07/11/12

Happy Buns Make Happy Riders

When your father-in-law’s best friend asks you to help him out, you usually don’t say no. This is especially true when there’s beer involved. So I thought nothing of it when Larry Hill, who primarily grew up amongst the sage-covered hills of the Wood River Valley, handed me a funny looking bike seat one afternoon while we were having beers at my in-laws place in south Hailey and asked if I’d try it out. If I liked the seat, which he and his girlfriend had spent years perfecting, Larry said he’d be delighted if I could get it some press. So with all the forethought of a toddler I grabbed the odd, black and yellow RideOut Tech Carbon Comfort Seat and put it on my bicycle. After a few short rides around town, I quickly determined that both Larry...

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

About This Blog

Whether he’s being out-fished by his trash talking mother-in-law, guiding one of his young sons through the perils of manhood or finding inspiration from the people of the Wood River Valley, Mike McKenna’s award-winning writing is always sure to entertain. Order a copy of Mike's highly-acclaimed book, "Angling Around Sun Valley: A year-round fly fishing guide to South Central Idaho" from Silver Creek Outfitters.

Gone Fishing's awards include: "Best Blog" 2010 & 2011 by the Idaho Press Club, "Best Web-only Article" of 2011 by the Outdoor Writers Association of California and "Best Fishing" & "Best Humor" blogs of 2012 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

           

"Angling Around Sun Valley" was selected as the "Best Book" of 2013 by Northwest Outdoor Writers Association!

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