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Gone Fishing

Life on and off the waters of the Wood River Valley

Summer 2013

Three Reads: Great Fishing Books


Three Reads: Great Fishing Books

WHEN IT COMES TO GREAT FISHING WRITING, there appears to be a handful of key elements that the best writers carry in their literary tackle boxes. First and foremost, they all share a great passion for angling of various styles. Next, they are all able to connect with readers, to bring us along with them on their fishy adventures. Finally, they all write in words as gentle as summer breezes but as strong as perfect casts, words that stay with us as we hit the water or toss about at night dreaming of rivers or rising fish. It also seems to help if your last name begins with an “M”—or a “Hemingway.” Therefore, here are short reviews of three reads that folks with a passionate—or even just a passing—interest in angling should...

Posted at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2

A Summer of Fishing 2013


A Summer of Fishing 2013

 IF THERE'S A FLY FISHING HEAVEN, it must look an awful lot like South Central Idaho and the Northern Rockies. Since I’m lucky enough to call this region home—and to make part of my living writing about fly fishing—here’s a photographic rundown of a summer of angling around these watery parts with my two little fishing buddies, with friends and with the simple companionship of my Scott rod, Ross reel and beer-filled fanny pack. Clockwise: Silver Creek’s legendary brown drake hatch is the official kick-off for another summer of angling around Sun Valley; Jack and his buddies, Alex & Winston, show off a big brood stock rainbow he caught at Gaver’s Lagoon; Gaver’s Lagoon at the Hayspur Fish Hatchery is a popular,...

Posted at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

Riding the Wood River Wave


Riding the Wood River Wave

The spirit of Margaret Mead is apparently alive and well in Bellevue, Idaho. The late anthropologist and acclaimed author is credited with saying: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Just such a small group, led by photographer Craig Wolfrom, called the Wood River Wave (WRW) is holding a fundraiser this Friday night at Mahoney’s Bar and Grill. The goal of the fundraiser is to help the WRW make Bellevue a safer and—quite frankly—a better place. The town of Bellevue—which almost became the state capitol during the mining days—sits on a bluff above the Big Wood River. Just beneath town, only a couple blocks from the bustle of Main...

Posted at 01:57 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Sun Valley Cowboys Up


Sun Valley Cowboys Up

While people in big cities like Boston and Seattle might think that the only places cowboys actually exist anymore are Louis L’Amour novels and Clint Eastwood movies, the truth is, cowboys are alive and as well as can be expected. And they sure do know how to throw a party! The roughest, toughest cowboys out there compete in the Pro Bull Riders (PBR, not to be confused with the blue-ribbon winning beer of the same acronym) Touring Division. The national tour made its now annual stop at the Rodeo Grounds in Hailey a week ago Saturday night. In front of a packed and rocking crowd of all ages, the boys and bulls of Sun Valley PBR Classic put on one heck of a show, and showed that the cowboy spirit of the Old West is still alive and well in the Gem State. The cowboys came...

Posted at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2




If you love, like, or even have a mild crush on reggae music and you didn’t go to last Saturday’s Reggae in the Mountains World Jam at the Rodeo Grounds in Hailey, then you owe some serious penance to Jah, Bobby Marley and Danny Walton.      Despite an Idaho sun that was shinning as hot as it does in Jamaica, a hearty but small group of local reggae fans of all ages enjoyed some world-class music (And thanks to the acoustics of the Rodeo Grounds and the surrounding valley, dozens more camped out on lawns and parks from Woodside through Old Hailey to enjoy the tunes). While all the music during the seven-hour jam was top notch, the star of the show was Etana (here's her Facebook page). The Jamaican singer and rising star has a strong and...

Posted at 01:48 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Idaho’s Largest (Canned) Trout Comes to Ketchum


Idaho’s Largest (Canned) Trout Comes to Ketchum

There’s an old saying that goes: Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime. While the intentions behind this saying are pretty solid, it’s outdated and, quite frankly, downright flawed. It doesn’t take into account catch-and-release regulations, the challenges of trying to stay healthy eating nothing but fish or the cost of good fishing tackle nowadays. It also doesn’t seem to notice that a hungry man doesn’t care about the finer points of casting a Thomas Buoyant or a Woolly Bugger. He just wants something to eat.  For 10 years now, when a person, or family, in Blaine County has been hungry—which happens much more than you’d ever think possible in our...

Posted at 05:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

Catching Silver Creek’s Brown Drake Hatch


Catching Silver Creek’s Brown Drake Hatch

The country is covered with famous fly fishing hatches, especially here in “God’s  Country” (or at least “God’s Fly Fishing Country”), the rugged and beloved Northwest.       Massive aquatic insect hatches are scattered across the region, from the green drakes and salmonflies on the legendary Henry’s Fork of the Snake to the stoneflies of Oregon’s Deschutes River or the monstrous salmonflies that alight each June across the waters of Southwest Montana. And while these all draw anglers from far and wide, it’s tough to argue that any hatch is as unique and special as the brown drake on Silver Creek (check out SIlver Creek Outfitter's short, very cool video about the brown drake hatch)....

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Living Roofs


Living Roofs

Although the concept has long been popular, especially in urban areas, for some strange reason rooftop gardens usually seem like a rather odd idea to most mountain town folks.  After all, people lucky enough to live in breathtaking valleys like the Big Wood’s will ask: who needs a garden on the roof when you’re surrounded by Mother Nature’s garden blooming across the top of the world? It’s a good question. But it turns out there are a few very good answers. For rooftop or “living roofs” not only enhance the natural surroundings, they help buildings become more energy efficient and don’t cost much to install or maintain. Basically, it’s beginning to look like roof top gardens are about to catch on in ski towns like...

Posted at 03:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

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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