Casting Coach

Interested in fly fishing? Try a free casting clinic at the Sun Valley Lodge

Interested in fly fishing? Try a free casting clinic on the lawn by the Sun Valley Lodge

The Wood River Valley and surrounding area boast some of the most scenic, productive trout streams in the world. If you find yourself staring longingly at the Big Wood River as you drive near Boxcar Bend or over a bridge, or if you have heard tales of storied Silver Creek and would like to face off against those mythical trout yourself, this is the summer to learn to fly fish.

Not sure where to start? The easiest way to learn the basics of casting and gain confidence that, yes, this sport can be you, is to wander over to the broad green expanse of lawn in front of the Sun Valley Lodge at 5:30 p.m. on any convenient Tuesday through Saturday. This is when a different kind of ‘happy hour’ takes place — when Silver Creek Outfitters, with locations both in the Sun Valley Village and in Ketchum, provide a free casting clinic to interested anglers.

Guide and teacher Jim Curran introduces students to the sport he loves

Guide and teacher Jim Curran introduces students to the sport he loves

On a sunny afternoon last week, I met up for a clinic with teacher Jim Curran, a fisherman nearly as storied as the waters he has fished every day for the past 50 years. With rods laid out at the ready, Jim, a Certified Fly Casting Instructor, invited his group of seven students to grab one and find a spot on the lawn. Soon, the filament was flying, but without hooks on the end of the line, this was a fail-safe way to get a feel for the action of casting. Jim also let the students know, “there is nothing you can do wrong here today. You can let the rod fly over the back of your head and land on the ground and it’s just fine.”

Silver Creek Outfitters provides all the gear you need to practice your casting

Silver Creek Outfitters provides all the gear you need to practice your casting

The group that flocked to the lawn that evening was comprised of: one family from the Bay area where the father, an experienced fisherman, wanted to share the activity with his young sons and wife; Paul and Karen from San Diego who own a vacation home along the Big Wood River and wanted to join in the action they see outside their windows; and a man whose girlfriend loves to fly fish. It was learn, or be left behind.

Though the students came to the lesson with varying aptitudes and experience, Jim quickly had everyone working on proper casting technique. “Elbows in,” “wrists taut,” “thumb on top of the rod,” “stop at 12 o’clock, cast at 2 o’clock,” Jim repeated as he gave each angler individual attention and instructions in what he calls substance and style.  In short order, the group was laying out nice straight line, false casting  and roll casting.

By all accounts, everyone in the class felt that after only 45 minutes, their skills had improved exponentially and that fly fishing was really not as complex as imagined.

Silver Creek Outfitters provides, free of charge, rods, reels and priceless instruction from guides like Jim every Tuesday through Saturday from now through Labor Day weekend. Whether you are curious, rusty, or could just use some professional tips, come on out. Then, if you’re, um, hooked, be sure to book a guide from Silver Creek to explore the area’s pristine waters and put those newly honed techniques to work.

See you on the river!


The Lodge is a picturesque backdrop for your first venture into fly fishing

The Lodge is a picturesque backdrop for your first venture into fly fishing

An Evening with Clint Black

An Evening with Clint Black

Thursday, September 12, 7:00 pm

Sun Valley Pavilion

Tier 3: $40 members / $50 non Tier 2: $60 members / $70 non Tier 1: $55 members / $65 non Premium: $100 members / $110 non

Clint Black is country music singer-songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor. Signed to RCA Records in 1989, Black made his debut with hisKillin’ Time album, which produced four straight number one singles on the USBillboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. In addition to his number one singles, he’s amassed more than 30 singles on the Billboard charts.

Known for his more classic, traditional country style, Black was strongly influenced by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. In his performance in Sun Valley, Black will perform an intimate show – with just four musicians on stage.

Tickets go on sale Monday, July 1 at 10am.


Brandi Carlile in Concert!


    The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents Brandi Carlile at the River Run Plaza.

    As Brandi Carlile fans well know, her concerts are near legendary in their perfect communion between performer and audience. Whether she is rocking out with her full band or standing quietly at the edge of the stage singing a cappela, Carlile brings a riveting intensity to her shows. Known for her clear and powerful vocals and her signature mix of rock, folk, and alt-country, Brandi Carlile continues to wow audiences from major festivals to Benaroya Hall in Seattle where she has played with the Seattle Symphony.



Baldy Summer Kick-Off Celebration / Winter Passes on Sale!


Recipe from the Resort: Yellow Squash & Zucchini ‘Pasta’

Healthy, tasty and light -- try this recipe from Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta at home!

Healthy, tasty and light -- try this recipe from Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta at home!

When I visited Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta in the Sun Valley Village this week, I realized it had been a while since I had enjoyed a meal there. If you, too, haven’t been into the restaurant lately, now is the time to again make Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta a part of your restaurant repertoire.

After spending an afternoon with Chef Dennis Pittsley, getting a taste of the new summer menu, it was clear that this is no run-of-the-mill pizza joint. Chef Pittsley has been at Bald Mountain Pizza for two years, working diligently to incorporate the freshest, most flavorful and creative ingredients into the menu.  Before taking over the stove at Bald Mountain, the Chef was a familiar face at the lavish Lodge Dining Room Sunday Brunch. As a longtime (embarrassingly) regular attendee at brunch, seeing Dennis again was like finding an old friend. It also gave me an indication of the attention to detail and passion he now brings to Bald Mountain Pizza.

Chef Dennis Pittsley gives the tomatoes, garlic and shallots a light saute

Chef Dennis Pittsley gives the tomatoes, garlic and shallots a light saute

As a mother of three, I know how hard it can be to find a restaurant that appeals to the entire family and Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta’s menu, based on Italian favorites but with a healthy, modern flair, will keep everyone happy. Particular eaters can build their own pizzas, while others branch out and order those made with chicken pesto, wild mushrooms, even asparagus and Gruyere. A wide array of popular starters and pastas will keep those from three to 103 smiling. But the day I visited, Chef Pittsley introduced me to a vegetarian dish –Yellow Squash and Zucchini ‘Pasta’ created from local garden-fresh ingredients. Light, flavorful and healthy, it will be my ‘go to’ order during the warm weather months.

As part of our Recipe from the Resort series, Chef Pittsley shared his recipe with The Valley Sun. A wonderful alternative to traditional pasta, substituting strands of fresh vegetables for spaghetti incorporates local summer flavors at the peak of readiness. This is a recipe you will rely on time and again at home.

Squash and zucchini are a garden fresh alternative to pasta

Squash and zucchini are a garden fresh alternative to pasta

Yellow Squash and Zucchini ‘Pasta’


  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh chopped oregano
  • Fresh minced garlic and shallots
  • California cold pressed unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Break off the ends of the asparagus and add stalks to a little olive oil in a sauté pan. Don’t overcook, the idea is to let the flavors of the fresh asparagus shine through.
  • Transfer asparagus to another dish.
  • Using a Japanese Mandolin slicer, or a simple vegetable peeler if you do not have a Mandolin, slice the zucchini and squash into long ‘pasta’ strands.
  • Heat some olive oil in a medium size sauté pan.
  • When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add in minced garlic and shallots. Sauté quickly until softened.
  • Add the tomatoes and oregano, stirring for just a few seconds.
  • Add the zucchini and squash along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Add ¼ cup water and cover for one to two minutes, depending on how soft you prefer the zucchini and squash.
  • Give all the vegetables a good toss before plating. Top the dish with fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
In the restaurant, or on the deck, Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta is a great dinner choice for the entire family

In the restaurant, or on the deck, Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta is a great dinner choice for the entire family

As easy as it is to incorporate this recipe into your summertime rotation of dinner choices, it is a wonderful experience to let Chef Pittsley do the cooking for you, too. Pop over to the Village, grab a table on the deck and rest assured the entire gang, from toddlers to grandparents, will enjoy this taste of Sun Valley. Kick back with smoked trout bruschetta and a chilled glass of wine, order some breadsticks for the kiddos (the chef promises they will be to the table in a matter of minutes), and wind down after a busy Sun Valley day. Be sure to also take advantage of the Resort’s special “Dinner and a Movie” offer. With your paid meal at Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta, you will receive movie tickets for that evening’s show at the historic Opera House. Current movie listings can be found here.

Summer should be this simple, shouldn’t it?


Free Fly Casting Clinics

Hosted By Silver Creek Outfitters

DATES: Starts Tuesday June 25th runs through Labor Day Weekend 

Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 – 6:30pm

Join a member of our guiding team and learn to fly cast, or brush up on that double haul technique. With our new location in Sun Valley, we are now able to offer nightly casting clinics to all who are curious or just a little rusty. We offer nightly sessions Tuesday through Saturday on the lawn in front of the Sun Valley Lodge from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Equipment will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.

Location: On the lawn in front of the Sun Valley Lodge


The ABBA Effect – Arrival brings the Swedish superstars’ music to Sun Valley

It is a truth universally acknowledged that for a woman of almost any age, the piano riff at the beginning of Dancing Queen brings on an irresistible urge to become just that. And on Sunday, July 7, the Sun Valley Pavillion will be packed with dancing queens, jiving along to the timeless tunes of ABBA.

A night with The Music of ABBA: Arrival From Sweden is the closest any woman will ever get to an authentic ABBA concert; the original band dissolved in 1982, and only toured the USA once. But the infectious beats of the fab foursome are deeply embedded into the country’s pop culture, and this authentic tribute band are helping keep the music alive.

Creators of such enduring hits as Knowing Me, Knowing You, The Winner Takes It All, Mama Mia and Waterloo, ABBA was made up of two couples from Sweden, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Formed in 1972, the group is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 370 million albums and singles worldwide. In the mid-nineties their music saw a resurgence, thanks to hit movies such as Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and combined with the debut of Mama Mia the Musical (today the 10th longest running broadway show in history), a slew of ABBA tribute bands were born.

In 1995, Vicky Zetterberg saw one of those bands in her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. “They were from Australia” she said. “They were awful.” Having seen the real thing herself, 5 times, she determined to start her own tribute band and do it right. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, this is crazy. You can’t do ABBA like that, with fake Swedish accents,” she said in her thick, authentic Swedish accent. “And I decided to do a proper ABBA show.”

A professional singer, Zetterberg reached out to original band members Bjorn and Benny, as well as working with ABBA’s costumier Owe Sandstrom, to create the perfect tribute band. Eighteen years later, ARRIVAL has become a world-famous musical act, touring in over 35 countries to consistently sold out crowds.

ARRIVAL arrive in Sun Valley on Sunday, July 7. Get your dancing shoes on!

Zetterberg, with her mane of brown hair, assumes the role of “Anni-Frid” and Jeanette Norlander is “Agnetha,” while Fredik Bjorns is “Bjorn” and Leif Olsson is “Benny.” The group also regularly tours with several of ABBA’s original musicians and wears ABBA costumes specially created by Sandstrom for ARRIVAL.

Had you always been a hardcore ABBA fan or was this more of an opportunity that you decided to seize?
Vicky Zetterberg: I’d admired the way they did the music and I admired the way they sung. I’m a singer, my mother was an opera singer, and I’ve always admired ABBA. It’s a special technique they use, one which is really hard to do.

Was your mother an inspiration for your career as a singer?
VZ: She wanted me to sing opera, but I wasn’t really interested in it. Actually, I wanted to be a hard rock singer. I went to show school in Gothenburg and my teacher said ‘No, no. You will never be a hard rock singer. You’re a typical ABBA singer. He was right.

What can the Sun Valley audience expect from the concert?
VZ: We don’t go on and think that we are ABBA. We talk about ABBA, but when we’re doing the songs we try to recreate ABBA. We have the same look, the clothes we have are exact copies of the original outfits ABBA wore. ABBA was 50 percent music, but it was also the show and the clothes, it was the whole package. We also tell the story of ABBA, so they get a real ABBA injection. We want to show the new generation how ABBA was. You know everything about The Beatles, you know everything about Elvis, but people don’t know really that much about ABBA. That’s what we try to do. A lot of people don’t know that ABBA stands for the first letters in their name. So we tell the story, how they met, they were two married couples who just wanted to see if they could write some good music together. They couldn’t dream that ABBA could be this big. I think today even they’re still shocked by it – “Yea, we wrote a couple pop songs, there’s nothing special about that.” They’re typically Swedish, they don’t realize how big they are.

ARRIVAL is billed as the only authentic ABBA tribute band, and the fact that you have some of the original ABBA musicians playing with you really helps support that claim.
VZ: Yeah, sometimes we have original musicians that worked with ABBA, they’re 65 years old today, so sometimes they can’t go on tour with us, but as often as we can, we have them with us.

Do they have some great stories to tell about ABBA’s heydey?
VZ: I know a lot of stuff but it’s private. I know Bjorn and Benny and they don’t want us to talk about the private things. Benny supports us and said as long as you do it with respect and don’t talk about our private lives and that stuff. So it’s really important to me to respect that. If I knew anything I would never say it.

So the members of ABBA actually worked with you on creating ARRIVAL?
VZ: Yes, I talk to Bjorn and Benny. I never met the girls. But I always check out everything with them, and they know everything about the show. It’s really important to them that we do it with respect. They were two married couples, they were together for 10 years, and ABBA cost them their marriages. I think they deserve some respect. I mean they were one of the biggest pop groups ever.

What do you think it is about the music of ABBA that has had such resonance with modern audiences. What is it about the music that just keeps on playing?
VZ: It’s the way they wrote the songs. It’s happy music, people recognize themselves in the songs. Everyone has a favorite. Some people love Fernando, some people love Dancing Queen. They have done so many hit songs, almost 10 albums. It’s the music and it’s the quality, the same with The Beatles and Elvis, good songs. And people really get crazy at the concerts, dancing and screaming and going wild. ABBA’s music affects people.

It’s so true, everyone has their favorite ABBA song, even people who don’t know who ABBA are have a favorite ABBA song! So, what is yours?
VZ: It’s really hard. I have so many favorites! Of course Dancing Queen is a fantastic song. I also have a lot of the more songs that are not famous. Kisses of Fire, Angel Eyes, I have like maybe 20 favorites. All the songs are so different. But Dancing Queen is of course is a masterpiece, it is really, really one of the best songs. I Wonder is one I really like to sing, most people don’t know it. It’s so fun because I tell the audience about the story of the song. It’s important to me to educate the audience about ABBA. I want people to know that ABBA was four people from Sweden and I want them to know their names.

After all the success you’ve had with ARRIVAL, have you ever thought about tracking down that that original Australian tribute band and thanking them for starting your career?
VZ: Yes, really, I should thank them!

Jennifer Tuohy

Details: The Music of ABBA: Arrival From Sweden arrives in Sun Valley at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 7 at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Buy tickets here. This event is suitable for all ages, prices range from $25 to $65. Additionally, Intermezzo preferred seating tickets ($75) and Diva Tickets ($150, include a party on July 6th and valet parking) are available through the Sun Valley Opera or 208.726.0991.

Fourth of July Ice Cream Social

Presented by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts

Thursday, July 4, 1–3pm

Continuing a favorite community tradition, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will host an old-fashioned ice cream social after the Fourth of July parade in Hailey.

This free community event has become a summer tradition: walk or bike over to the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Hailey, for a traditional ice cream social after the Fourth of July parade. The Center will be serving free root beer floats made from ice cream donated by the United Dairymen of Idaho and root beer by local brewer, Bucksnort Root Beer, from 1 to 3 pm Thursday, July 4. The date is also the birthday of Roberta McKercher whose former home is now the Hailey home of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

July 4 will also be your final opportunity to see the exhibition, Home Front (on display March 14–July 4, 2013, at The Center in Hailey). Part of a multidisciplinary project, this exhibition features artwork made by men and women who have participated in Higher Ground Sun Valley‘s rehabilitation programs for wounded veterans alongside Hailey photographer Matthew Hayes‘ photographs of Higher Ground Sun Valley participants. .

For more information about all Sun Valley Center for the Arts programs, visit or call 208.726.9491 ex 110.


Ketch’em Alive Concerts

Free concert Tuesdays 7 to 9pm at the Forest Service Park. Picnics welcome!

  • June 25-  B Side Players, latin funk rock jazz
  • July 2-  Swagger, celtic rock
  • July 9-  Incendio, latin instrumental
  • July 16-  Girls, Guns & Glory, country from Boston
  • July 23-  Old Death Whisper, local favorite Americana
  • July 30- Natural Roots, reggae
  • August 6-  Paa Kows, By All Means Band, afro-fusion
  • August 13-  The Heaters, rock dance party
  • August 20-  Abraxas, Carlos Santana tunes

Town Square Tunes

Free concerts Thursdays from 6 to 7:30pm in Ketchum.

Funded by the City of Ketchum.

  • June 20-  Mia Edsall & the Rytham Rangers
  • June 27-  Hat Ttrick
  • July 4-  Electric Shock
  • July 11-  Up A Creek
  • July 18-  Dewey Picket & Howe
  • July 25-  All Night Diner
  • August 1-  Spare Change
  • August 8-  Music ‘n Me
  • August 15-  Six at Sochi
  • August 22-  Triple Crown