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'The Fonz,' Henry Winkler, back in Idaho for some fishing

The actor known as "The Fonz" in a 1970s sitcom and more recently for his role in HBO's "Barry" has dipped his fishing line in Gem State waters again this year.
Credit: Henry Winkler via Twitter @hwinkler4real

IDAHO, USA — The trout streams of eastern Idaho, and their surrounding natural, rustic beauty, are a long way from the bright lights and hustle of Hollywood or New York City, but at least one star of stage and screen keeps finding his way back to the Gem State.

Henry Winkler's most recent visit has made a splash on his Twitter feed, where he has been posting photos of himself with a trout in his hands and a mile-wide smile on his face.

Time stamps on Winkler's Twitter posts of his Idaho fishing exploits show the photos were posted Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17. 

Like any angler looking out for his own interests, and perhaps the interests of the fishery as a whole, Winkler isn't advertising exactly where he's casting a line, but in one post Monday, he gave a shout-out to Swan Valley, which is a few miles downstream from Palisades Reservoir in Bonneville County. Winkler has also mentioned that he fishes on a catch-and-release basis.

Winkler, now 76 years old, is known to many as "The Fonz" from the 1950s-style sitcom "Happy Days," which ran from 1974 to 1984 on ABC, and keeps finding new generations of viewers in reruns. He currently plays the role of acting coach Gene Cousineau in the HBO series, "Barry," a dark comedy starring SNL alum Bill Hader as a depressed hit man who finds a new purpose in acting, with Winkler's character as his guide. Also among the dozens of Winkler's roles over the decades are Coach Klein in "The Waterboy" and Barry Zuckerkorn in the Fox and Netflix comedy, "Arrested Development."

But to really see how Winkler makes an impression with an audience, just look at the responses to tweets from his days off. Some fans give him a shout-out for the most recent episode of "Barry" or another show; Winkler sometimes responds with a thank you. Others want to know where he's fishing; to those queries, Winkler says nothing. Some simply welcome him to Idaho. On his Twitter feed and on a Facebook post by KTVB's Maggie O'Mara, several fans and followers share stories of a time they met Winkler in person, perhaps as he came through Idaho on one of his fishing trips, or when he came to Boise for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Is he as nice as he seems? Correct-a-mundo, as "The Fonz" might say.

Winkler also went trout fishing in Idaho in 2021 and 2019, always, as Maggie said, "a joyful Idaho visitor."

Look who is back in Idaho! The Fonz. He loves Idaho, and seems to come here often! We love him here. He came to visit...

Posted by Maggie O'Mara on Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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