Remembering the One That Got Away

Jun 20, 2018 | Events

—By Mark Dee

On an August afternoon in 2010, Willy Cook was saying goodbye to “Big Fish.”

John McClatchy—a friend, fishing buddy and Wood River Valley fixture since 1978—had died at 55, months after doctors found cancer in his brain. And now, two weeks later, Cook was about to speak at his memorial, wondering what to say. For a man of McClatchy’s nickname—with his enthusiasm and aptitude—the category was clear.

“I told fishing stories,” said Cook, a longtime Ketchum resident and photographer for the Idaho Mountain Express. “Then, I don’t know—I think it was John talking to me, or something. I thought, we need to have a memorial tournament.”

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