By Jae-Ha Kim
Dec. 20, 2011
Henry Winkler is an actor, author, director and photographer, but if he were to pursue a new career, he says, he’d become a professional fly fisherman.
“There’s no way I’d compare myself to any of the great fishermen out there,” says Winkler, 66. “But what a perfect way to spend your life.”
Best known for playing Fonzie on the hit 1970s-80s TV series “Happy Days,” Winkler has roles on the current series “Royal Pains” and “Childrens Hospital.” His latest book — “I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Fishing, and Photography” (Insight Editions, $21.95) — is a collection of photographs and anecdotes about his life.
Q: What are some of your favorite vacation destinations?
A: A river in Montana fly-fishing for trout is always a great trip for me. I love visiting Japan. It’s like being in 1525 and 2020 at the same time. The sheer beauty of Kyoto is humbling and inspiring. And Italy in May when the flowers are in bloom is magnificent.
Q: Where are the best places to go fly-fishing?
A: New Zealand, Wyoming and Montana. Montana is the first place that I’ve ever fished. My lawyer is the man who took me fishing, and he’s going to go to Argentina with me in February to fish for even larger trout.
Q: Have you noticed a common theme in your travels?
A: This might sound strange, but it’s incredible to me that the more you travel and move around, you see similarities in cultures. You can see Montana in Italy and New Zealand.