JOSEPH — “School of Rock” star Jack Black proved to be a quick study when it came to fishing lessons during his weekend trip to the Wallowa Lake Marina.
Black, and his family, were in Wallowa County where they dined and enjoyed a day on the lake with the help of marina staff.
“(Store manager) Duncan Christman met him down at the (Glacier Grill) and offered to have him come out on a pontoon boat with us the next day,” said Brandon Keeling, who is the Wallowa Lake Marina Inc. vice president. “We took them around the lake, we took them fishing and they went swimming.”
Black was there with his family — which included his parents, siblings and aunts and uncles — because his father previously visited the area with a hiking group. A member of the group recently died, leading to the Blacks choosing Wallowa County as a place to come together as a family.
Keeling said the entire party picked up on fishing fast after he gave a quick lesson with Black snagging the biggest rainbow trout of the group and his father a close second. The entire family reeled in at least one fish with Black’s father snagging the first within 30 seconds of dipping his line.
And, yes, both Black and his father cleaned the fish they kept.
“The family was absolutely wonderful and a joy to be around,” Keeling said. “He was out here picking up kids and taking pictures with everybody. He is out here spending hours out of his day doing photo ops around the community.”
A quick search of Facebook reveals the numerous Wallowa County residents and visitors who got to snap a picture with the actor. Keeling credited Black for his down-to-earth nature and willingness to engage with everyone who approached.
Black isn’t the first celebrity to take in the impressive nature views the area has to offer. “Napoleon Dynamite” star Jon Heder has hiked in the area, but did not make it to the marina.
The experience is something the marina’s staff, including Wallowa Lake Marina Inc. president Casey Barstad’s daughter, Jaiden, won’t forget anytime soon.
“It made our week pretty dang awesome,” Keeling said.
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