Minnesota Historical Society

A Hard Water World

$ 24.95

To the uninitiated, ice fishing seems improbable, wacky, and dangerous. But every winter, more than 2 million hardy northerners go to their place on the lake: literally on the lake.

Striking story-telling photographs by Layne Kennedy and engaging essays by outdoor writer and fisherman Greg Breining capture the quirky world of ice fishing—its natural beauty and solitary subzero vigils, along with its oddball practices and practitioners.

Kennedy and Breining take readers to fun-filled if bizarre festivals that include “Guys on Ice” in Door County, Wisconsin, the Tip-Up Town USA festival on Michigan’s Houghton Lake, and the supremely self-mocking International Eelpout Festival on Minnesota’s Leech Lake, which honors a slimy, potbellied, finny critter. Photos offer peeks inside ice houses that range from a plastic-bag cocoon to an impossibly luxurious Adirondacks ice residence with front porch and wet bar. Travel to a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters, to ice cities that form and disband overnight, and to the Volga River near Moscow, shadowed by the KGB.

Perhaps most importantly, A Hard-Water World allows the reader to enjoy the beauty, wonder, and, yes, insanity of ice-fishing all year round and in the comfort of his or her own home.

Layne Kennedy’s photographs have been published in National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and other magazines.

Greg Breining, former managing editor of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, writes frequently about the outdoors for national magazines and newspapers and has authored several books, including Fishing Minnesota, Wild Shore, and Minnesota Yesterday & Today.


  • Photographs by Layne Kennedy; Essays by Greg Breining
  • Format: cloth, 9 5/8x 8 1/2, 123 color and 2 B&W photos; cartoons, 128 pages
  • Publisher: MNHS Press, October 2008
  • Product ##: 9780873516242


    You also Viewed

    Join our Mailing List

    Sign up to receive our daily email and get 50% off your first purchase.