Fishing ‘gypsy’ teaches teens and Sun Valley celebrities

Bret Bishop submitted his final semester grades in May, and shifted his focus from school to fishing. For the last 25 years, the Capital High School English teacher has spent 60 summer days as a fly fishing guide at Silver Creek Outfitters in Sun Valley.

“Guiding is a nice supplement to a teacher income,” Bret said.

The 48-year-old has been teaching for 17 years and fishing for 41.

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He built his own fishing rod at the age of nine. Fishing has been his passion ever since then. The first line he threw was a piece of sausage as bait. He didn’t catch any fish that day, but managed to hook his dog.

“Growing up my family members were fishing gypsies,” Bret said. “We would travel across the west to fish.”

His parents worked in the ski industry in Squaw Valley, Calif., and when the snow stopped falling and the chairlifts stopped running, they would pack up the family’s Volkswagen bus and go on three-month, fly fishing odysseys.

Their adventures took them to Montana, Wyoming and Silver Creek in the Sun Valley area. Bret’s parents fell in love with Silver Creek and moved permanently to Idaho when Bret was in high school.

“Fishing has always been relaxing to me,” Brett said. “It’s such an intense focus when you’re on the stream.”

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Bret and his daughter are fishing on the Boise River.

Bret’s parent still live in Sun Valley and he resides there in July and August while guiding.

Bret has guided multiple celebrities while working in Blaine County. His favorite experience as a guide was taking Robin Williams out on the water.

“Robin was funny the moment we started fishing and was speaking in a Katharine Hepburn voice the entire time,” Bret said. “Robin told me he never understood why his father had always gone fishing until our trip.”

Bret is a member of Fly Fishing Team USA and the 2006 Individual National Champion. He has represented the United States in two World Championships. He recently retired as a competitor and now serves as a captain on the team.

“Bret is a curious student of fly fishing and has energy and enthusiasm,” said Terry Ring, the owner of Silver Creek Outfitters. “Bret gets as much or even more satisfaction from helping others learn how to catch fish as fishing himself.”