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Silver Creek Outfitters Guide Crowned World Champ
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Bret Bishop is a fly-fishing guide at Silver Creek Outfitters.
   
Saturday, July 30, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Bret Bishop used a piece of sausage as bait when he tossed out his first fly fishing line. He didn’t catch any fish that day but he did manage to catch his dog

Last week—many years later--Bishop caught a gold medal in both the individual and team events at the 7th FIPS-Mouche Masters World Fly-fishing Championship held in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

”It’s great to compete against others, meet others who do the same thing. You’re all doing the best you can and you can always learn from one another,” said Bishop, who brought home gold in the Masters class over age 50.

Bishop grew up in a family of fishing gypsies. His parents worked in the ski industry in Squaw Valley, Calif., and as soon as the snow stopped falling and the chairlifts stopped running, they would pack up their Volkswagen bus and go on a three-month fly-fishing venture to Henry’s Fork, the Park, Nelsons and, of course, Silver Creek in Idaho.

Eventually, the allure of Silver Creek proved so strong that the family moved to the Wood River Valley when Bret was in high school. He graduated from what is now known as Sun Valley Community School.

Upon graduation, he earned an undergraduate degree from Colorado College and a Masters in Curriculum from Boise State University, becoming a high school English teacher and Shakespeare afficionado. And he joined Silver Creek Outfitters as a fly-fishing guide in 1991.

A member of Fly Fishing Team USA and the 2006 Individual National Champion, he has represented the United States in two World Championships. He competed at the Masters World Fly Fishing Championships in the Czech Republic last year.

Team USA had won silver and bronze in previous competitions before team members fanned out over Italy’s Sarca, Chiese and Noce rivers from July 18 through 23. There were 17 teams representing 20 countries.

Each fly-fisher competed in five three-hour-long sessions, with each getting an opportunity to fish all the various sections of rivers. TEAM USA included five members from Boise, Minnesota, and elsewhere

“In the heat of the competition, you can’t focus on winning, you can only think about the next fish,” Bishop said.

After competing on so many of the world’s great fly-fishing rivers, Bishop remains partial to the Big Wood River that runs through the Wood River Valley.

“The great thing about here is the variety of what you fish—the freestone, fast tumbling rivers, big streams, little streams. And it has lots of different fish from the cutthroat to rainbow, brown and brook trout. If you can be good here, you can be good anywhere.”

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