The Hatch

Know Your Guide: Brad Stansberry

For Brad, fishing and teaching have flowed through his veins since he was a young boy tying a piece of red yarn to the end of his leader and casting in the front yard. Growing up in Newport Beach, California, Brad’s love of fishing and the great outdoors stemmed from his move to Ketchum at the age of 10. Upon graduation from high school, Brad relocated to Colorado for College where he spent the next ten years fishing around the Boulder and Aspen areas.

Teaching has always been a trait that came naturally to him, and after a decade he moved back to Ketchum and took a position as an Elementary school instructor. He has now worked at Hemmingway Elementary as a 5th grade teacher for the last 15 years and his favorite part of each day is coming home to see his wife, their 5-year-old daughter, and 3-year-old son.

It is rare for Brad to be bored in Idaho. Every season brings a new activity or sport for him to look forward to, from the surfing and mountain biking to skiing and playing hockey. But his favorite season is the summer, with the easy access to a plethora of rivers, no waders needed, and long days spent fishing with his family and buddies.

Expanding his knowledge base over the past 25 years, he decided to unite his love of fishing and teaching in 2013 and join the guide team at SCO. When it comes to choosing a favorite fishing hole, there is no hesitation – the East Fork of the Big Lost. “There are so many species to fish for, it is such a fun drive, and the scenery is amazing.” A close second is the Bigwood River because it is located in his backyard and he can run down and fish himself for an hour or two after work. After these successful fishing days, Brad enjoys a cold beer at Grumpy’s and taking a walk on the bike path with his wife, kids and dog.

His advice for beginners? “Remember, it’s not always about the fish, it’s about the learning experience and doing one thing better than you did it yesterday.” To Brad, the best part about fly fishing is that whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can always learn something new. And no matter what, continue to smile while taking in all that nature and rivers have to offer.