James Teal was born in 1991 to Doris and Tom Teal. He grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado, with the outdoors being ingrained in him throughout his childhood. He learned to ski at age 3 and received his first dirt bike on his 6th birthday; those two activities have dominated his free time ever since.
James went to University of Colorado at Boulder (where he befriended former Captain Bo Breuner and first learned of fishing in Sitka) and finished with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, only to come to Sitka his first summer post-graduation to deckhand for Captain Mark Diaz of Horizon West Guides and Outfitters. One of the first things his captain told him upon arriving in Sitka was that “this place gets in your blood.” He learned just how true that was after returning home from his first season, and subsequently returned for two more years to deckhand under Captain Diaz, while working for AU during the late season through each year of his tenure in Sitka, and having decked for eight different captains in the company.
Since graduation, James has spent his summers fishing and his winters snowboarding, with his falls and springs consisting of travel. From Machu Picchu in Peru, to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, to motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh trail of Vietnam, to fishing for marlin off the coast of Kenya (an adventure accompanied alongside Captain Bo), travel has been a cornerstone of his early adult life. This year he hopes to see more of the US of A, as he plans on buying a motorcycle and driving it from Colorado to Alaska prior to the 2018 fishing season.
Favorite quote: “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” -Edward Abbey