Bear Stories Anyone? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bear Stories Anyone?

09-22-2006, 10:07 AM
I was wondering, seeing the picture of the bear in the Steelhead Forum, what interesting bear encounters others on the board may have had over the years. We had a few anecdotes in the thread on pepper spray, but there must be a lot more stories out there.

Ursus horribilis, anyone?


09-22-2006, 02:08 PM
I went out goose hunting on the Delaware the other day. I found 3 sets of hip waders with tags on some. I think they washed downstream during the last flood because there was no one around and they were not claimed from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. No geese had come down the river and I was bored, so I walked down the trail to see if there were any squirrel around. I saw a few but they all ran into brush as soon as I saw them. On the way back down the trail, a black bear cub was coming down the other way! It looked kind of like a big rottweiler (about 80-90 lbs. all black body with a brown face). I did not see its mother and did not want to, so I fired a load of shot into a stump and scared it off.

09-22-2006, 02:55 PM
Fishing the Deleware in the early Fall and decided to check out the river before I fished. There were two paths. I took the correct one as the other had Mother Bear and two cubs. I slowly made a retreat and the bears left.I'll never forget the look Moma Bear gave me. You know she meant business.

09-22-2006, 03:59 PM
Thankfully I don't have any stories that are too exciting. I always make a point to whistle loudly every few minutes while I'm fishing in bear country to give them some warning. I've heard some loud crashes going away from me so it seems to work.

A few summers ago I was up in the North Maine Woods with a couple of buddies at an outpost cabin. We were the only people within about 5-10 miles. During our first night there, we could hear something big walking around. In the morning we found bear tracks going around the cabin. It had circled us a bunch of times and hadn't bothered going all the way around the outhouse building, which was connected to the main cabin by a covered walkway. It just climbed up on the walkway on each lap and probably tried out the back door, which thankfully was locked.

09-23-2006, 01:04 AM
Back when I was in high school in the late '60's my friend Tim and I were fishing Pennsylvania's Lehigh River in the canyon (or upper gorge as the locals call it) above the Francis Walter Dam. Anyway, the short version is that after walking down into the canyon, we were fishing in a large pool and wading about waist deep with Tim below me 100' when I heard a huge commotion in the riffle just upstream of where I was fishing. I turned to see what the heck was making all the racket and was rewarded by seeing a large black bear in the riffle.

I nearly crapped my pants because I had nowhere to go if that bear had decided to come down river towards us. Thankfully, the bear crossed the river and after a short pause on the far bank, disappeared into the brush. The worst part was that Tim was concentrating on his fishing so much he never saw the bear until it was standing on the far shore. He also wanted to know what I was so uptight about since according to what he had heard, black bears avoid humans so it wouldn't get into the river while we where fishing. And since he hadn't seen the bear cross the river just upstream of us, he thought I was putting him on about how close the bear had gotten to us without us knowing until I heard it in the riffle.

09-26-2006, 01:15 PM
Working, fishing, or just walking around can be interesting at times when in the arctic/subarctic in the summer. It is wise to have someone in your group pulling bear guard duty when outdoors. I was called up to do a bear guard detail while doing some fieldwork after our bear guard was called away. As he prepared to leave, he called me over and said "The first round is popper, the second bird-shot, and the rest are slugs." Not remembering bird-shot as part of polar bear safety 101, I asked whether I was supposed to attempt to deter a hungry bear with a stunning spray of bird shot. The answer I received in return was, "Hell no! I grabbed that shell by accident!" Information I never shared with my colleagues.

Fortunately, we never had any close encounters. Just some from a safe distance.


09-27-2006, 09:07 AM
Several years back my wife and I spent 3 weeks in Alaska, including a week in a forest service cabin (bush plane drop off) on Kodiak Island. We were right on a big river / lake system, choked with salmon and dollies, and did some bushwhacking too. Spent one night camped at the other end of the tent. Carried cowbells and pepperspray.

Every day there would be fresh, BBIGGG prints along the banks, often on top of tracks we had put down earlier in the day. We did all our cooking outside, with a camp stove....grilling fish, when we could catch one small enough for dinner.

Didn't actually SEE a bear the whole time we were there....kind of disappointed, really.:frown:

Earlier in the trip, fishing a little stream on the Kenai peninsula, I heard splashing downstream from me, turned and saw a young bull moose trotting up the river bed about the same time as he saw me. He changed course, aiming right for me, and picked up speed.:eek: I'm not sure if I waded really fast, or actually ran on water, but somehow got to the bank, and ran around a clump of willows, which put the moose off, and he carried on his merry way up the river.

Whereas I was terrified (the Rangers in Denali said more campers are killed in the Park each year by moose than by bears), my wife thought the whole thing was hilarious, and even took the time to snap a few pictures of the moose chasing me from the river.:eek:

Didn't catch a thing.:mad:

09-27-2006, 05:42 PM
I spend quite a bit of time in the woods hunting and have encountered many Black bears. Usually the run off at the first smell of you. I have treed cubs & found Mama bear giving me the hairy Eyeball. I always give Mama a friendly greeting & be on my way. Never had any problems with black bears.

Moose on the other hand have made me nervous. Just Last september I was fishing in the Connecticut River in Pittsburg NH Just below the second lake Dam. I was standing in the center of the river changing a fly or some such thing, oblivious to my surroundings. When I looked up there was a large; as in 1000 Lb 55 or so inch rack moose Looking at me. Head down & the antlers were a swinging. I looked at my 5 Wt rod & said to Mr Mooose " OK boy you win this time" He followed me for a short distance with rather menecing Body Language.

Usually moose are not so agressive. But I surmised it was the beginning of the mating season. He was ornery & in the mood for a fight. After the encounter I checked out the area & noticed a well worn moose trail on the far bank. Looks like I was standing in the middle of Lover boys private Road. A man is no match for a mad moose in a river. They can cover ground like nothing I have ever seen. They have my respect and my admiration. They also Taste good :D

10-01-2006, 10:47 AM
in the summers, i used to guide horse back rides at a dude ranch in southwestern montana. i feel like an idiot now, because i am just getting into flyfishing, and never even really considered fishinging out there... the ranch was on the gallatin and had a couple thousand acres on the madison. i even guided fly trips into yellowstone, but i was more of the horse guy. well, thats all beside the point. here's the story. i was guiding a ride with about 10 kids. we left the ranch and started heading up sage creek. about 15 minutes out, there was a female black bear with her cub. some of the kids got scared, so we turned around and decided to go to another destination. about 15 minutes later, we were heading up a sidehill. towards the top, it levels out and dips, and goes back up a little more, creating a little pocket or hole you can't see when you are coming up the hill. well sure enough, there was a big freaking grizz down in the hole, literally about 25 feet from me. i turned right around, and most of the kids didn't even get to see the bear. the bear didn't follow us thank goodness, because most of the kids were so little they couldn't really control a horse, and we probably wouldn't be about to outrun a chraging grizz. we went back to the ranch and spent the rest of the day there since where ever we went, we were running into bears.