Fly fishing grizzly country should evoke a small amount of anxiety. Surprising a sow at her cubs while making your way along the trail to get to the river is no way to begin the day. In this episode, we discuss the 50-year-old events of the night of the grizzlies in Glacier National Park and come up with a couple takeaways for fly fishing grizzly country.
Listen now to “Fly Fishing Grizzly Country”
Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last portion of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.
Have you ever fished in grizzly country? What precautions do you take? How do you prepare for a day in grizzly country?
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4 Replies to “S3:E12 Fly Fishing Grizzly Country”
Five years ago I was fishing pretty far up on the Blackfoot River in Montana. Living in Missoula, this is one of my regular haunts. I had hiked in about 3/4 of a mile, so not terribly far from Highway 200, but far enough to forget it was there. I had brought along my girlfriend at the time, who had moved up to Missoula from Las Angeles, so this was all pretty fascinating to her.
Well, I was working my way towards a honey hole of mine, and had been seeing some relatively fresh moose tracks; just one set, nothing huge, but bigger than a calf. Maybe 15 minutes after finally getting to the hole I was aiming for, and getting rigged up for some prime sight fishing, I started hearing some movement in the bushes on the opposite bank, which at this time of year was only maybe 15 feet of knee high water. My first assumption was that the moose I had been following was about to pop out, so I took a few steps back and had my girlfriend get her camera ready.
That wasn’t the smartest decision I ended up making in my young adult life.
Instead of a small moose, a Grizzly Bear poked its head out of the thick brush. Well, I’m pretty sure I scared it just about as much as it scared me – it “yelped” and went bumbling off the direction it had come. I gladly did just the same, fearing it was maybe yelping for mom or would circle back, and walked us all the way back to the highway, bear spray at the ready and head on a swivel.
Suffice it to say, with age comes wisdom. If the same situation were to present itself again, I would instead have gone the opposite direction of the moose. They’re not anything to trifle with either – but since the dawn of man, bravado in front of a lady has only ever gotten young men in trouble. I count myself lucky that day.
Wow, wow, wow! What a story! I’m glad the encounter ended safely. And you’re so right … “with age comes wisdom.” Thanks for sharing this.
Wow what a chilling story . Such a tragic event . The odds of two bear attacks a few hours apart two different bear . Defiantly an eye opener. Makes me shutter. I remember seeing and reading signs about bear activity while hiking in Glacier National Park a few years ago with the Mrs . An uneasy feeling for sure . Glad I didn’t hear this podcast before going on that hike . It would be like going swimming in the ocean after watching the movie jaws . All the senses on full alert .
David, your last sentence is the key … “all the senses on full alert.” I suppose ignorance is bliss (haha), but it’s good to be scared enough to pay more attention. I can easily get into that careless mode when it comes to grizzlies, so stories like this are always a needed reminder, as unsettling as they are.
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