Over the years, I have had some close encounters with wild animals while flyfishing. <br>
I once was fishing a great looking pool in a small wild brookie stream, when I looked up and saw a black bear standing on the far bank (only about 10 yards away), just watching me. I guess I stole his favorite spot. <br>
That same stream on another occasion had 4 bears (a Mama and her 3 cubs) blocking my path to the stream (a well marked trail). They were so focused on eating that they failed to notice me. I had to blow my "bear whistle" to get them to spook and run away. <br>
Another time (same stream) I hooked a small brookie, when a snake grabbed it while it was still hooked. It was a real tug-of-war, with the trout the obvious loser. The snake won..... Nice fight though....<br>
Does anyone else have any strange or humorous animal encounter stories?
If fishing one of my favorite rivers in North Idaho you could quite possibly have encounters with Bears, Blue Grouse, Turkeys, Deer, Elk, Moose, Rattlesnakes, Mountain Lions and Wolves. I've even seen Rocky Mountain Goats on one occasion. But my favorite is the Native Westslope Cutthroat. :)
I have fished in IA, the Isle Royal NP, the Smokey Mountains NP, the Yellowstone NP and the Grand Tetons NP. I had encounter elk and many deers crossing the river at a short distance, snakes taking a sun bath on a branch a barely couple of feet away from my face, Grizzlies fishing down stream in the Becheler river, otters cleaning the pool of fish in front of my eyes (they are better fishermen than me...). Beavers coming back to the dam (while I was on top of the dam). I hook a 3-4ft alligator in FL and he cut me off at the eye of the hook. That was a hell of a fight. I had a 5wt rod and he took a leach. I sneak close to a fox in an Iowa stream. He was just taking a nap in the sun at the side of the stream.
What I love most is the birds that come close to you when you are fishing quietly...
I was fishing a favorite lake here in the burbs of Atlanta in my float tube with a rope stringer tied to my float tube. I had several bluegills on the stringer when they become agitated. I pull up the stringer to find snapping turtle clamped onto the last fish. In another lake with a friend in our float tubes, we encountered a couple of "pond turtles" making baby turtle. They were huge, the largest pond turtles I have ever seen. The male (I' guessing here but judging from common animal behavior) was either irritated or attracted to my buddy's float tube and started swimming toward him, an advance my friend resisted by exiting the area.
Snakes on the section of the Chattahoochee River I fish are rare I have seen 2 in the last 20 years. I flushed one of the bank who headed across the river and looked like the cool water was going to sap his strength before he reached the other side. One day I was holding in place working a favorite spot when a group of Asian teenagers in yaks floated by. Behind them was what I thought was a rubber snake from it's lack of moment until it was past me and decided to swim to the bank. The coloration was similar to a copperhead, but I think it was a banded water snake, which is not venomous.
Encountering wildlife while fishing is always a real treat for me as well. I see all varieties of birds, Great Blue and Great White heron, Green heron, hawks, and owls, turkeys etc. I was fortunate enough to see a Cooper's Hawk snatch a songbird out of the air about 10 feet from my kayak and had a kingfisher snatch my floating mylar minnow off the surface only to run out of line after about 20 feet. Thankfully, I didn't hook him. Snakes (all the time). Turtles (too many to mention except one time when I caught a medium sized snapping turtle on a streamer. There's also an enormous snapping turtle that lives in the lake that I see several times each year. His head is 2/3rds the size of a football and his shell must be 2 1/2 feet long. He usually surfaces right next to my kayak and exhales sounding like a small whale. When I turn to look to see what made the noise, we scare the crap out of each other every time. There are a number of beaver that live in the lake that I encounter at least every other time I'm out fishing and way too many muskrats. There's also a pair of otters that I've been fortunate enough to see once in a while. I also see deer quite often and even had one swim by me while I was fishing in a larger impoundment. Also, while fishing off the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia for Salmon, Orca, dolphin, humpback whales, Sea Lions and eagles were very common. The Sea Lions were a real nuisance. As soon as they heard the drag on the reel start screaming with a fish on, they would plop into the water and very soon, you’d feel a tremendous tug as the rod doubled over to the water, then the line would go slack. They would steal your fish as fast as you hooked them.
Can add snakes, mountain goats, mountain sheep, turkeys, eagles, and assorted others to my list of fishing buddies, but think my favorite was this "little" guy... he roamed in to the water not but a few yards from me, and stood there watching me ... while I watched him. That's my fly line cutting through the pic 'cuz I raised the tip of the rod to take the picture. He only turned his head and left, just as quietly and slowly as he arrived, when he heard Cary "commenting" :shock: on the situation. Kaboom and Jack would know where this is!!
Catching bats is almost as much fun as catching pelicans. Pelicans are more fun, because of the flips they make when you set the hook as they fly away.
" Kaboom and Jack would know where this is!!"
Sure do Betty! Still have dreams of catching fish there....
I met up with this fella on the Selway at the Fish In...
The most dangerous encounter I had with wild animals while fishing was on the Yakima River in Washington. We had stopped out float at a small island for a lunch break when the island became inundated with these wild creatures. They were a group of local ski patrol members from a local ski resort out for a fun time on an extremely drunken river float vacation. One of them almost drowned while trying to land his inner tube on the island. Another one, who was trying to save the first one, almost drowned in the rescue effort. We pulled up stakes and left, wondering if any of them actually survived.
Being located in Montana and close to Yellowstone National Park, over time I've had encounters with most or all of the wlld critters common to the region. Last summer, however, we were able to add another, certainly anything but common, animal the list.
While floating down the river late one afternoon, we looked up on the ridge above us and saw a man riding camel. I should have taken a picture. It would have been a good one for the local Chamber of Commerce. "Come to Montana and take a camel ride along the Yellowstone."
It seems that a fellow from Texas bought a home in Paradise Valley and brought several camels with him. We later saw them multiple times over the course of the summer.