I was fishing the Pecos River one afternoon and I was a couple of hundred yards below another pair of anglers. I waded into a riffle looking upstream to where the water pushed against a rock face and there were some risers breaking the surface.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown flash in the trees to my left. I thought it was an elk moving through the woods and I tracked it as it approached the river. Shortly, a small cinnamon colored black bear crashed into the riffles about a hundred feet below me and splashed across the river. She stopped on the bank and rocked onto on her haunches looking back at the path she had been running along.
She wasn't looking at me and I figured the other anglers had probably spooked her. I decided this was a photo op so I went for my camera but I barely had it out when she looked right at me and then turned and ran over a small rise heading away from me.
Oh well, maybe next time.
Then there was this cry. It came out of the trees from which the bear had originally appeared. Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom introduced me to that cry many years ago but I'd never actually heard it: baby bear.
Well, now things started to feel interesting and I scanned the trees along the shore and a couple of minutes later, yep, the cub came out onto the shore next to me. He was about 50 feet away and he settled back on his rear, looked at me, and started bawling.
Cool! Another photo op...no wait...fatherly voices in my head were reminding me that there was another bear somewhere that might have some interest in this cub. I took the advice ("never watch the cub, always check six") and sure enough, momma's head and shoulders appeared above a rise about 100 feet off the river. I was right in between them.
No photo op. Time to go. I stowed my fly, got a good grip on my wading staff, and I turned upriver and began to slowly wade away from both bears. I got a couple of hundred feet up and angled back to shore and moved along the river to find the other fisher-folk and let them know to keep a look out.
I saw the sow again later, up on a hillside watching me. She was about three hundred feet off and she stayed put long enough for me to take some pictures.
Pretty exciting stuff. I had a great day fishing too