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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2011, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

I once got dive bombed while backpacking into a remote lake in Colorado en-route to fly fishing. There were no trails to it and I was working off topo maps. I was sitting on a rock right at the edge of a cliff looking down iinto the bowl where the lake was, trying to figure out a route to get down to it. A short ways off to my right was a dead tree with an eagle's nest in it so scraggly and in need of repair that I figured it had been abandoned.

I could hear what sounded like a military jet overhead, but without the rumble, just that noise they make before you hear the rumble. But it was persistent and getting louder so I leaned back and turned my head to see it an instant before I felt the concussion of air hit me. When I looked back forward and down, I saw the golden eagle still in a tuck with his elbows forward looking kind of like one of those old jets the air force used for training pilots. He was headed at a ridiculous, no a ludicrous, speed down into the bowl. Then he opened his wings and pulled out of the dive, flaring out at what looked like 90 degrees at the last second before crashing.

I have spent a lot of time in the woods, but this was the most incredible thing I've ever experienced. I don't know how fast those things dive, but for me to mistake the sound for a jet.....I can't imagine the strength that he had to have in those wings to pull out like that.

Just prior to the dive, I'd seen a pine martin loping along across the rocky terrain. I told a friend about the encounter who'd studied with a well-known shaman from a Washington or Oregon tribe for quite a while. He said that the eagle is my "Signal" animal and that was kind of my official notification so to speak. Two later encounters ( 15 years later) with bald eagles in Maine which exhibited strange behavior and the events that followed still raise the hair on the back of my neck.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Just two days ago I knocked a bat out. I was casting a heavy crawfish fly at dusk while standing on dock when suddenly I heard something hit my line/rod/fly. Sure enough a bat fell out of the sky and landed a couple feet away right beside me on the dock. He was laying there upside down. I though I killed it. Then I tapped it with my foot to see if it was alive and it flew off. CRAZY!!
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
I backed into a Canada goose nest and got bit in the ass
It's a good thing neoprene is easy to repair
I learned at an early age not to mess with geese,especially if they have young ones. When i was a kid I saw a mamma goose chase a little boy up and over one picnic table and under another one where she finally jumped on his back and dragged him down before adults could get the goose of the boy.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
I backed into a Canada goose nest and got bit in the ass
It's a good thing neoprene is easy to repair
My anti-goose dog in action.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Dan, that picture is publication-worthy. Seriously.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

I accidentally hooked one during one of my backcasts. Initially, I presumed that the fly was snagged in the trees but when the line started puling out of the reel, I looked back to see the bird pulling against the drag.
I felt bad about hooking the poor fellow and slowly reeled him in. I was wondering how I would un hook the guy since he was fluttering his wings quite a bit. Finally after a minute or two, he got tired and sat calmly near my feet. I was able to get the hook out (thankfully). He was fine afterwards and flew away.
Funny thing was how a few of his comrades buzzed me a couple of times. I moved over to a different spot on the stream.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Dan that's a great shot!

I was just holding my rod upright when an American Redstart (a small insect eating warbler) went after the fly dangling at the end of my leader.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Redstart/id

Luckily it didn't get hooked, but it kept flitting about after the fly right in front of me.

I've hooked birds accidently with lures while surf casting-- they either flew into the line and got tangled as it was falling after a cast, or attacked a surface plug and got hooked. So far one the score is one tern and couple of sea gulls and a skimmer-- a cool shore bird with a longer lower beak that flies just above the water dragging it's long lower mandible in the water and scoops up baitfish. I kept getting "bumps" one night that I thought were fish. but it turned out to be a skimmer that kept hitting the line with its beak as it searched for bait. I was alone so it took a while to get him untangled in the dark-- that beak is like a dagger:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/black_skimmer/id
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

I once caught a mallard...although I tried to pull the line before he caught the fly...he flew away and broke my tippetI have also seen wagtails trying to catch my fly drifting on the surface but fortunately never caught one.I often see herons and cormorans fishing...they quickly fly away as soo as you get too near.
Stunning pic Dan!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Quote:
and a skimmer-- a cool shore bird with a longer lower beak that flies just above the water dragging it's long lower mandible in the water and scoops up baitfish.
Mark, I saw my first one just a few years ago right out front here, and they are very, very cool birds indeed. Then I went to visit a buddy on the SW coast (FL) and we were casting on a public beach with hundreds of them nesting in a roped off area right behind us. They are definitely a wonder of nature and a marvel to watch flying along with their jaw in the water.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Ever have a bird attack you while fly fishing?

Only thing I had go after a fly was a big dragonfly that attacked my fly while it was dangling from the rod. But I've had several weird encounters with lures while bass fishing. The weirdest was when I was fishing at night with a Jitterbug, a big surface lure. It was a dark night, and I'd cast and listen for the lure to hit the water (rather than the bankside brush), then listen as I retrieved it across the surface, because unless the sky angle was just right I couldn't see much on the water surface. I was listening to the lure come across the surface when I heard a rather soft splash at the lure. A strike. I set the hooks and suddenly I could feel my line rising into the air! My fishing partner asked, "Got one?" I said, "Yes...but I think it's flying!" It put up a pretty good aerial fight for a bit, and then I got it directly overhead where I could see it against the sky. It was a great horned owl! It swooped close to my partner's head, and he covered his head and shouted, "For God's sake, stop reeling!" He grabbed a flashlight so we could see, and I finally jerked the rod hard sideways and down, and brought the big bird down on the water, where it floated on its back, taking its free foot and trying to scrape the lure off its other foot. I was wondering just how I was going to get the vicious looking bird unhooked when, fortunately, it got itself free and flapped toward the bank. The last we saw of it in the flashlight beam, it was standing on the bank glowering back at us.
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