Fishing in Grizzly Country

midge1

Well-known member
Messages
162
Reaction score
3
For you guys that fish in grizzly country, how do you handle that, are you armed? If so with what. I know bear attacks are seldom but a grizzly has a different outlook on things than a black bear.
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
186
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
For you guys that fish in grizzly country, how do you handle that, are you armed? If so with what. I know bear attacks are seldom but a grizzly has a different outlook on things than a black bear.
Most of the recommendations I have read suggest bear spray. The problem with weapons is that if you wound a grizzly during a false charge, it probably will keep coming until you die or the bear dies. Bear spray requires less accuracy than a weapon as well.

The problem with bear spray is that unlike a weapon, it cannot be packed in your checked luggage so it needs to be bought on site or pre-shipped to the destination.

When I fished on the Copper River, the guided carried both shotguns and pistols.

Tuesday Tip: How to Stay Safe in Bear Country - Orvis News

Slough Creek Solo
 

rustneversleeps

Well-known member
Messages
108
Reaction score
1
Location
Montana
I think the biggest thing is awareness. If you are in an area with a lot of bears you just need to be constantly looking up and around you - its better if you see them before they see you. I always have bear spray when I am fishing/hunting in grizz country....2 cans if I am going in very far or camping overnight. The rangers going into the backcountry carry multiple cans. If you have to use one going in and don't have anything going out could be a disaster.
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
186
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
This thread reminds me of when Jim Greenlee and I were hiking up to the first meadow of Slough Creek. There was a grizzly in the area but the trail was open and so up we went. On the way up the hill we did find a pile of bear scat and we kept going. Behind us came this couple and we could hear the tinkle-tinkle of bear bells on their belts as they walked.

We stopped for a rest and when they passed us they asked us whether there were grizzlies in the area. I asked them whether they saw the grizzly bear scat passed along the trail. The female asked how I knew for sure it was grizzly scat. I told her that I recognized the bear bells in the scat. She looked petrified. Jim and I laughed about that for the rest of the day.
 

sparsegraystubble

Well-known member
Messages
952
Reaction score
19
Location
Laramie, WY
This thread reminds me of when Jim Greenlee and I were hiking up to the first meadow of Slough Creek. There was a grizzly in the area but the trail was open and so up we went. On the way up the hill we did find a pile of bear scat and we kept going. Behind us came this couple and we could hear the tinkle-tinkle of bear bells on their belts as they walked.

We stopped for a rest and when they passed us they asked us whether there were grizzlies in the area. I asked them whether they saw the grizzly bear scat passed along the trail. The female asked how I knew for sure it was grizzly scat. I told her that I recognized the bear bells in the scat. She looked petrified. Jim and I laughed about that for the rest of the day.
You could have also told them that the scat smelled of bear spray.

Don
 

bigal36

Well-known member
Messages
124
Reaction score
1
Location
Maryland - Gunpowder River
We went to Lamar Valley during our recent trip to Yellowstone. It's all everyone says and more...

While fishing, I had my head down, focusing on my drift....realizing I hadn't looked behind me in awhile. When I did, there was a Pronghorn 15 feet from me.

As cool as it was, it still sketched me out...could have easily been a moose or bear. Left an hour later.

I do keep my spray on my belt....seemed like having it in my pack was a dumb idea. (I didn't realize you can't check them....had two in my bags going out and wound up giving having to give the ticket agent in MT one can, while the other one made it through.)
 

satyr

Well-known member
Messages
260
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles
I fished Slough Creek last August. We were the first ones up the trail and the wolves howled at us when we entered first meadow. Saw sandhill cranes in second meadow. Had a small grizzly run past us on the trail while we were watering up on the hike out. Neither one of us had bear spray, neither one of us was worried about it. If **** happens, it happens. I've lived a good full life.
 

FlymanSJB

Well-known member
Messages
2,972
Reaction score
64
Location
L'Étoile du Nord
A woman just got killed by a black bear on the Minnesota/Ontario border lake island. Her dog got loose and got in a fight, she went to save the dog or something. Food or Dogs seem to bring the most bad encounters. I think its pretty tough to save a dog, its probably better to leave the dog and bear fight it out and have the dog run away or not and no Ive never carried a gun in bear country. I never felt the overwhelming paranoia to carry.
 

djfan

Well-known member
Messages
119
Reaction score
11
About 20 years ago I was fishing the Galatin near Great Falls, MT. I was scheduled to meet Mrs. Fan soon, so I ended my hike on the river and fished on a sand bar. Shortly, I went to the gas station/fly shop across the street to get a warm drink. The guy there asked how I did, then told met that mama grizzly and her two cubs were on that sand bar about 5 minutes before I was. It made me think.

I live in Wyoming, and there are Grizzlies and wolves here. You learn to keep your ears and eyes open. Mostly during hunting season, but also when I'm tagged out and hitting the rivers.
 

strmanglr scott

Well-known member
Messages
222
Reaction score
2
Location
Michigan
I fish Northern Michigan streams. We have some black bear which are not nearly as aggressive as a grizzly but they can and do attack.

There are also a few cougar.

Possibly a wild boar, which I'd probably be more scared of than a black bear.

Coyotes.

Wolves, which again, probably more scary than a black bear.

Skunks, rather not have one of those get to close.

Then there is the most capable and dangerous thing out there, the human being. Not the first thing most would think of but deadly.

Of course most fisherman are really quite nice. But humans are what they are and some are not so nice. There's also more than just fisherman out there.

I fish a spot in the fall, that for many years, I get so far upstream and all of a sudden I'm being watched from the bridge by a couple guys in a golf cart. They don't think I can see them from where I'm at. Last time I saw one of them leaning off the bridge trying to watch me. It only happens in the fall. I think someone is growing pot and if I walked farther upstream than I usually do, I believe I'd come across their plot. Are they friendly, would they not bother me and hope I didn't say anything, or would they take a more aggressive approach? Luckily pot is now legal in Michigan so they may not be so stressed. We'll see, probably gonna go fish it next week.

A good spray could save your life from many different predators.
 

snuzzo29

New member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
WY
I carry bear spray and keep my head on a swivel. I'd carry a handgun if I had one in a bigger caliber. Whatever you carry, know how to use it and keep it handy.
 

falcon53

Well-known member
Messages
631
Reaction score
8
Location
Northwest New Jersey, NE Pennsylvania
I encountered one Grizzly out west that eventually wandered off. I have had some interesting Black Bear encounters in NE PA. Some ran off others just poke along going about their business. Some are surprised and circle to get down wind to further identify you and others just hang around too long which can be unnerving. There are a lot of Black Bears where I live and some have caused problems mostly to property and other animals. They are a large powerful animal.
I enjoy seeing them in the woods but I am mindful to their presence.
 

verbin

New member
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I fish quite a bit around grizzlies and carry spray.

Now I'm Canadian and can't legally carry a handgun to fish, but I wouldn't carry one for bear protection if I could (and yes, I have a fair bit of experience with them). I've fished and camped a few really sketchy places where I took the 12 gauge, and keep a shotgun or rifle close by if there is also moose calling or harvesting going on.

I think the combination of fly rod and bear spray is actually a very good bear defense. Just leave it strung up while you walk in and out through the bushes- all the swearing will let them know you're in the area so they can leave. To be doubly sure, take up the spey rod, which cultivates loud cussing while on the water. The spray is mostly to give you something to think about so you don't panic and run away screaming the first time you get that really funny feeling in your belly, turn around, and see a bear fishing 20 feet behind you.
 

taylorreels

Trade Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
5
I was out hunting this past week for the opening of elk season and I "bumped" a large black bear... The bear was only around 15 feet away! Luckily there was no cubs and it moved away growling and making other terrifying noises. I think we were both mutually spooked.

When I am in grizzly country I always carry bear spray. I have watched way too many sketchy youtube videos to not always have bear spray on my belt.
 

skcwolfgang

Well-known member
Messages
97
Reaction score
0
I just got back from fishing the second meadow of Slough creek. I have done this a number of times. I hike solo, carry bear spray,make noise, pay attention and avoid hiking at dusk and dawn. Calculated risk I guess. Slough creek is worth it.
 

midge1

Well-known member
Messages
162
Reaction score
3
I fished Slough Creek last August. We were the first ones up the trail and the wolves howled at us when we entered first meadow. Saw sandhill cranes in second meadow. Had a small grizzly run past us on the trail while we were watering up on the hike out. Neither one of us had bear spray, neither one of us was worried about it. If **** happens, it happens. I've lived a good full life.
The way I interpret this is that you have no defensive weapon of any kind, and you are OK with that and aren't worried simply because you live a good full life. So have I, but I have a desire to make it a bit fuller.
 
Top