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A special surprise while fishing yesterday. See first post.

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  • A special surprise while fishing yesterday. See first post.

    A special surprise while fishing yesterday. See first post.

  • #2
    Yesterday I backpacked in to my old Montana backcountry horse camp for some fishing (see photos in my profile from last year's trip). Things started out on a sour note with a bad storm blowing in on my way up to the trailhead. Just as I turned off the highway onto the fifteen miles of final dirt road I encountered a big muley doe with FOUR fawns. Not something you see every day. Got to the trailhead and discovered I had left my water and lunch at home. Oh well. I needed to lose some weight. After a two hour hike in occasional downpour I reached the river and was greeted by break in weather. On the gravel bar I climbed into my chest waders, put on my boots and fly vest, and was in the process of rigging up my rod when I noticed the dogs jump up and alert on something behind me. I turned to see a sow grizzly with two cubs coming up the bar on the other side and headed straight for us. I immediately called the dogs to my side and they understood from the urgency in my voice (and multiple expletives) they had better obey! I then waved and hollered at the bears but they kept coming. The wind was at their backs and I don't think they could hear me. I tried hollering again but they kept coming. Dang it, the 357 was holstered INSIDE my waders. Off came the fly vest and wader belt and down went the waders almost as fast as I can write this sentence! I fired a round off to their left and she stopped (cubs were in front of her). Now, of course, with a shot being fired the dogs were jumpy. I screamed at them. Then reached down and picked up the white sewer pipe rod tube and waved it high in the air hollering as loud as I could. Finally the sow could make us out. She herded up her cubs and then after a double check decided to go back down the river. It runs through a very rugged canyon there and she really had few options. So now I can say I actually shot "at" a grizzly. I strapped the Highway Patrolman to OUTSIDE of waders and proceeded to finish rigging up my rod. I didn't walk that far just to quit and go home. The fishing was spotty but the fish were pretty nice, especially for this time of year. Just before I quit for the day I hooked and landed a real dandy. A 17" cutthroat trout is exceptional! The fish were absolutely beautiful. I stayed a bit too long though and had to finish hiking the last five miles in the dark. Wiring in my cap broke but I did manage to jiggle it around in my hands and keep the LED lights in the bill alive till the dogs and I got back to the Jimmy about eleven p.m. We are all beat today. The river bottom gravel is large pebbles about sixteen inches average. Very difficult walking. The round trip was about fourteen miles with lots of rough stuff while fishing. The pups are pooped. And I'm really feeling my sixty years today. Almost forgot ... while nursing my light on the way out the sky was suddenly lit up by the largest falling star I have seen yet. It was really something. Was so stunned I forgot to make a wish. Hell, what more could I have wished for than a day like that? A camera would have been nice though. It was in my lunch bag. Two day fishing tag was $25 ... best money I have spent on this trip.

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    • #3
      sounds like a fun day fishing (as well as a bit on the dangerous side!!)

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      • #4
        Thanks for the most interesting post OH! Sounds like a great adventure! I'm so looking forward to enjoying the Montana wilderness myself. I can't wait.

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        • #5
          Ontario, awesome adventure.

          I would have cooked that tasty cutthroat over a fire.
          Maybe in hindsight that could also be dangerous.
          Every Grizzly within five miles would have smelled the cooking trout.

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          • #6
            Sounds like you had a adventure Ontario

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            • #7
              On a day trip like that pausing to build a fire and cook fish is precious time away from fishing. I have fished and camped in that area countless times and never seen a bear of any kind before. No signs of bear on the trail or shorelines so it doesn't look like they frequent the place. I got lucky. I was never concerned too much because I was pretty sure she was a genuine wild bear and would do the right thing once she figured out I was there. She was about eighty yards and closing. With two large black dogs I was very concerned she would get defensive once she spotted but could not smell them. Everything worked out as it should have. Good thing too. The image of me trying to get away with waders hanging around my knees is not pleasant to think about. Also I know the labs would have tackled her if she charged. They're not agile enough to avoid getting hurt and shooting a bear in the middle of a dogfight would be tricky. And no way did I want to have to shoot a sow with two young cubs anyway. That would be real tough on me.

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              • #8
                Good show Ontario! I will be in Montana pheasant hunting just a month from now.

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                • #9
                  Great adventure story, well told. And posting it on this website is like putting it in a time capsule.

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                  • #10
                    Happy, I should be up on the hi-line hunting pheasants by mid-October. Where are you going to be hunting? I am usually a bit cautious about hunting the first couple of weeks of October because of snakes. As you might recall Pearl still managed to get bit on a cool moonlit night at the end of October two years ago.

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                    • #11
                      Great story. Thanks for sharing OH!

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                      • #12
                        Now that's what I call a great adventure! Glad you and the dogs weren't grizzly snacks and lived unscathed to tell us about it.

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