Tag Archives: bear

BEAR-LY Aware

Guest Blogger: Jim Murphy, Neenah WI, long-time J Stockard customer and avid fly tyer

I believe it was in the spring of 1965 and one of my first attempts at fly fishing (kinda). It occurred on a small tributary of the famous Boise Brule River in northwestern Wisconsin. I say kinda because I was fishing a handcrafted Ed Norton fly rod (borrowed of course) and a Pirelli automatic reel that was spooled with 10 pound + Stren mono also borrowed. And, I was snaking a beat up Pass Lake wet fly under overhanging alders which thrusted their tangled branches toward mid-stream. As I look back I could have fished this same water with a cane pole (not to be confused with a split bamboo rod). But, I was using a fly rod, a fly reel and a fly so in my mind I was fly fishing. And, with 2 Brook trout on the stringer I was convinced I was a full-fledged fly fisher.

But I have regressed because the real story would unfold as I continued to fish.  Somewhere between the 3rd and 5th fish, I became aware of the crunching of brush as someone was working their way toward me. The occasional blue word was a dead give away that his adventure was more than a bit challenging. more…

The Sort of Bear Incident

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

I had been trying to get my friend to try trout fishing for several months. To protect the innocent (or guilty, as the case may be), we will call him Harold. He was close to saying yes, but didn’t want to invest in fly fishing equipment and felt like fly casting was too complex. So, I suggested he could spin cast and watch me fly fish while we alternated fishing up the river. Harold thought this sounded reasonable and agreed to go.

A couple of days later I picked him up at his house. We had barely made it out of his driveway when he started asking me if there were any bear on the river.

I was surprised and asked, “Why are you asking?”

Harold, “We have had several bear sightings in our neighborhood over the past couple of months.”

I replied, “No kidding, I never knew there were bear in this area!” more…

Advice for Fishing and Hiking in Bear Country

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody WY, Former National Park Superintendent

Part of my career with the National Park Service included time as the Yellowstone Madison River sub-district ranger in the 1960s, the East District ranger in the North Cascades from 1970 to 1975, and the superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve from September 1980 until March 1989. During the past 32 years I lived and worked where black and grizzly bears and bison and moose live. This article is what I learned from research, observations of animal behavior, speaking to mauled victims and having been personally charged by a grizzly on three different occasions. I was never mauled by a bear.

Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, North Cascades National Park and all the national parks in Alaska have grizzly bears. Yellowstone, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and both state and national parks in South Dakota have many wild bison. The bears and bison sometimes attack park visitors. Hunters in the areas surrounding parks have also endured attacks by a grizzly. The possibility of a grizzly bear attack is virtually guaranteed if you encounter a sow grizzly with cubs, and many grizzlies outside the park have learned during hunting season that the sound of rifle fire could mean an elk or deer has been shot. The grizzly moves in the direction of the rifle fire because it could find a dead animal or its gut pile to feed upon. more…