Added bonuses while on the river

That's one of the cool things about fishing, is that it just gets you in the outdoors so you can see cool stuff like that. In the last few years I have seen a small herd of Elk crashing through the river just above me, an otter swimming under the log I was standing on, a few bears on the trail to a fishing spot, Bighorns drinking from the river across from me, Beavers swimming near my float tube, and lots of deer, eagles, muskrats, grouse and other animals. Pretty cool stuff.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I've seen black bear (just across the creek from me...both of us ran in opposite directions!); a coyote pup taking a drink: lots of deer and elk, including a nice bull; too many otters; beavers slapping their tails; an osprey eating a bigger searun cutt than i've ever caught; a mink emerge from the water with a fish in its mouth and run along a log; a porcupine swim across a tailout of a pool I was fishing and then when it got out shake off the water sending rippling waves thru its quills; and finally, once I came around the bend of a local river and saw a fisher gal I know hanging her butt over the transom of her boat, taking a leak, and I nearly busted a gut laughing. The list goes on....


o mykiss

Active Member
A few things that come to mind:

- a cow moose with her calf on the banks of the S. Fork Snake (fortunately we were in a drift boat; I hear those things can be mean, especially when protecting their young)

- watching an osprey swoop down and nab a trout out of Dry Falls while fishing one day

- watching an eagle swoop down and nail a sucker (I think - it was a ways away) out of the Stillaguamish

- watching a spike deer swim for about 50 yards down the middle of that big pool on David Powell Road on the Snoq at pre-dawn one morning

- watching a deer step in the water across from Buck Island and swim all the way across stream to about 25 yards below me and walk nonchalantly up the bank and into the woods

- watching does and their fawns tiptoe across the Tolt River on several occasions

- seeing coyote pups wrasslin' on the bank of the Snoqualmie on numerous occasions

- following a beaver in a boat as it swam underwater on the Sky for something like 100 yards before it got sick of us and bolted

- seeing an arctic fox on the aptly named Fox Bar on the Kanektok River

- seeing bighorn sheep along the Yakima on numerous occasions

- fishing a North Sound beach early one morning and watching 4 otters pop their heads up about 75 yards off shore and then swim straight towards me with their heads bobbing up from the water periodically until they got literally to within 5 feet of where I was standing before disappearing

- watching an unbelievable standoff between a praying mantis and a lizard on the banks of the Deschutes in Oregon

- walking downstream after a great day of fishing in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and coming up to a doe laying in the grass next to the stream; I got within literally 10 feet of her before she even stood up, and surprisingly, she didn't bolt but watched as I sauntered downstream


Be the guide...
I've shared the river with more deer and elk than I can count. A few stand out, like having an elk herd cross the river up and down from me on the upper (way upper) Yak. I've been nearly run over by a few deer - once while fishing a small sw wa river\stream, I was in the middle of a cast when a small deer came flying out the tall grass aimed right at me. I leaned back as it brushed past, hit the water, jumped accross, and dissappeared again. I've seen several deer just swimming down stream in the middle of rivers I'm fishing. I've only seen one cougar and one black beer. Coyotes, otters, tons of beavers, etc. Down south I ran into alligators, armadillos, various snakes (copper heads, cotton mouths, ...), havallina (sp?), nutrea, and so on....

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Was up fishing the N/F Sauk several years ago and as usual I was by myself until this deer came out of the woods and layed down on the river bank about 3 feet away from where I was casting. It stayed there the whole time I was wasting my time there. At least I had someone to talk to.:rofl:

Another time I was up fishing Pilchuck Creek up by the head waters when I walked around a bend in the creek and came face to face with a black bear. I don't know who was more scared him or me but I didn't stick around to see. I think that I walked on water that day as I was down stream faster that you could blink an eye.



Recreational User
Bears bears bears bears...deer deer moose bear.

One of the places I fish has quite an abundace of Brown bears, and one day when I was there with a group we had the pleasure of having 7 bears around us for the better part of 3 hours...early summer, pre-salmon, so they looked and acted much like mangy cattle, grazing their way across the estuarine meadow with the occasional glance at the 2-legged things that were whipping sticks around...

On another stream during steelhead week, I came around a bend to catch an eagle in the act of thrashing about in a tailout, talons firmly gripping a chrome hen of about 9-10 lbs. Who knows how long this had been going on, but I watched for about 5 minutes before detouring as not to disturb the battle. When I left, the eagle and the fish appeared to be "catching their breath" between rounds, with the fish in between flops on a gravel bar, guarded by a damp, exhausted eagle.

About 10 years ago, while fishing with a friend in a small stream in what is widely regarded as the densest Brown bear corridor in SE AK, I saw a movement, a running motion on the far bank some distance downstream. As I watched, and motioned my friend to be still, an adult Marten came running up the far bank, completely oblivious to us, and stopping occasionally to glance behind itself. This action seemed to unnerve my friend, and when I turned to him his eyes were fixed downstream, much the same as when the marten stopped to glance.

"What is it?" I said..."what do you see?"

"Dunno" he said..."But if a Marten is runnin away from it, it MUST be bad"...

Here's one on the small scale...

While fishing Cady one sunny day, I kept seeing spiders on the water. They were tiny red ones. They would hang off the trees and spin a line....getting longer and longer. I would see spider webs 100 feet in lenth blowing in the wind....when the spider touched down on the water


and no...didn't have anything close to that. :confused:
A rattle snake try to join me in my tube at Lenore, a falcon grab a pigeon out of mid air at Dry Falls, a coyote stalk a covey of quail at dry falls. He never got one.


Roger AKA The Fish Whisperer
I have seen too many deer and elk to count, but one incident that really stands out in my mind is a few years back on a local river. On this evening I had worked my way out to a small island in the river and was working a pool at the tail end of the island. I became aware of a crashing sound upstream on the hill above, and this medium sized doe comes flying down and enters the water at the top of the island. Right behind her is a very large coyote chasing her. She swam right down the pool between the island and the steep hill. The coyote swam out to the island and comes running down it after the deer. His attention is locked onto this deer and he would have run me down if I had not hollered at him. He screeched to a stop, wondering what on earth I was, or what I was doing there. He stood and glared at me for what seemed an eternity, which enabled the deer to regain the bank further down stream and head up and over the hill. I was raised in a rural area where I encountered coyotes all the time, so wasn't really worried about him attacking me or anything. But he was sure mad at me. Finally he turned and trotted back the way he came, turning every few steps to glare at me again. By the way, the deer sure ruined the bite in that hole.
Top pick is hard. Never ever tire of Osprey hammering trout from the Yakima, and Eagles lifting salmon out of the Sound. Awesome hunters. I have sat for hours watching randy Spring Chinook fighting for spawning rights in the shallows of the Methow, and steelhead leaping over a waterfall on Goat Creek.

Most amazing to watch was while on the St Joe, taking a break, sitting underneath a large old tree, when a fisher bolted out of its hidey hole, rapidly bounced from rock to rock, then pounce on an 8" trout about a rod length from my wader boot. Fast twitchy little buggers; they should be the mascot for Starbucks.
One of the funniest things happened years ago in Montana on the Beaverhood River. I was fishing with a friend, we were working down the river on opposite sides. I was ahead of him, and watched a skunk on his side. The skunk disappeared. When my friend came down, I told him about the skunk. He immediatly waded into the river to get to my side. The water was too deep wqhrer he was, and he ended up having to swim.

Catching one fish to one fish with a river otter right at my camp site at this lake up on the coast. I never knew just how many fish one of those things can eat. We fished together for over two hours. I quit counting after 30 fish each for us both and finally quit fishing and just watched.

Having a river otter climb on the kayak with me with a Perch in its hands.

Having a killer whale bump the boat up in the San Juans while fishing for Pinks.

Having a coyote brush my knee will taking a hiking break from fishing.

Having a 12 or so pound King not on my line, bounce off the kayak and later having one even bigger jump the paddle. Who says Kings are always deep.

Having a nice silver swim right under the kayak maybe 6 of less inches under me and a quick cast to it, hooking him in all while surfing a freighter wave.

Having a Bald Eagle try to steal a fish from my hands.

Well over 20 Seals all at one time less the 100 feet around me and the Kayak with many more even farther out at the time.

Watching the Porpoise play in the bow wake of the boat.

Watching a deer swim across Puget Sound.

Watching a herd of Elk cross for 45 minutes the road. largest herd I have even seen.

Up close and personal with a Mountain Goat.

A few diffrent couples doing the wild thing in the forest and by the rivers but the best was the couple I came upon who I again came upon as they were getting into diffrent cars and leaving in diffrent dirrections. Yes they both had rings on their fingers but I do not think they were married to one another.


Be the guide...
Oh yeah, another time that sticks out is when I was taking a quick nap while my dad and I fished from a 12-14 foot alum rental boat off whidbey island. He woke me up in sort of a panic and we had about 5-6 orcas surrounding us.

One of the strangest things (i got it on my video camera) is when we were checking out a pond\lake in BC. We started heading down a path in the willows and I noticed lots of little tiny frogs (still had a nub of a tail) hopping around. We avoided them the best we could, but eventually we rounded the corner 100 feet from the water and had to stop because the ground had no room for our feet between frogs. As we looked toward the water line, the frogs were so thick that they must have been over a foot deep by the time you reached the waters edge.
While spear fishing in California I was swimming out passed the break, I was about to duck dive a wave when I see three dolphins coming right at me in the wave. I kept my eyes open in the wave reached out (with the hand not holding my sling) and touched the dolphin the entire length of its body as it passed. Pretty cool, then for some reason I got scared and swam back to shore, go figure. :eek:


Ignored Member
Not a river thing but had my dad with me salmon fishing Swift Bay on the north end of Lopez when a pod of killer whales came in. We first noticed them when one of the big males surfaced within inches of our 18 foot runabout. Scared the living crap out of my dad and honestly startled me pretty good also. We had about 12 or 14 whales around our boat. They would come right up to the side of the boat close enough to touch and roll over to look at us. It was one of the coolest encounters with wild life I have ever had. My dad who at first was very scared they would capsize the boat soon got over his fear and was as fasinated as I with the whales. They spent 15 or so minutes messing around with us then moved off toward Peavine.