A few Alaska questions....

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Gorgefly, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    Also, I've used bear spray several times, and it works fine. A lot of people will say you need a fire arm but I totally disagree. I've guided 5 years in the Katmai Region, which is famous for its large numbers of bears, and I've even had some close calls, and never felt like I needed a gun. Just be aware of which direction the wind is blowing, and realize you need to be within about 6 ft for it to work. Spooky, I know, the containers say 15 ft but that is a gross overestimate. More importantly is just being aware and moving out of a bears way when it approaches. Common sense is a much better tool for being bear safe than any gun.
     
  2. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I don't think you can bring spray in checked baggage either.
     
  3. hap

    hap Member

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    No, I meant anywhere on any commercial airline. It is legal to fly with it on a small plane, just stupid. Bear spray is prohibited in checked baggage.

    As to thinking spary is equal to a firearm, good luck with that. I have also guided in heavy bear country, including Katmai, and have had many close encounters with bears, mostly good. But I have had a number of bad and they got very close to very bad. I have seen two bears sprayed at close range with bear spray and neither bear left the area and it was not an option for us to leave the area. The bears returned more unhappy than the first visit...

    The simple fact is very few bears will actually carry out a charge and most shootings take place before the bear has a chance to back down. Bears shot at 40 yards, the average place where folks start shooting, probably would have stopped. The first bear I shot in DLP was hit first at about 50 yards and made it to my boot tops, but I was younger and far less comfortable around bears. Today I will let bears close to 20-25 yards as long as they show some uncertainty in their actions.

    A bear truly charging is so fast there is little time to wait for the exact right 6 feet...
     
  4. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I don't carry a gun or spray in the katmai area. I will however carry something when I'm fishing cougar country next fall, bears I can deal with cats I can't.
     
  5. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    Hap,
    your sentiment is pretty typical of many alaskans. i think it's overkill. The lodge i work for has been in Katmai since before there was a katmai, we celebrated our 60th year last year, and we've never had any bear attacks, injuries, etc. Our policy is spray. Until Obama recently overturned it, it wasn't legal to carry a firearm in the park (or any national park). When you shoot a bear with a gun, its not likely to kill it. In fact, with all the adrenaline it would have before an attack, the bear would likely kill you even after having been shot. Like you said of yourself, when you didn't have much experience with bears, you would shoot at them at 50 yards. My guess is that bear didn't want to have anything to do with you from that far away until you started shooting at it. If you didn't kill that bear, there's a good chance you maimed him. Gun shot wounds will affect the bears ability to feed, and if the wound itself doesn't slowly kill the bear, the injury will negatively affect its ability to feed and it will likely starve to death over the winter. The last thing we need are a bunch of hungry/injured bears. Those are very dangerous animals. The second to the last thing we need is a bunch of yahoos shooting bears from 50 yards away...

    Also, what is stupid about putting bear spray in the float of an airplane?
     
  6. Abomb

    Abomb Active Member

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    I knew it would not take long for this thread to go from fishing, to guns vs. spray for bears. George, many good points as to the fishing, so not much to add except, take lots of pictures!
     
  7. hap

    hap Member

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    Not all floats have hatches and spray has been known to discharge in the ones that do. There have been far more people injured by spray than bears. Making sure the wind is right and the bear is close enough is not easy to remember when a bear is coming. The vast majority of sprayed bear success stories are at bears outside the effective range of spray. Spraying praise where no danger existed you might say.

    I will make this very concise and not respond further on this thread. Open another thread and I would be happy to discuss it there...

    The bear encounter mentioned was in '77. The bear came at us deliberately from over 100 yards away without stopping. Today I would recognize the bear as curious; back then, I saw malice.

    Obama overturned the National Parks rule??? Interesting interpretation. And I felt bad confusing curiousity with malice.

    I have shot quite a few bears and many that were coming at me. They all died before doing any damage to me. I frequently allow bears to get extremely close without shooting them, but only when I have a good out. Under such circumstances they die every bit as well... Adrenaline is over-rated in such situations, IMO&E.
    art
     
  8. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    Stayed on the banks of the Chena for three days last week....too bad you could drive snowmobiles on it. Cant wait to go back in August though.
    Hap...missed you at the flyfishing film show Thursday in Anchorage.

    next trip will be last of April, first of May.....any possibility of fishing that early around Anchorage?


    Thanks
    Matt
     
  9. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    Chena River last week....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ribka

    ribka Active Member

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    If in Alaska in Sept or Oct check out the steelhead fishing in the kenai
    Very good . When I go to Alasaka buy Bear spray, bells at the local Walmart in Anchorage. Have used it 2x's up there and effective deterrent.
    The crystal meth egg pattern is killer up there for trout and dollies.

    Powder monkey and Hap good sources of info up there:thumb:
     
  11. oldskool

    oldskool Guest

    BDD said it. Aug & early Oct (Sept. if at all possible) for silvers. I've fished up there a few times, my sister lives in Chugiak.

    Forget the bear spay. We walked within 30-40ft of Grizzlies, they don't care about you they're there to eat. It feels like you are "in" a zoo. If you do come into proximity of them, keep your head down and watch them from your side view. This shows them that they are in control. It's not like we need to be told that, rather they need to be shown that. However, after awhile it's easy to forget that they are there. That's what I did once, got too close and got bluff charged. I wet myself a little.

    But seriously, if you bring bear spray....you'll get laughed at and mocked openly. There's that and, if there's one bear there's 2-5 or 8 bears depending where you go. Spray is just going to piss'm off. They're already half jacked up fight'n for the good spots. (Hey, that doesn't too far off from some of the posts on here!)

    Bright green & purple together for flies with a flashabu tail. My fav! :thumb:
     
  12. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    Anyone know if there is any fishing to be had close in to Anchorage during the last week of April?
     
  13. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    Maybe... it depends on lake ice...

    I've never done any good in ANC until the ice is off the lakes... Had a few hits here and there but nothing to right home about.