Added bonuses while on the river

- deer crossing the river close to where I am wading

- beavers and muskrats swimming right through the run I am fishing and close to me, hoping my fly was not snagged into them

- mink along the bank

- family of otters. must have been mom, and 8 youngens as I recall scampering by me

- eagles

- two white tail bucks territories met at one very nice michigan steelhead run I was fishing. I ran into them two early mornings. The one buck a 10 pointer was snorting, stomping the ground and looking at me like I was his enemy until I got out of the river and walked towards him, he then spooked and ran off into the woods

- at first light on another famous michigan river I was the first one to a famous pool. As first light started and I was casting I heard something on the bank in the woods in back of me, I looked back and saw a few dark images thought it was some other steelhead fisherman for a second, turned out to be a flock of wild turkeys, thirteen of them as I recall. Each one of them flew over me while I was in the river up to a high bluff over looking the pool. Really cool, wish I had a camera.



Countless sunsets or sunrises and storm clouds so spectacular that I had to stop and gawk.
Involving wildlife: The bull moose that appeared and eyeballed me while I stook helpless, chest-deep in midstream;
The eagle that snatched a sizeable bull trout from the middle of the Mixer (why was that fish so close to the surface in late winter?);
The rattlesnake that swam past my boat, then jam-climbed up the sheer basalt face of an island in the middle of Dry Falls Lake;
No, I give the Most Memorable award to the bald eagle (the only one I saw that trip) that landed on a cedar snag across from me as I fished into the crimson evening in the Box Canyon of the Henry's Fork, July 4th, 1976.
Bobcat and cubs drinking from the creek two holes downstream from where I was fishing..........

and that whole sasquatch thing in skamania county once, I stopped taking the flask of single malt after that..............
Rowed right up to a Bald Eagle sitting on a piling. Had a nice buck come within 10 feet of me while I was standing in the middle of a stream fishing. In Northern Idaho my partner and I rowed right up to a bull moose that was neck deep in the lake, we though it was a log at first. But the best of all was when I was floating the Yakima and a couple Big Horn Rams had a head butting contest. Hundreds of cars drove by and we just sat there and watched the show, now that was really a great experience. I've seen hundreds of deer over the years, ospreys diving on fish, and some of the greatest sunrises and sunsets you'll ever see. Once while fishing Browns Lake in Pend Orielle County in the Spring, we must have seen a thousand snowshoe hares bounding across the road. Never seen that many hares in one place ever but they were everywhere. Fishing the Nanum Creek in Kittitas County one fine June day and there were rattle snakes everywhere, cute little creatures they are! My son and I had a white tail doe come up and lick us at little lake we hiked to in Glacier National Park. We told the Park ranger about it he said she had been reported before, I guess she found out that humans sweat when climbing on a hot day and we were quick way to get salt.

Lots of grizzlies, black bears, and eagles in Alaska, of course. A floating clump of branches and sticks, which, as it got closer, turned out to be the head gear on a couple of youngish bull moose--that was also in Alaska. Those guys followed me to my camp and stuck around for quite some time, towering over my little pickup looking like they wanted to mate with it. But the most scary was perhaps the time in Big Sur when a forest fire had been burning up in the hills for a few days chasing the animals toward the coast and safer ground. I was fishing near the mouth of the Big Sur River, and suddenly across the stream appeared what I think was a bobcat and a what I know was a wild boar. The cat didn't look especially threatening, but that big, hungry-looking old boar and his menacing tusks had me heading for the car in a jiffy!

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
Dead silence with no other sounds except the sound of water lapping against my waders this winter on the Deerfield. Light snow falling from the sky landing on the water and making its way down to the Atlantic. That day was probably the most peaceful day of my life. Everything was black and white there weren't any shades of grey. I knew then that God did exhist and I was whitnessing his power.
I was fishing at Thomases Eddy and an eagle swooped down and scared some ducks and all the ducks went crazy and flew into each otheir in the air and the eagle grabbed one of them and flew off...
My most memorable:

- big female moose crossed the river just upstream of me on the Situk
- same trip, we were driving our "rental car" through the backwoods around Yakutat and saw a lynx running down the road
- pair of minks on the Methow

and of course the eagles, trumpeter swans, osprey, beavers, otters, bear - brown and black, american avocets, etc.

I guess I haven't fish enough of the right places to see the bare breasted homo sapiens.

Jim Jones


Sculpin Enterprises
Several years ago, I was out on the lower Roanoke River, NC in my friend's bass boat on a quiet, foggy day. Around noon, we started to hear the sounds of wolves' howling through the fog; the calling went on for about 20 minutes before ending as sharply as it started. We never saw the callers, but I assume that they were red wolves that have been reintroduced into the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge.

While this isn't a fishing or river-related story, I once encounterd a gray whale while scuba diving off Santa Barbara. I was doing research on a reef about a mile offshore and swimming in 60' of water across a sandy plain connecting two arms of the reefs. As I looked up, I was this big white flash only 15 feet away from me and I thought "oh crap, great white shark. I'm a rock, I'm a rock." Just as the thought passed though my head, I could see the eye and knew it was a gray whale. It seemed to take forever to swim by and I distinctly remember the huge flukes which left whirlpools of sand in the water as it powered by. I spent the next two dives that day constantly looking over my shoulder, totally paranoid.

Some what fishing related but commercial fishing in Sitka, Ak for the herring sac roe fishery. About ten years ago we had a co-op fishery. We watched a humpback whale blowing bubbles to school up the herring and then the behemoth comes bursting up through the school with herring hanging and draining out it mouth. About twenty feet away, it actually had a smile on its face. Wish they had digital cameras back then, it was a site to behold.

Another time still commecial fishing was in Ventura for squid, nice set along side and a baby humpback about 30 feet long just showed up to take a smell.

I was fishing up in Tofino and heard over the radio that two Orcas where behind such and such island, the island was the one we were fishing on, the two orcas were just on the other side. So we pulled in our flies and zoomed around the island and the two most beautiful orcas just came cruising by. These were supposedly transient orcas, not residents. Their were just two and they seemed to be following the island chains looking for seals. One male and one female. The males dorsal fin must have been close to four feet tall and perfectly straight. IT was awesome.
Just up in the middle fork a ways up the road on sunday doing some "exploring" and some half hearted casting as the river's in runoff. wading up along the bank and 10 feet infront of me I thought i saw a giant fish roll out of the water, almost lost it. turned out to be two otters doing the nasty. they saw me and kept right on going as they rode some rapids down - he never get off! they climbed out onto a rock (still humping) in the middle of the river and just stared back at me panting. it was a little awkward.
Awesome thread,
I don't really have anything others haven't already said, but on any given day it doesn't take much to stir up wonder.

The coolest of my experiences might have been seeing bighorns that went on to butt heads right along the river. Probably the most entertaining was a family of otters that followed a buddy and I on the Ronde for an hour or two, hanging out on the opposite bank, playing and watching us.


"Chasing Riseforms"
I can count on seeing a bald eagle or two or three any day I fish out on the Hood Canal. It didn't use to be that way... it's such a pleasure to hear their screech. It's almost like a "greeting".