Autumn Fishing and Hyperphagic Bears

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#1
Yesterday morning there were two bull elk bugling behind my house. Forecasted highs for the next week are in the 60s. We (west-central Montana) are getting our firewood piles in order and putting away our garden hoses. We’ve lost a few hours of daylight since the end of June.

Today on my walk I saw a pile of fresh choke cherry filled bear scat.

That means fall fly fishing and bears actively eating and drinking 22 hours a day.

An outfitter I know ended up with a badly broken leg when he encountered a sow and cubs in the Bob Marshall. His young horse spooked. It was a hell of a wreck and he and two guests were badly injured and airlifted out.

While I’ve only had one bear encounter this summer, everyone I know who works in the backcountry is reporting many more than normal bear sightings and encounters this year. One backpacker in the AB wilderness is in a Billings hospital right now with severe bear mauliing injuries. He had bear spray but didn’t deploy it.

If you come to Montana to fly fish or recreate, educate yourself, be bear aware, and if you are going to carry bear spray, practice deploying it and keep it on your belt.

5A3A11FA-3050-4B61-A0D2-664AAFBDC9E5.jpeg
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#4
Those damn hyperphagic bears are the very worst kind! Now I have to go look up hyperphagic . . .
Hyperphagia is a state where animals eat at an above normal pace. This time of year bears around here sense the shortening of daylight and greatly increase their intake of food and water in preparation for hibernation.

Around my house, I see signs of black bears all year round although I’ve never had any be a problem. In the fall they start showing up during the day. I put out water for the birds and have a bird feeder that is 15 feet off the ground. This year we’ve only gotten <.5” of precip total since the end of June. It’s very dry. Bears in hyperphagia drink LOTS of water and will frequent my neighbors horse water troughs and any source of water or food.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#5
Hyperphagia is a state where animals eat at an above normal pace. This time of year bears around here sense the shortening of daylight and greatly increase their intake of food and water in preparation for hibernation.

Around my house, I see signs of black bears all year round although I’ve never had any be a problem. In the fall they start showing up during the day. I put out water for the birds and have a bird feeder that is 15 feet off the ground. This year we’ve only gotten <.5” of precip total since the end of June. It’s very dry. Bears in hyperphagia drink LOTS of water and will frequent my neighbors horse water troughs and any source of water or food.
thanks for the explanation, good stuff !
 

2kayaker

Active Member
#6
Surprise bear encounters at close range will really get your attention.. Many fishermen carry a big pistol in a holster. If you do, remember to always remove the front sight. Don't ask me 'Why?'.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#8
For those newly acquainted with the word hyperphagia, here’s another science term

oligotrophic
[ŏl′ĭ-gō-trō′fĭk, -trŏf′ĭk, ō′lĭ-]
Lacking in plant nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates, and organic matter, and consequently having few plants and a large amount of dissolved oxygen throughout. Used of a lake, pond, or stream. Compare dystrophic eutrophic.

Nutrient poor fisheries (there are many in Glacier National Park) have few fish but look great and have made many visiting anglers scratch their heads.

I’m assuming most, if not all, of the PNW anglers are familiar with the term anadromous. I sometimes hear people confuse it with “Androgynous” which is pretty humorous.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#9
For those newly acquainted with the word hyperphagia, here’s another science term

oligotrophic
[ŏl′ĭ-gō-trō′fĭk, -trŏf′ĭk, ō′lĭ-]
Lacking in plant nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates, and organic matter, and consequently having few plants and a large amount of dissolved oxygen throughout. Used of a lake, pond, or stream. Compare dystrophic eutrophic.

Nutrient poor fisheries (there are many in Glacier National Park) have few fish but look great and have made many visiting anglers scratch their heads.

I’m assuming most, if not all, of the PNW anglers are familiar with the term anadromous. I sometimes hear people confuse it with “Androgynous” which is pretty humorous.
I don't know if I just got smarter or dumber.
 

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