Wednesday

fishing in bear country













According to statistics bear attack on humans are a pretty rare thing. Bear attack while fishing is probably even more rare. But you have to wonder that basically when you are in the vicinity of bears while fishing, you have something at the end of your line that the bear wants, fish. Hokkaido and other wonderful places to fish are frequently shared with bears, and while the Hokkaido black bear is smaller than the grizzly, the thought of encountering one while fishing is an experience I can do without. We fished the Shiribetsu River, but went deep into the valleys to reach a stretch that was difficult for people to access (a 3 hour walk at a medium fast pace – one way) to seek larger Iwana trout. As we geared up, our guide Kawagoe-san took a few minutes to brief us on how to use the bear spray, and what basic actions to take in the unlikely encounter with Hokkaido’s black bear. We had a laugh about it but still decided to leave the lunch & all good smelling snacks in the car. At points we were separated from each other, each focused on fishing. As we walked deeper into the valley and started to fish, the thought of bears started to slowly sink in. The team that fished this valley last year saw & photographed bears (fortunately 50+ meters away) and our guides saw bears just the prior week… so the possibility of encountering a bear wasn’t as remote as I would have liked. I listened more closely than normal, and found myself often looking into the woods, checking out any larger shadows. Fortunately, we saw no bears. It’s a strange feeling, fishing and thinking that there are creatures nearby that is much larger than you, and if it wanted could eat you for lunch. Maybe for the guys who fish in hardcore bear country like Alaska, this isn’t much of a thing to write about, but for a regular first timer like me, it was pretty nerve racking. Bears are cool, but I don't want to see one nearby with fish in my hands.

곰 무서워요!








5 comments:

  1. you are by far the biggest dork I've ever known.

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  2. thanks. you can call me the bear whisperer.

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  3. Japan is a really good fishing place, isn't it?

    I believe you had a pleasant fishing trip there.

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  4. Fishing in Japan is awesome, plus to good food, the good people, and of course Hokkaido holds Sapporo, which is the home of Sapporo beer. I think I would have caught more fish, if I was a little less drunk.

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  5. I'm with CharlesTheFishFinder.

    ReplyDelete