Originally Posted by BlueRaiderFan
If you are on a tight stream/river, a bear can come out of no where. I would be hard pressed to spot a bear before it got to me on most of the waters in the Smokies.
I've experienced this as well.
Two years ago I was fishing a small, wild, mountain stream. I was in a section of the stream with rushing, fast water. All around, lots of rhododendron and mtn laurel thickets. The sound of the rushing water was loud and the thickets made for very limited visibility. And then I can get "tunnel vision" on the creek and watching the water for likely trout lies and not pay as much attention to my surroundings as I should.
And this is in bear country.
I rounded a bend in the stream and suddenly, very suddenly
, a black bear, of which I would guesstimate it's weight around 200lbs, comes off the bank from my right, into the creek, about 25 yards in front of me. The wind was in my face so I knew the bear had not winded me or knew I was there. I immediately yelled at the bear loud "Get out of here!"
. The bear stops mid-stride and looks at me. I yell again "GET OUT OF HERE, GO ON...GIT!"
, and also raise my hands and wave my arms. The bear stands still and lowers it's head and just stares at me. Now I'm feeling really uncomfortable. All bears I've encountered in the past, whether while fishing, bowhunting deer, camping or whatever, have retreated hastily once they saw me, heard me or winded me...but not this one. I again yelled at the bear and took a few steps backward to try to get out of the water and my feet on dry ground so I could slowly retreat. After a few steps, the bear slowly crossed the creek and went up the opposite bank and stopped again and turned to stare at me for about 20 seconds, head still lowered and ears laid back, in what looked to me like a very aggressive posture. I kept easing backwards and finally the bear turned and continued upstream along the creek bank, out of sight. Once I was out of sight of the bear, I turned and headed out of that area for the day. The encounter made me uneasy about fishing that area the rest of that particular day. As I was leaving, driving down the Forest Service road in my truck, not too far away from where I last saw the bear, I ran into a man and woman out for a hike and stopped to warn them of the bear in the area. I was thankful they took my advice and turned around and headed the opposite direction.
Be careful out there. Of the bears I've encountered in the woods, this was the only one that made me uncomfortable, and it was upon me before I knew it. Too close for comfort and it's actions after it saw me really made me uneasy. I was in a situation where I could not see it coming and could not hear it coming until it was almost too late. Only someone in a stream or along it (think fly fisherman!) with the noise, cover, etc, would usually be in that position!