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Polite Encounters

Started by Onslow, July 01, 2018, 16:33:51 PM

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Onslow

July 01, 2018, 16:33:51 PM Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 16:35:48 PM by Onslow
Due to circumstances typically associated adult life, opportunities to break away from work, home,  or the computer have been scant.  I explained to my wife I wasn't going to church today, and wasn't gong to hang with her in Dobson at the old farm either. I had kinda planned on getting in on some small jaws action, but in light of the fact it rained early in the morning, and the 5:30 temp was 74 I didn't want drive to a river and it be muddy, nor did I have the appetite for excessive heat.

After gathering myself this morning, I kinda dragged out the door, and headed to Floyd County were I knew the temps would be cool.  This also happens to be the location of one the most fabulous streams in my sphere.  This particular stream has some accessible portions, and some very remote, and inaccessible areas.  The truck was parked at on a tributary, and planned to hike down the trib to the main stream.  All private, and undesignated water.

No sooner had I geared up, a middle aged fella pulled up beside me and asked me I had planned on going to the woods.  He informed me he had just seen a small bear crossing the road up the hill behind us, and was concerned about my safety.  I smiled, and thanked him.  I thought to myself, there ain't no way I'm going to scuttle a 2.3 mile beat wade over a stupid small bear.  I proceeded with the plan.  I had not made more than 100 yds. in the woods when bear #1, ~175 pounder crossed in front of me moving rather hastily.  Still not deterred.

The plan was to walk/flank down the stream or walk the woods where possible for 2.5 miles down through 1.5 miles of lower gradient stuff, and then down a very remote mini gorge that is tough to access.  This stream is the best I know.  I walked down, took a couple fishing breaks.  After about a mile or a tad more, and just at the edge of the good water, I picked up a heavy trail.  Elation had settled in because I was sick of beating the bushes and walking downstream in the creek.  I had just picked up some momentum, when I came across a second much larger bear straight ahead in the path.  Keep in mind, I've never seen a bear before in the wild, or even a rattlesnake.  This bear knows I'm behind it.  Its head would occasionally rotate about 15 degrees counterclockwise.  I reached for the camera in my shirt, and the head rotated, and ear twitched.  Sumbich, I'm not going to make any sudden moves and git er skeered.  I just turned around, and headed for the creek.  I needed to get off the paths and start fishing.  I had trail mix in my day pack and wondered if I should toss this shit in the creek, but I like food....I kept it.  I also did not have my bear spray, and I never carry weapons.

So with the best fishing just downstream, and now I was deprived of my spot.  It is a pity humans cannot get these owners of the woods to grant us permission to fish.

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Awesome treescapes in this old forest.

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The stream I was walking over was not top notch.  Low gradient, shallow cobble, heavy canopy in spots.

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Well, I made it back to where I started 1.5 hours earlier.  Not much to fish, but picked up a few eager fish.  A chance was took on continuing to head upstream.  There was a nice pool at the trib I hiked in on.  Made a drift and some pune smacked my stuff.  Gave a a good yank and my mess was in the worst snarl in the trees.....sweet mother of harlots. After getting everything sorted out except for one loop, I tested the leader, and simply cut the loop.  Next drift, I felt a good tug, and when the hook was set my leader rocketed towards some wood.  After some fuss, I managed to get him out, and it was a nice one about 16".  Unfortunately it dove for another pile of brush, and got up all in there.  After tussle #2, the nymph popped out of the water, and back into the trees again.  Not time to throw in the towel yet!

After getting up the creek a bit, I spooked up a 15 incher, and managed to catch this feller.

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Thats it!


Woolly Bugger

Damn fine day right there!

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ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Phil

Kick ass browns, man. Nice spots!  'c;  Glad you didn't get et.


Dee-Vo

Good for you on getting the hell out.

Bears? Cool sights... I've only encountered one.

Nice browns and nice report.


Onslow

Interestly enough, I never saw the first bear track. I did come across many broken skunk cabbage plants.  Were these bears transients, and are all bears transients is the question.

Not one turkey was seen, or signs thereof.  I did see a woodcock which happened to be the first I've ever seen in the New watershed.


Dougfish

Good chit!

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"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

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But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
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Big J

You did good.  Especially considering the temps we have been having and the low grad that stream looks to be.   V:;


NCsporksman

Skipping church and flippin off bears...good shit

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Stone-Man

Onslow
Nice report and some good photography.
AS to bears being transient. I think that some are and some are not. One of the bears around my house has been here for months. And there is a giant bear that lives on Iron mountain (other side of valley from me) that has been there for years. He disappears  right b/4 hunting season and shows back up in a month. I suspect that he goes to the bear sanctuary in Shady Valley. Certainly ,I am no authority on this. Bears move around depending on what food is available ,but that is not what I would call transient

JT


Onslow

So JT, I want to know more about the relationship you have the the big blackie.  Are your observations helped by trail cams, or are you neighborly with big black?  I'm interested in bear body language when in close proximity to humans.


Native Fisher

When a cub is around, you better be prepared for anything.  Best to back away quietly and hope mama doesn't see you.


itieuglyflies

For what it is worth. Sightings, encounters with black bears increases in early summer. Most often the culprit is a two year old male. Reason being momma has kicked him out after running with her since birth. Young males  are programmed to disperse widely as this helps keep from inbreeding ( with mom or sister)  since females only breed every two years.


Onslow

I did think the first bear was a small male just kicked out of nursery life.  I was not expecting to see a bear #2 a mile away.  I do think bear #2 knew I was walking up on it, and was making a casual attempt at avoiding me.  This being said, I'm not sure how a 500 pound male respond to my presence. The issue that concerns me is noise....water noise.  Most people that hunt, and have any common sense enough to purposely avoid bears when they are heard.  It is tough to hear movements of animals while in or near a raucous stream.  It would really be unfortunate to round a tight bend, resulting in being hemmed in by a 300 plus pound animal.

FYI, a monster blackie estimated at 500 or better has been seen around Nolly Rd near Riner Va.  That area is wrapped up with um.


itieuglyflies

Statistically, I don't think you have much reason for fear with only 25 fatalities from black bear attacks in the US over the last twenty years. Just last year I recall we had 39 fatal dog attacks. Personally I am much more concerned about an encounter with a pit bull than I am a black bear and from having hunted bears I know they are generally very frightened of man. I think our danger is greater from an auto accident, being hit by lightning or falling climbing around boulders in a trout stream.....just my way of thinking. And yes I have personally had some up close dealings with  black bears......once had a wounded one chewing on the head of a dog that I had on a leash......but that is another story.


Phil

" I think our danger is greater from an auto accident, being hit by lightning or falling climbing around boulders in a trout stream."

As one who has been in auto accidents, been struck by lightning, and has fallen climbing around boulders in a stream, I agree with this statement.



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