An entertaining trip yesterday, to say the least.
Junior picked us up in the yacht at 8 sharp, all set for the quick boatride up the coast to a small stream that is rumored to have the odd fish visit in the spring. 30 minutes of pounding into the north wind and trying to keep saltwater out of our coffee left us a little less than amused as we hit the beach, but at least it was low tide and we only had to carry the raft about a quarter mile. What a way to start the day.
As we made our way into the woods to get upstream, Junior noted that his gun was unloaded, but that it didn't really matter because the bears were still up high, not in the meadows yet. But, being the safety-conscious guy that he is, he fed 5 and threw it back on his shoulder. 6.9 seconds later, as if on cue, the bear came loping out of the muskeg about 100 feet ahead of us on trail left, headed right for us. Brandishing the Winston BIIx tube, we pointed out our morning visitor to Junior, who slapped the gat up to port arms. At this point, about 40-50 feet from us, the bear abruptly veered off and hauled ass across the trail directly in front of us, making for higher ground that had fewer bipeds. Apparently, the green Winston tube did the trick.
If you are in need of a wakeup, and lattes or energy drinks just aren't doing the trick, may we humbly suggest one serving of Coastal Brown Bear. Nothing gets the blood flowing like a good dose of adrenaline brought on by the reminder that there are things in the woods that sit higher on the local food chain than you.
After a few nervous laughs, a "Dude!" or two, and a few gratuitous high-fives, we made our very alert way upstream. We were greeted by the sight of a swollen, rapidly browning-out river. Apparently, the uptick on the hydrology graphs actually translate to something happening in the real world...
We made an effort to get some fish-love on the way upstream, but we were denied by the rising and dimming waters. Defeated, broken, we made our way downstream to look for a fish that we could call a friend.
We found one, late in the game, and only after gomering off two good takes in now-flooding conditions.
Water was cresting over dips in the all-too-low meadow banks, and the incoming tide was backing up the river something fierce. With wading becoming a semi-amusing source of unwanted excitement, we decided to throw in the towel. On the way back out, we had another big - not as in "gee, that one is a little bigger than the last one" big, but BIG - bear feeding his way towards us on the clam flat. We did our best to look tough, but it wasn't necessary...he got one whiff of Junior's aftershave and was outta there like a big, furry bat outta hell.
With only a few days left before the trip Outside, we're thinkin' the fish might win the series. Difficult conditions and tough away-games have stripped us of home-field advantage all year, but when the water drops, we're gonna put on the rally-waders and give it another try or two. We still need a word with fish management, though - Beavers, ok. Moose? hmmm...alright. But subbing bears in mid-game?
That's just playin' dirty.