After my chemistry class was cancelled today I headed a few miles north of Missoula into the Rattlesnake Creek Wilderness Area to fish a little on Rattlesnake Creek. As I drove north into a heavily wooded area I could tell I was really in some wilderness. My first worry was rattlesnakes. I didn't know if the name of the creek meant that there would be rattlesnakes there or not. The creek looked great with many nice pockets and fast running water.
I started with dry flies and nailed a couple nice fish right off the bat. I fished downstream a little and nailed another beautiful Cutthroat of about 10 inches. As I waded downstream further, I was thinking while looking at my surroundings "this looks a lot like grizzly bear country". I stood in the middle of the stream looking for rising fish and just as I was ready to move down I heard something to my right. I looked over and slowly walking under some branches right towards me about 30 feet away was a light brown coated grizzly. My heart literally jumped into my throat and I immediately reached for my bear spray. I kicked a rock quickly to make my presence known and the bear sprinted faster than I could imagine back up into the woods. I was already basically running back to the car myself. I really did have some fear and that marked the end of my day of fishing. As I got back to the car I was still full of adrenaline, the most I've ever had in my life. The bear didn't seem to be too big but I'm glad I wasn't closer than I had been.
I wont be returning to Rattlesnake Creek any time soon. That I know for sure. Its been an exciting day to say the least! My first close encounter with a Grizzly wasn't too bad. It just scared the crap out of me. I'll never forget it. I'll be headed to northern Idaho for labor day weekend to visit my sister Kate. Will probably do some fishing with her boyfriend Tom on the Salmon River and look for other places to fish as well. Hopefully wont run into any killer animals.....like grizzly bears.