Posted on November 22 2016
I STOOD IN THE NEAR DARK AT THE TOP OF THE TRAIL THAT LED DOWN a series of switchbacks to the river. A neighbor had told me that for several days there'd been grizzly tracks all down the trail. I thought that grizzlies probably liked these low light levels and could see well enough to take your face off with a swipe. I was certain that if I could pass this test I would catch at least one steelhead almost on arrival. That was strong incentive and a steelhead had a better chance of forcing my move than a channel cat, perch, or horned pout. I fingered the bear spray and thought the sliding cap was awkward considering the speed of a bear. A friend of mine was attacked by a grizzly while he carried a rifle. He shot from the hip as there wasn't enough time to raise the gun to his shoulder and dispatch the airborne carnivore.