Funny how sometimes things just fall into place. Yesterday the young lady shown below with her first trout had asked me if I ever saw wildlife in my travels, specifically bears. I said, yes a couple times, but usually it is just a brief glance as they go diving into the bushes to get away from you. Well, after today I have a different answer. Yes, I have seen a bear up close and personal! I was with a couple clients today fishing the area around Lincoln, NH. We were going to have lunch near Canon Mt. and then head down to fish the Newfound River after not finding any fish on the Pemigewasset River. As we drove through the parking lot of the Canon Mt. tramway station, I was looking up at the ski slopes to see if there were any bears grazing. In the morning and evening you can usually see them grazing the sweet new grass high above you. I didn't see any bears on the slopes, but as we approached the lunch spot I had selected I saw a bear grazing on grass and flowers. This was a full-grown bear probably 3+ feet at the shoulder. We looked at it from about 30 or 40 feet away and it just kept munching on the grass, totally ignoring us. We drove up the road a few hundred feet near the Echo Lake boat launch area, parked and ate lunch. As we were eating, one of the guys exclaimed, holy cow, look at that! The bear must have smelled our lunch and was heading towards us, but suddenly it stopped, having recognized the sight, sound or smell of humans and took off into the woods. Luckily there were no cubs in sight - just a curious hungry bruin.
We finished our lunch and proceeded to the Newfound River where we found plenty of willing fish. . . but no bears!