Bear vs. Fisherman, (continued):
he fell backwards and got soaked. While this was certainly exciting, it was only the beginning of his fishing adventures at Yosemite.
The next day we decided to have drinks on the veranda of the Wawona Hotel (we were staying at the Redwoods) after a day of hiking around Wawona and Mariposa Grove. Very nice. At about 6:00pm we left the hotel to return to the cabin. We dropped Charlie off at the bridge over the South Fork of the Merced and went to the cabin to cook dinner. Charlie planned to walk back to the cabin after fishing a bit.
He fished down the river toward the Wawona campground. It was getting on toward twilight when he hooked a large trout. This fish fought valiantly and ended up swimming through the shallow water and beaching itself on the shore on the opposite side of the river from Charlie (the east shore). At that moment, a bear stood up in the willows next to the bank. The bear looked at the fish and proceeded to walk out of the willows and to bat the fish with its paws. It then took the fish in its mouth with the hook still in the fish and the line attached. Charlie was not in a mood to argue over the fish with the bear. He also didn't want to cut his nice fly line. He jerked the line and, miraculously, the hook came out. He then ran into the trees up slope from the river. Charlie, being a bit spooked, walked and ran through the forest paralleling the bank of the river for some distance, becoming a bit lost. After a time, he had the courage to go back toward the river so that he could follow it upstream to the bridge and on to the cabin. We found him walking in almost complete darkness about ½ mile from the cabin.
This will be an experience he will remember his entire life! We had a wonderful time in the park without the usual work demands.
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