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Fly Fishing In The Wilderness [Animal Attacks]

The probability of wild animal attacks on fly anglers is all too real. At the end of the day, you’re in their territory so no need to be surprised. So how do you stop them?

You probably have heard the recent news of the mountain lion attacking the jogger in California. An occurrence like this is all too common. In this particular attack though, the jogger was able to defend himself and kill the mountain lion with his hands.

As communities grow, we get closer to their natural habitat. When we look for fishing spots, we’ll be in their habitat, especially when you fly fish in BC, Alaska and other remote areas.

Well the reality is that depending on the situation an attack from a wild animal can’t be stopped.

However, there are many ways to prevent these attacks from even happening.

What Should You Do When You Spot A Wild Animal?

You’ve probably seen many videos on YouTube of fly anglers casting their lines 50 yards from Grizzly Bears. This is probably the dumbest thing you could possibly do.

In these events where you so wild animals like this, you should pack your gear and find a new spot. A fishing spot that doesn’t have any wild animal in sight.

It’s also wise to research areas that you’re unfamiliar with. Some areas have many sightings of certain animals that can be aggressive around humans.

Regardless of the size and type of fish you can catch there it’s best to avoid these areas.

What Type of Animals Can You Encounter?

There are a number of different wild animals that you can encounter that can be dangerous.

This has no particular order, but these are some of the animals you should avoid while fly fishing:

  1. Black Bear
  2. Grizzly Bear
  3. Mountain Lion (Cougar)
  4. Wolves
  5. Moose

Here’s some simple ways to avoid altercations with most of these animals:

  • Running can trigger their predatory instincts to attack
  • Do not approach
  • Keep furthering your distance from animals
  • Remain Calm
  • Do not turn your back on the animal
  • Avoid direct eye contact
  • Try to appear taller/bigger than you are
  • If near car, get in car or other form of shelter that can’t be penetrated

Animals tend to be more curious, even aggressive, when they are either hungry or they feel threatened. Animals also become way more aggressive when they see you as a threat towards their young.

However, despite how careful you are, attacks can’t be avoidable. In these cases you want a ‘weapon’ that will protect you.

It’s also really important to respect nature and not physically harm the animals as we’re the ones in their territory.

Here are some of the items you should have in your fly fishing trip.

Bear Spray versus Pepper Spray

If you reside in Canada then this is the product for you as Bear Spray is legal while pepper spray isn’t.

Diving deeper in this, you can carry the Bear Spray for your protection while you’re out in the wilderness fly fishing.

You can use the bear spray on bears but you can’t use it on other people.

The bear spray allows you to spray the ground that the bear will walk towards while you have to pepper spray it in the eyes at a much closer distance.

Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray With Belt Holster

Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray Repellent.

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Upside of the Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray

It’s small and lightweight that you can either have it on your fly fishing vest or your fly fishing backpack. If neither of these suit you it comes with it’s own belt holster.

  • Non-flammable
  • Exclusive HPLC Guarantee
  • Maximum Strength Sold in Canada
  • Approved by Health Canada
  • Safety Tie Attachment
  • ISD 9001:2008 Certification

Spray Range

  • 10.5 Meter Range (325 Gram Canister)
  • 9 Meter Range (225 Gram Canister)

Downside of the Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray

This product does have an expiry date. In all honesty, hopefully you never have a reason to use it.

The expiry date is stamped on the canister. In the case that it isn’t it will be at the bottom of the canister.

If for whatever reason you can’t find it, you could always test spray it and see how it works.

It’s not the capsaicin in the ingredients that expires, it’s that propellant that expires.

For most of these the Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray Bottle you will find a three year expiry date.

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent

Counter assault bear spray repellent.

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Spray Range

  • 3.6 – 9.7 meter range

This gives you more than enough space between you and any bear.

Upside of the Counter Assault Bear Deterrent

The Counter Assault Bear Deterrent gives you a total of 9.2 seconds of spray time. This is amplitude of time to deter most bears.

It comes with its own belt holster and doesn’t require a fly fishing vest or a backpack.

The shelf life on this bear spray deterrent is higher than most in the industry with a total of 4 years.

Tornado Spray – Bear Repellent

A package of Tornado Bear Repellent.

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Spray Range

  • 6 meter range

Upside of the Tornado Bear Spray – Bear Spray

The Tornado Bear Spray gives you a total of 9+ seconds of spray time. 9 seconds will give you and your party enough time spray any bear.

If you have the ‘Honey’ google chrome extension, you will also receive 8% discount on amazon checkout.

It’s one of the cheaper bear sprays in the market.

Downside of the Tornado Bear Spray

It doesn’t come with any holster so you will need a fishing vest or backpack.


There’s no doubt that the best thing to do is follow the above listed steps in order to avoid any sort of confrontation with any animals that could become aggressive towards you while you fly fish.

The Frontiersman Xtra Bear Spray, Counter Assault Bear Deterrent and the Tornado Bear Spray are 3 of the best bear sprays you can purchase for fly fishing in the wilderness.

Each of these three bear sprays come with their pros and cons. The three things you should concern yourself with are the spray range, spray duration and the cost.

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