Many years ago, on a week-long Boy Scout canoe trip on Lake Shasta, five or six of us traipsed off into the Northern California woods to go find dinner. We found a perfect cove for smallmouth and spread ourselves along the shore to wet a line. Earlier in the day, while paddling to our next campsite, the ranger boat came along side and warned of a bear in the area and to keep an eye out, tie up the food, etc. Nothing to get excited about but something to be aware of. Throughout the day the younger Scouts would rustle in the brush above our fishing spot and jump out at us with a "RAWR", in a vain attempt to scare us. They eventually lost intrest and went back to camp to get ready for dinner. Dan Berryman, a fellow scout, decided at this time to hike around the far side of the cove to see if the fishing was better there. He landed a bass or two and decided to stay, but none of us followed him. After a bit, the rustling started up again and we prepared ourselves to mock another kid coming out of the bushes. Instead, a bear came ambling down the hill making a beeline for Berryman. We were stunned, speechless! Finally, we came to and started shouting and throwing rocks to spook off the bear who was taking his time, sniffing the air, and steadily coming down the hill toward Dan. We thought it was curtains for poor Danny. He turned around to see what the shouting was about, saw the bear, turned back around and froze. Froze as still as a statue with a face as pale as marble which we could see 40 yards away. The only evidence of life was the tip of his rod, still held up about 70 degrees, quivering like he was trying to shake off a bee. This bear, all the while being pelted with rocks and insults, came down to arms reach of Berryman, sniffed him, swallowed his jar of Pautzske's salmon eggs, picked up his stringer and walked back into the woods.
Somewhere, on the shores of that lake, there is a log of driftwood with one side pinched up by the butt of a lucky, lucky kid.