I post this here as we are headed for AK flyfishing....with that said, Mods feel free to move this thread if it should belong somewhere else.....
We are planning to fish the Russian with a fly up and a 4 day walk out. that said, alot of what I have read is, it is not if we run into bears, it is when, while fly fishing this area.
My question is should we carry protection and should that protection be spray or a side arm or neither? Transportation from the lower 48 to AK is not a concern as is carry laws, 3 out of 8 of the group are LEO's, and the rest of us have CCW's. We have the 3 pistol grip 12 Ga, and 3 SW 500's. This is not a thread about what is effective but more to the point of "do we actually need the firearms?" I have spoke to a couple of people on this board to this exact point and have received a couple of different responses.
Honestly, carring a firearm is a hassle in my book. Either slung on the shoulder while trying to cast or a 500 in the holster at the ready is a pain. Do we really need that as part of our gear? I understand that their will be encouters but being bear smart, is that enough?
Now, just for grins, 3 out of the group have fished this trip in prior years. We have 5 that have never been to AK, and I am one of them. The last thing that I want to see happen is a false charge where someone takes a bear out of fear and the repercussions that go along with it. But we still want to be safe. Where is the line in the sand while flyfshing this river system? I would think that pepper spray would be a bit less harmful but is that just seasoning or is that actually effective and at the cost of pepper spary, is it needed?