Gone Fishing


A mother brown bear carries her prize, a salmon, toward a meal with her cub in Alaska’s Admiralty Island National Monument. And yes, the cub sees me!


The days are growing shorter, the nights just a little bit chillier, and it won’t be long before winter comes. Winter means hibernation, and Momma Bear needs to forage with abandon. She, and her young, need to eat as much as possible to endure the coming fast. Luckily, the salmon are running this time of year, and the streams have plenty of opportunities. Momma Bear has gone fishing!

The brown bears of Alaska’s Admiralty Island National Monument have their choice of streams for fishing. Not only does the island feature a dense population of bears, but it also has numerous creeks and rivers, all of which are salmon runs.

During the fall, it is almost impossible to walk through or across these without salmon bumping into you. The bears know this, too, and fishing is easy this time of year.

Momma Bear is excellent at fishing. Her young wait for her patiently at the side of the stream as she wades in. She waits for a moment for the salmon to settle down, then quick as can be she grabs one.

Sometimes, Momma and her cub feast by the side of the stream, but sometimes, she carries her prize away to enjoy at a more leisurely pace. Either way, Momma Bear has gone fishing!

This photograph represents an achievement for me, as well. I encountered these bears on a small stream of the island while in the wilderness. There were no guides, no trails, no roads, no anything here. I sailed to the island, and once I landed, it was up to me to find the bears.

Once I located a few fishing spots, I staked them out and waited hours for the right opportunity to come along. Gone Fishing is that result.

More from Alaska

Eagle Post and Whale’s Morning are both from Alaska, too!

Additional information


Matted Photograph, Finished Aluminum


12×18, 20×30, 8×10