HATCH: Because manatee

Hatch: Written by Chris Hunt, March 21, 2018.

As backcountry anglers, we stumble upon some pretty impressive wild creatures while we fish. For me, seeing bears in the Alaskan rainforest, gators in the swamp or sharks while wading the flats is almost as much fun as actually fishing.

But it can be a bit unnerving, particularly when you’re not expecting the encounter. Thankfully, I’ve never had to use the can of bear spray that I generally keep tucked into my wading belt when I’m wandering the northern Rockies or other fishy locales where members of the Ursus genus tend to show up on occasion. But I have had my heart leap into my throat a few times thanks to encounters that neither I nor the bear were expecting—these are the most dangerous encounters, of course.

Gators are definitely best observed from the boat, as are crocs in more tropical climes. But, on a recent flats trip to far southern Mexico, I unknowing shared a coral head with a croc big enough to ruin my day—my fishing buddy, wading behind me, showed me a photo of the five-foot reptile hiding in the coral that, moments before, served as my casting platform.

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