Bears in beautiful fall colors

Oct 21, 2023

I recently embarked on a whirlwind 4-day journey to Vancouver Island, driven by a singular goal—to photograph coastal black bears in their element, engaging in the age-old ritual of salmon fishing.

My curiosity was piqued after seeing several captivating images of bears fishing in hidden creeks, surrounded by the most spectacular scenery. I felt compelled to go and explore, eager to witness these bears firsthand.

Accompanying me on this adventure was my good friend Dave Talling, a fellow enthusiast with an equal appetite for the wonders of nature. Together, we set out to uncover the secrets hidden within the island’s rugged landscapes.

Our first stop was a location with epic scenery, unlike any other place I have seen. However, our timing turned out to off, as we discovered we were several weeks late. The salmon run had finished and the bears had moved on. Despite this setback, the potential of this place left me awestruck and I look forward to returning next year with newfound information on the best time to visit.

Undeterred, we pressed on, and our next destination revealed itself as a hidden gem. Nestled within a tapestry of vibrant autumn hues, we stumbled upon a narrow creek framed by towering maple trees with their leaves shades of orange, yellow, and every color in between. The air was crisp, infused with the earthy aroma of the forest, and our anticipation for what lay ahead was high.

As we cautiously approached, I spotted a black bear at the edge of the creek. Within moments, it had caught a shiny pink salmon. The kaleidoscope of maple leaves overhead provided a surreal backdrop, elevating the scene to a visual symphony.

Over the next few days, we found more bears thriving in this environment. The vibrant fall colors painted the surroundings with hues of gold, crimson, and amber, creating a visual masterpiece that served as the backdrop to bears skillfully catching salmon in the serene shallows of meandering creeks.

Vancouver Island is an incredible place with so much beauty and wildlife still to be discovered. Until next year, when the journey resumes, and the story continues…