If you’re going to lose a fish, this has to be the best way, right?
All the time we’re saying how majestic things in nature are, but truly bald eagles are one of the most epic animals on the planet.
With a wingspan up to 8 feet wide, weight of up to 12 pounds, and incredible eyesight, these raptors are able to spot out prey from thousands of feet in the air and swoop down with violence to pick a fish off the water’s surface, and even sometimes take a rabbit and fox for a ride.
When you’re fishing in eagle country, you’ve got to keep a keen eye out for these guys because, as this fisherman found out the hard way, they will steal your catch if the opportunity presents itself.
While fly fishing in Sitka, Alaska, an angler hooked up with what seemed like a decent sized trout, but while he was reeling it in, he noticed something sitting in the trees that was watching it all play out. Right on cue, a bald eagle that was perched in a nearby tree swooped down, grabbed the fish in its talons, and began flying downstream with the fish in tow.
There’s really not much you can do in that situation but sit back and watch and that’s exactly what this guy did. The fly did come loose from the fish’s mouth so he did get it back, but that fish was long gone.
So the next time you go fishing in the Last Frontier remember that bald eagles are more prevalent in Alaska than anywhere else in the world. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the state is home to an estimated 30,000 of the birds. While the bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782, the species has been a spiritual symbol for Alaska Natives for far longer than that.
Eagles are primarily fish eaters, and Alaska’s widespread waterways and world-class fisheries offer excellent habitat and provide abundant food sources for the birds, which is why the state is home to such robust eagle populations.
All in all, I think you take that moment. How many times do you get to see a bald eagle in action that close up? While of course you want to land the trout, I think you can chalk it up as a donation to a good cause.