fly-out fishing
Big brown Bear - Big River Lakes Alaska - Talon Air Service

 bear viewing
Brown Bear Cubs - Big River Lakes Alaska - Rust's Flying Service

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Bear and wild life viewing in Alaska is a favorite past time for both residents and tourists. Flyout bear viewing is the best way to guarantee some fantastic photos and a unique look at bears in their natural surroundings.

Brooks Camp, between Naknek Lake and Brooks Lake, is probably the most famous bear viewing area in the world. The Brooks River flows from Brooks Lake into Naknek Lake and attracts a seasonal horde of sockeye salmon returning to their spawning areas in Brooks Lake. This provides a seasonal feast for the local brown bear population.

The bears return year after year to patiently catch the salmon swimming upstream. Each bear has its own fishing technique and its status on the bear pecking order pretty much determines where it can fish. The prime spots are at the top of Brooks Falls which spans the width of the River and averages about five feet high. Some of the older bears just stand at the top of the falls and wait for a salmon to jump up the falls close enough to snag with their mouths. There are many bear viewing areas in Alaska. Flying is required to reach most of the best ones.

Musk ox are herd animals found in the northern areas of Alaska and are easily seen from the air because they inhabit the open un-forested tundra-covered areas of the far north. However viewing them from the ground is a hit- and-miss proposition because they roam and their locations are not easily predictable unless you're a research biologist who tracks radio collared musk ox from an airplane. Polar bears are less elusive and can often be seen from the ground in various northslope villages and in villages along the northern coast of the Bering Sea.

Dall sheep, mountain goats, moose and caribou can usually all be easily found and seen from the air. Wolves and coyotes are elusive, and not easily found or seen from either the air or the ground by the average person. Wolverines are even more secretive, wary and evasive. Caribou are often found in huge herds, and moose, although solitary, can be found in reasonable numbers in areas that provide abundant food for them.

Wildlife viewing in Alaska is a rewarding and enjoyable activity. Wildlife and bear viewing from the air often results in seeing several species in one short flight. Flyout bear viewing to remote locations is almost always a sure thing and some operators guarantee that you will see bears at the remote wilderness areas they fly to.