This is an unusual situation where bears are accustomed to people observing them fish. There is also a knowledgable ranger present. It's more of a controlled situation than if you were to happen across a bear somewhere else. That would be a completely different situation and you normally shouldn't get this close to them. Bears are wild animals and unpredictable. Bears have killed people!
Also, use a tele-photo (300mm at least) lens when photographing any animal so that you don't disturb them.
If you are going to be in bear country anywhere: Alaska, Canada, Yellowstone, Montana, etc. you really must know what to do in a bear encounter. The following link will take you to some very good information about hiking in bear country and also some exceptional photos of grizzly bears, including some from bears fishing from waterfalls in Katmai, Alaska. The page that you will first be linked to describes a recent mauling in Glacier National Park in Montana where a hiker was killed and eaten. This is a rare occurence but definately something you want to keep in mind. Bears are no joke. If you will be in bear country, I recommend you read the story and click through all the links thoroughly. Inform yourself as much as possible for your own safety. Check out http://www.gorp.com/gorp/publishers/falcon/grizzly.htm Pic is of a grizzly.
Tullos, who was in Hyder for the summer to work at a restaurant, had apparently gone to the secluded area of the campground to sleep, Larkin said.
After his body was found Saturday, workers at a nearby sawmill spotted the bear at the dump. Knowing he was suspected in the mauling, the workers shot the animal, Larkin said.
In addition to tissue from the victim, Larkin said the bear's stomach also contained grass and berries, indicating the animal wasn't completely a 'garbage bear' accustomed to the easy pickings in human trash.
Predatory bear attacks are very rare because bears perceive humans as a threat rather than prey, said Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for the state wildlife division.
'Bears typically do not attack someone as dinner,' Bartley said. 'There's generally about half a dozen cases a year where someone is injured by a bear. About four of those six cases tend to be hunters.'
The following article is about a grizzly mauling that occured in Hyder in July of 2000.
The body of George Tullos, 41, of Ketchikan, was found Saturday at the Run Amuck campground near Hyder, a small community on the Canadian border about 75 miles northeast of Ketchikan. The attack apparently happened sometime late Friday.
'The bear attacked him,' state trooper Sgt. Steve Garrett said Monday. 'It was not a matter of slapping him around. The bear ate on him.'
After the bear was shot and killed, biologists found the victim's flesh in its stomach, said Bruce Dinneford, regional management coordinator for the state Division of Wildlife Conservation.
The U.S. Forest Service maintains a bear-viewing site near Hyder, but the campground is more than three miles away from the tourist attraction, said Paul Larkin, who operates the viewing area and also serves as the community's administrator.
The 300-pound male bear showed up about 10 days ago and quickly became a problem for a town of 140 accustomed to bears rummaging through garbage and scrounging for food, Larkin said.
Larkin said the bear ate garbage at the dump near the campground and sometimes scared locals as they disposed of their trash. The night before the attack, it drove a group of campers away from their gear and pawed through their supplies.
'This was a bear who was an opportunist, taking advantage of what he could find,' Larkin said. 'We don't see many bears like this, thank goodness.'
The night before the attack, Larkin and others tried to trap the bear so it could be moved out of town, but were thwarted by a faulty trigger mechanism in the trap.