A history of my favorite bears There’s Otis and Grazer (featured in our July/August issue) and a bear that guides used to call “Old Sow” until someone said that wasn’t very nice, and they changed it to Looper. At one point I thought a bear was named Starbucks, which I kind of liked, but evidently, I heard it wrong. His name was Scar Butt, which makes sense when you see him. There’s Crimp Ear and Broken Ear and Foster Mom. Also, Peanut, Lefty, Sister, Agro, Blondie, Holly, Backpack, and 747 (like the jumbo jet—you get the picture). And then there are ones I’ve named by watching them: Snorkel, Social Services, Yoga Bear. You might think I’m talking about characters in a Disney movie, but nope, these are monikers of Alaska’s bears—bestowed upon them by rangers, biologists, visitors, and guides over years and miles. It’s also possible that when bears traverse…

Katmai’s Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

STEPPING OUT OF THE BUSH PLANE INTO THE VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES, my shoes sink into the ash and pumice. A cold breeze carrying the vague smell of sulfur stings my face as I scan the valley for signs of life, finding none.

Actor Henry Winkler talks fly fishing

[by Jim Dobson]

AN ACCOMPLISHED SPORTSMAN WHO METICULOUSLY RECORDS THE MEASUREMENTS OF EVERY FISH HE HOOKS, actor Henry Winkler has learned that his seasonal fly fishing trips on American rivers, including in Alaska, are not just about catching trout.