Wolves on the Westside

Yesterday, I went fly fishing on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River with my family. This is a beautiful river about 40 minutes east of Seattle that presents fly anglers the opportunity to catch wild coastal cutthroat trout on dry flies. I was up river about 300 yards from where my family was hanging out playing on the shore of the river. I was working my way back downstream when my wife started yelling and making gestures that there was an animal off in the bushes. I was thinking it was a black bear but when I got within hearing range she says “it was a really big grey dog with a thick coat and very bushy tail”. By her account ( I never saw it), the animal was on the edge of the high water mark about 50 yards away, between her and the road. When she spotted the animal it was moving at a fast pace up river, she called the kids in behind her and it stopped to look at them for a few seconds, and then continued up river through the washout. The animal never threatened her or the kids. My pistol was sitting on a towel about 5 feet away from her but she was so freaked I bet if it had threatened her she would have probably thrown rocks and forgotten about the gun.

She has seen plenty of coyotes from as close as ten yards and she is convinced this was not a coyote. Later that night she looked at a lot of the WDFW wolf game camera images and she is convinced it was a wolf.

As a crow flies the western edge of the Teanaway Wolf pack is no more than 50 miles from where we were fishing and with the Taylor Bridge Wildfire pushing a lot of animals around I wonder if there are wolves pushing west. We know it’s only a matter of time before they make it over the Cascades to find the deer and elk populations (hello North Bend) to their liking but I always guessed it would be another year before we heard anecdotal reports and 2 years before the WDFW would acknowledge a western wolf presence. After yesterday I am pretty sure they are already here. I’m going to call the WDFW tomorrow to talk to them about it.

So what do you think?