I have backpacked/camped in black bear country since I was a kid. I have respect for them and have had my share of encounters and felt confident that I could co-exist w/ them in the wilderness.
In 2007 I had a friend invite me to a 3 day fishing float on the NF Flathead. He had a friend w/ a cabin in Polebridge. The first morning I was there I could barely contain myself and got up before everyone else and went out to the river to get some fishing in before breakfast. When i came back, everyone asked where I had been. When I told them, the locals warned me about fishing alone and that a large grizzly had been seen in the area the day before.
Definitely a different bear environment than Colorado/California.
Never saw a bear the entire trip though...