I knew that the weather forecast for Sunday included a chance of showers and thunderstorms, but it was a cool, cloudy day, and it didn't really seem like the type of day where there would be storms.
So I set out to do a little fishing, got on the Mettawee River at the Vermont-New York State line and headed upstream. The trout were fairly cooperative, with a couple of nice hits and a small rainbow and brown trout to the net for the first hour.
I was setting up to fish a nice spot when I heard a loud rumble. I looked up and saw there were black clouds to the east. A louder rumble followed. The clouds were moving fast to the southeast. I checked my phone, and there had been a weather alert that I hadn't heard. Radar showed several lightning strikes just three or so miles away.
I was almost a mile from my car, in no-man's land. I had just struggled across a swift section of river to get to a good position to work a nice run in the river, but time was now of the essence. If you can hear thunder you are within range of a lightning strike.
I waded across a pool that I shouldn't have, up to my chest, to cross to get to a field to hustle to my car. I must have made quite a site running with chest waders and a heavy vest of gear. More thunder rumbled.
My car was now in sight, and the black clouds seemed to be going more south than east. Another fisherman was arriving and gearing up to head out. We exchanged pleasantries, and I pointed to the black clouds to say I was heading north to try and avoid the storm. He didn't seem fazed. Have at it, buddy.
(Unfortunately, my drive to Poultney found another storm there, and when I got up to Fair Haven to try and fish the Castleton River, it poured there too.)
I was disappointed in myself that I had been so oblivious to the thunderstorm that rolled in. One of the worst places to be during a storm is on or near water with a bunch of metal gear. It was a mistake that could have been very bad.
It's the time of year that we have to be aware of the possibility of storms, though.
Keep an eye on the radar, and subscribe to phone apps that give alerts when bad weather is approaching. If caught in a storm, get low, get out of the water and avoid metal. If you are on a boat, get low, don a life jacket, divest yourself of metal such as jewelry and fishing equipment and hope for the best.
-- Don Lehman