Not far from where that stream photo was taken, the skies quickly turned dark. Very dark. Thunder rumbled and began to get much closer. Although I was only about half a mile from the car, I chose to fish on. Then all hell broke loose. The rains came, and came down hard. Thunder was so loud it was deafening. I could catch the glimpse of a flash and almost instantaneously heard a clap of thunder. I took "shelter" under a rock overhang (in timber rattler country), then came the moment I'll never forget. The instant before I saw the flash and my ears were rung by the clap, I heard a distinct buzz noise. I have no idea exactly where the bolt hit, but I knew it was close. Very close. Way too close. I decided right then that I was getting back to my car, and I hoofed it out as fast as I could. Shaken up, I rode out the remainder of the storm in my car. Just as quickly as it hit, it was over and gone. I learned a healthy respect for lightning that day.
Flash forward to this past Saturday. I had planned to paddle board for carp again with all other options flooded and muddy. The weather report said strong storms were possible by 11AM, but I figured I would be done by then, anyway. It was an interesting start to the morning, picking up a solid channel cat as a surprise by-catch.
I had been on the water about an hour when I started hearing rumbles in the distance. Quickly I could see a storm moving in, but it was barely 8:30AM. As it got closer, I decided the best bet was to head for shore. I remembered that day in WV. About the time I was dragging the board to my car, the skies opened up and I was getting drenched. I got loaded up as fast as possible, then checked the radar from the dry comfort of my Jeep.
As I sat there, drying off with a towel, lightning was crashing down hard close by. Rain was pouring. The wind was howling. I was very glad to be in the safety of my car instead of the exposed lake flat where I had been fishing. I'll fish through rain, and do it often. After all, the fish aren't afraid to get wet. But I do not ever mess with the zap-zap. Not after that close call in the mountains. Lesson learned, I drove home through the monsoon to dry off and tie a few flies.