The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Outdoors

June 23, 2012

Mother Nature had own plans for Father’s Day fishing trip

— It was Father’s Day last Sunday, a day that by definition is a guilt-free pass for dads to do whatever they wish.

So I called a buddy, also a dad. “Let’s go fishing.”

A hour later, pausing as we pulled out of the driveway, boat-in-tow, I glanced past my fishing partner out to the western sky where a gray bank of clouds seemed to be building.

“Suppose we should grab some rain gear?” I wondered and immediately answered my own question. “Naw, the weather guy on the news last night said today was supposed to be the best day of the weekend. Let’s go catch some.”

On the lake, it didn’t take long to find some active fish. But a few minutes later, a low rumble far to the west commanded our attention.

Beyond the trees along the shore, ominously dark clouds were gathering.

Minutes later, there came another low rumble, then another. But no flickering flash of electricity.

But it seemed closer, a lot closer.

As the first rain drops began to pepper us, we already were on our way to the landing.

More thunder rumbled and big rain drops fell as we hurriedly tied the boat to a dock and headed to the lakeside restaurant where we decided to ride out the storm.

But the storm turned out to be more show than go and a half-hour later and after just a few sprinkles, we walked out to survey the sky.

Things looked promising with slivers of blue peeking through benign-looking clouds in the western sky. A quick call to my wife to check the radar confirmed it. “Just a few small green areas ... not much so go for it,” she said.

We shoved off and a few minutes later, we once again were intent on boating some of the nice crappies that banged our jigs with uncharacteristic gusto.

With our attention on the good fishing, we failed to notice the the gathering clouds until an ominous rumble rolled through the clouds directly overhead.

A little rain wasn’t going to melt us.

But standing in an aluminum boat, out on the water, waving fishing rods over our heads — a bolt of lightning just might. We reluctantly decided that the prudent thing to do would be to head in.

By the time we were halfway back to the landing, the rain was coming down hard, stinging our faces as the boat skipped across the water.

But the time we reached the landing, the rain once again had ceased.

Now soaked and a bit chilled, we still weren’t quite ready to give up.

“Let’s wait a while before loading the boat,” I suggested. Beyond the storm clouds and to the west, it looked to be growing lighter. We might still salvage the day.

But my wife’s weather prognostication was about as accurate as that of the professional weather pundits.

As we were standing there contemplating our next move, a bolt of lightening flickered above us, followed instantly by the crack of thunder, a strong hint that we’d best throw in the towel.

As I backed the trailer down the ramp, the southerly wind suddenly freshened and changed to the north, a chilly blast that in seconds was carrying horizontal sheets of rain.

Scrambling in the downpour, we winched the boat back onto the trailer and strapped it down.

Thoroughly drenched, we secured items, tucked things away, before scrambling into the cab of the truck and heading back to town as heavy rain drummed off the roof.

So much for a Father’s Day forecast of nice weather and a day of guilt-free fishing.

A guilt-free afternoon nap would have to do.

John Cross is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at 344-6376 or by e-mail at jcross@mankatofreepress.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Outdoors
  • mfp sports-jc outdoor column-7-27 Singing the praises of the prairie When pioneers first traveled through Minnesota, they marveled at the seemingly endless, inland sea of tall grass prairie that greeted them.It is estimated more than 18 million acres of grasslands stretched from the southeast to the northwest corners

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp sports jcross outdoor column 7-20 Chasing walleyes in South Dakota nice We slowed to a crawl the other day on the dusty Day County township road in northeast South Dakota, a courtesy to the farmer who was baling ditch hay south of Webster.Otherwise, we would have enveloped him as he drove his open tractor in the choking

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing report Outlook on area lakes

    July 6, 2014

  • Cross column: No wake, no fish ... no problems on the water Patience is always a virtue when fishing.

    July 6, 2014

  • Know Your Lakes: Series maps

    Missed out on the weekly lake preview Wednesday's in the print edition? That's ok, we have you covered here. View the series thus far and download a printable PDF.

    May 24, 2011

  • Cross column: Where does the buck stop in your home?

    Displaying your trophy catch can be debatable

    June 29, 2014

  • Storms came at horrible time for pheasants For pheasants and pheasant hunters, there were no silver linings to be found in the storm clouds that inundated the countryside with heavy rains this week.A foot of rain falling in just a week is never good, but for pheasants, it came at precisely th

    June 22, 2014

  • Early morning is beautifully lonely Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he extolled the benefits of "early to bed, early to rise." While I can't vouch for its effect on health, wealth or wisdom, rolling out of the sack certainly seems to pay dividends for outdoor activities. The

    June 15, 2014

  • mfp sports cross column 6-1 Cross: Take a kid fishing, no license needed A few years ago, while cruising with a co-worker through an area community on a steamy summer day, we passed a vacant lot. There, oblivious to the heat and humidity, a group of kids were playing a game of pick-up baseball, racing down well-worn paths

    June 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cross: Once upon a time, when fishing was simple... Once upon a time, fishing was a pretty simple affair. A rod-and-reel, some bait and tackle, perhaps a rowboat if you were lucky, and you were in business. While the basic premise of angling -- to catch fish -- remains, it sure seems to have grown mor

    May 25, 2014