In 1996 I had a lightning bolt hit the ground about 10 yards from where I was walking. I thought I took a direct hit because the noise was so violent and I felt a jolt in my left foot. But a witness said the bolt didn’t hit me and I believed him—hell, I was alive.
So, July and August and even some of September hold high potential for electrical storms and one of the easiest places to get hit is on the water, graphite fly rod in hand. Don’t think that lightning can’t reach out and get you. I think it’s potential is 20 miles. Not many of us get off the water when a storm is that far away. I didn’t last week when I fished with a couple buds during two different significant storms. But I got off soon enough, one time saying to a friend, just after I saw a bolt touch the ridge behind us, “I’m getting off here right now. I mean right now.” For the next hour we got doused with rain, freaked with lightning and thunder cracking overhead, and watched a nearby ridge starting to burn.
So, I guess what I’m getting at is this: don’t learn the hard way like I almost did. Give electrical storms a lot of respect and don’t feel like a sissy if your friends stay out on the water while you take refuge in the brush. A couple pics here from last week. Cool photo opps for sure, but equally dangerous storms.