Monday, September 22, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;71.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-09-22 12:13:18
Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mother Nature’s wrath holds a silver lining for anglers

Gordon Lewis/Outdoor Notebook

Sitting at the edge of Mother Nature’s fury the past few weeks, I watched in awe the spectacular power of the lightning, thunder and heavy rain as it cascaded, waterfall style, from the evening sky.

At times such as these, even the stoutest of shelters shivers at the onslaught of the forces we seldom see, but know they exist, just beyond the next cloud or weather system. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Sitting at the edge of Mother Nature’s fury the past few weeks, I watched in awe the spectacular power of the lightning, thunder and heavy rain as it cascaded, waterfall style, from the evening sky.

At times such as these, even the stoutest of shelters shivers at the onslaught of the forces we seldom see, but know they exist, just beyond the next cloud or weather system.

Of course, it goes without saying that anyone participating in outdoor activities during these intense demonstrations of unleashed electrical power should seek the best available shelter to sit and wait out the storm’s interlude. This is especially true of anglers out on, or next to, bodies of water while holding that most exquisite lightning rod disguised innocently as a fishing rod.

Extended in an anglers hand and held properly extended above one’s head this is an invitation almost too good for nature to pass by as it dispenses unbridled electrical energy of incredible capacity.

One of the best places to sit and admire the temper tantrum of a mid-summer thunderstorm is in an automobile, or a truck with rubber tires to act as insulators if, by some remote chance, the vehicle is hit by lightning.

I have always had a soft spot in my angling soul for small ponds, with Lily pads scattered over the surface like freckles on the face of a youthful fisherman. Hidden beneath these white-water lilies; living and swimming in mysterious concealment is the stuff that comprises angling dreams in the wee sleepless hours of the morning.

Now don’t get me wrong – a ripping surf with a long rod and an oversized reel can get a vote from me any time. Sunset under an old bridge abutment along US 1 in the Keys, watching for a Tarpon to chase a live mullet baited to my hook and line can set my pulse quivering and my hands to shaking. But to back up a second; that quiet mill pond, that out of the way cove down a little-used dirt road, is where my heart found my first angling love.

Anyone who has sought out the big game on big waters knows that there is little to compare in terms of sheer challenge and supreme effort to this side of fishing. But to escape from the daily strife and pressures of life then small ponds were invented to soothe the soul and calm the quaking nerves.

So it came to be that I found myself recently standing in a small clearing on the cutaway bank of a small, lily covered piece of an old abandoned mill pond somewhere east of where I am now and not too far from where you might be reading this column. In tribute to my timely arrival at the pond the local welcoming committee of vampires (thinly disguised as thirsty mosquitoes) turned out in uncountable numbers to say hello.

The feeling of making acquaintance was not mutually welcome so I lathered up in anti-bite and set about my reason for being there. Looking upward at the dimming sky I voiced a thank you to the flying dragon squadron as they flew about picking off the mini-vampires hovering over my head.

I was glad for the cease-fire between nature’s dynamics and the friendly forces of a peaceful evening. I stood and watched the horizon meld the various shades of orange, pink, purple and red into a memorable sunset.

Overhead, a pair of male mallards silently slipped on set wings into the far side of the pond and proceeded to quietly quack as they paddled into the reedy shoreline and disappeared for the night.

Once again, back to my purpose for being here in the midst of serenity and natural existence, and that was to catch a fish. A bass would be nice, a chunky largemouth of proper size and weight, maybe a toothy pickerel with some length to his elongated torso, or even a large, slab-sided bluegill that would fight like an adversary twice its size and weight.

In the mood I was in, anything that would smash my offering and give me a fair and enthusiastic tussle on my line would fill the bill for this night.

Alas, the God of Angling was not to smile beneficently on this fisherman that evening and after donating a pint of blood to the local vampires.

(I wonder if the little critters even notice the drop in their blood pressure when they fill up on my life’s juices?)

I packed it all away for another night and drove away, pondering potential success on my next adventure with rod and reel.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there. I’ll be the one looking at the sunset and admiring the work dragon flies do to the local vampires.

Gordon Lewis writes the Outdoor Notebook column
for the Sunday Telegraph. He can be reached at
moonglowfarm@gmail.com.