Storm on the water, a fishing story

When the storms come we scurry for refuge. Some choices of refuge are better than others. Reminds me of an evening on North Lake in the Sangre De Cristo mountains of Colorado. As I’ve shared before, I grew up in South West Kansas with Grand Parents and a Dad whose favorite hobby was trout fishing. This allowed me to spend an inordinate amount of time in the nearby mountains of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Much of this time was spent just west of the Spanish Peaks at Monument Lake and its neighbor North Lake. Twenty years ago, my father, son Matt and myself were enjoying a beautiful evening at the lake fly fishing. Being part of the water supply for Trinidad, Colorado these lakes allow artificial lures only. Many Midwesterners think fly fishing is like watching “A River Run’s Through It”, with artful casts over a river 100 feet wide. In reality, our river fishing was done on stream usually no more than 15 feet wide, and though we did use a fly rod, a rolling flip was about as fancy as it got. The lake rig was usually a clear water bobber that you filled up about 60% with water. Behind it you had about 6 feet of leader with either a dry or wet fly. You could cast this puppy about 100 yards and yes it caught a lot of fish.

That evening we had parked on the black top and walked about 40 yards down a steep embankment to the lake. We were doing quite well and several rainbow and a few kokanee salmon were on the stringer. On the lake shore we had a nice visit with a couple of elderly men fishing beside us. We compared flies, told each other a few stories (only mildly exaggerated) and wished each other luck. Focused on watching the bobber slowing making its way to shore I saw a splash out in the lake. Did you see that! Must have been a big one! Suddenly, there was another splash, and another. Intermittently the splashes seemed to start happening across the lake. Looking up I noticed clouds had rolled in as they did most every evening, sometimes bringing a quick shower. All of a sudden, it dawned on Dad what we were seeing. That’s hail, he shouted. And it’s big. Run for the truck! We made a mad dash up the hill and jumped in the pick up just as it really let loose with dime to quarter size hail bouncing off everything. 15 minutes later the sky cleared and it was over. As we sat there looking at the shiny white covering on the ground Dad said, “Did you see the two old men make it up”. In a little bit of a panic we jumped out of the truck ran to the edge of the road where we could see the lake below. There they were. Calmly casting their flies onto the lake.

After stumbling down the now very slick hill side we walked up to the two gentlemen. Friends, we didn’t see you make it back to your vehicle, surely you didn’t stand out here in that storm. Nope, when it started hailing we said to each other, “Dear God, we will never make it up the hill”. We turned around and saw that 36 inch culvert sticking out of the hill side. We ran over and stuck as much of us as we could into that pipe. My butt feels like it did about 70 years ago when my daddy gave me a whooping. But, other than that we’re alright. The other gentlemen said I wasn’t too concerned about my rear getting pelted but I was praying mighty hard. Dear Lord don’t let a bunch of rain water whoosh down this pipe and blow us into the lake!

Sometimes, even in the midst of a beautiful day, hail comes. Those who prepare for such times are ready to seek refuge. For the foolish likes of myself, I need to rely on something stronger than me. I never forget as David said, “My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge”. When the storm comes, if we remember to look towards God and have faith in him, he may just show us a culvert sticking out of the hill!

2 Comments on “Storm on the water, a fishing story

  1. Great story Bert, God always supplies a culvert in the storm if we are smart enough to use it when we see it.


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