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The angling doldrums of August

Notes from the North Woods

— Mirror Lake, Lake Placid and Lake Colby are again featuring the lake lanterns of August, with anglers still-fishing for browns and rainbow trout during the late evening hours. I’ve also received reports that Lake Colby has been giving up some decent browns during the late afternoon and early evening hours. There have been a few flyrodders that are stubborn enough to fight off the ravenous smallmouth bass in order to find the trout.

Where there’s thunder, lightning’s not far behind

The recent spell of foul weather has increased the danger of lightning strikes which kill more people annually than hurricanes and tornadoes combined.

Thunderstorms produce lightning in varying degrees. Sometimes there's just an odd flash or two evident, while at other times, storms can produce lightning nearly continuously, with lots of flashes to the ground.

It's the flashes from the cloud to the ground (CG flashes, for short) that create problems. Typically only a small percentage of the total flashes produced by a thunderstorm are visible, since most lightning stays within the clouds. However, it only takes one CG flash to get you!

The human body is essentially a bag of salty water, and it conducts electricity much better than air. As a result, lightning will often try to travel through a person to reach the ground. Any thunderstorm, despite size, should be a matter of concern for campers, hikers, paddlers, anglers and other outdoor travelers. Travelers should be aware of what to do if the situation becomes hazardous.

On average, there are nearly 100 people fatally stuck by lightning annually in the United States. But it doesn’t always kill you to create major problems in your life. Hundreds of people are affected by lightning in the U.S. every year, short of being killed. Such strikes can adversely affect a person’s central nervous system for the remainder of their life.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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