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Your Storm of the century


Bobby Bass

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As I sit here at the keyboard watching 40mph winds snap small branches of the Maple outside my Den window I thought of Question for you. What has been the worst weather you have been outside working/fishing/hunting? For me I had the misfortune of being stuck at work for 3 days during the Oct snow storm where we got the 37" I was essential personal at a local college and had to work 16 on and 8 off for three days and 90% of the time I was outside. Fell thru river ice once at -20 mile from my truck, had no choice but to start a fire and strip, glad I was young..So what's your story? blush.gif

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About 6-8 years ago now I was out prefishing on Fox lake down in southern MN. It was clear skies, just a great day in general. We ducked back into this discharge area in search of crappies (multi species) and didn't notice the storm coming behind the tree line. As soon as we realized it was coming we slowly, but hastly, worked the 1 ft depths to get back on the main lake (our camper was about 3 miles down on the other end).

There is was, a tornado coming right for us!! shocked.gif I hit the gas and didn't look back. We proceeded to chase 6-8' rollers all the way down the lake at full speed. The wind was literally picking up water and throwing it in our faces. We made the dock and fortunately the tornado was gone, but tht straight line winds were still going what felt like 100 MPH?? We finally couldn't hold the boat and lost it to the rocky shoreline - bear in mind these 6-8' waves were crashing into our legs as we stood on the dock. I dove in and eventually got her back to the dock and tied (about 20-30 minutes total time). Then we ran for cover.

Not 2 minutes later the storm was gone and the sun was shining. confused.gif Time to go back out of course!!

That was the worst, but I've been in a few NASTY storms on LOW, Mille Lacs, as well as Tonka. Sometimes I'm a little too die hard I think...Nah! grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I was out Pheasant hunting this morning in this stuff. It actualy wasn't too bad in my Roryn Wear Silent Fleece (uninsulated), Goretex like waterproof/wind resistant parka, ball cap with a fleece cap over it, waterproof pheasant pants, and muckboots.

Before you call me crazy, I had to test the Roryn wear and muckboots out in these conditions. I was out for 2 1/2 hours and felt fine until I headed into the wind over open ground. Even then the only part that was cold was my face. I got a bit of a headache form the cold wind.

The Roryn Wear performed outstanding. Very lightweight and the silent fleece I believe kept me nice and toasty.

The muckboots were very comfortable. I knew they would be as they are my hunting boot, fall and spring boot of choice. I've had them for a year and a half now anf they perform like new. They are also VERY comfortable. Your wives would even like them. Yeah, they are that comfortable.

I was tired of having two pairs of lace up, expensive waterproof boots for warmer weather and for colder weather just to hunt or do my fall/spring fishing. The muckboots handle it all. I can't recommend these enough. Get yourself a pair and if you don't like them they will take them back. However, they will likely have to pry them out of your hands to get them back. They are that good!!!

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Tioga North Dakota - 1956. My older brother and I walked 2 miles to a one room school house in a blinding snow storm with temps at minus 12. The winds were very strong.

Our father was away at work and our baby brother was sick so mom took him in to see the doctor.

Since we were to get our pictures taken that day my brother and I decided we'd better get to school. We bundled up and headed out. By cutting through a grassy area and a small wood lot we saved a little time.

When we go to the school our eye lids were frozen shut. We also learned that school had been cancelled that day, no wonder mom told us to stay home. Hey, nobody said we were smart.

Thank the Lord the teacher lived in a small apartment attached to the school house and wsa home. She let us into the school and lit a fire in the wood stove. We dried out and warmed up and then headed back home. We chuckled all the way thinking mom wouldn't know what we had done.

Again shows how smart we were. She pulls into the driveway about 5 minutes after we got back home. She could still see the faint outline of our tracks coming back from the field. No longer could we tell her it was too cold to shovel or play outside. We were busted.

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A few years ago now the governor closed all the schools in the state due to frigid temps. At the time i was in the middle of a 4 day stay up in the NW Angle LOTW fishing with Dave Colson and RC Carlson out of their shacks.

Our shacks were just south of Garden Island, which was about a 15 mile run from Youngs Bay resort. When we left in the AM the actual temp was -44F. The winds were whipping from the W/NW and were picking up the loose snow on the ice and making it a whiteout for about 15-20' up. You could see the blue sky thru the snow if you looked up. When Dave came back to check on us around 10 he told us that the wind chill on the ice was -104F, and that we needed to regularily check to make sure the propane heater line didnt freeze, and to hightail it to another nearby shack if it did. Despite the cold, the father in law and I did really well that day on saug's/eye's and jumbo perch.

If ever there was a day when the saying "it'll freeze before it hits the ground" was true, that was it grin.gif

Also went thru the megastorm here in duluth, and have been thru some similar storms when i lived in Hurley, including one 4 day stretch that dumped 47" of snow.

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The same Weekend of the Blowdown in the BWCA my family and I were making a trip from Brainerd to Cook, MN. We drove thru the middle of that storm. We drove thru the heart of MN, and come upon Cotton MN and HWY 53. We pulled over multiple times in what is probably the strongest storm we had ever been in. We made it to Cook, and drove to our Cabin and on the gravel road there was a stretch of 1/4 of a mile with multiple large trees down. There was a dozen cars halted to a stop due to the trees being down and all us young bucks wink.gif dragged the trees off the road so we could continue on our way. It got even more interesting when an ambulance pulled behind us trying to make it to a call of a elderly woman injured. (Our grandma was alone at our cabin and thankfully not hurt. )We arrived to the cabin only to have my 16 foot pride and joy mirrocraft about 1/2 full of water still tied on to the dock. If she wouldn't have been tied up she would of sunk to the bottom blush.gif

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Would have to be the Halloween blizzard of '91. The ice storm glazed everything over with an inch or more of ice and we got 25" of snow on top of it. Power was off for 3 days and low temps were around zero. Stayed lukewarm by heating the house with the gas stove. Melted snow for the livestock that had to be fed twice a day. What normally took an hour suddenly took double that. Had a little 9 volt transistor radio that we listened to, read books and played cards. The thing that kept us sane however was our 3 month old Sheltie puppy that would play like a wind up toy then suddenly fall asleep when she got tired. In an hour or so she'd wake up and do it all over again. We were lucky as there were other places not far away that had no power for nearly two weeks. Worst thunderstorm was May 19th 1996 when over 100 mph straightline winds took out over a dozen large trees, smashed windows out of the house and blew our 4 year old barn onto the road and over a half mile swath across the fields. Fortunately, only 2 lambs died out of over 100 animals in the barn at the time. Neighbors were absolutely wonderful, helping us pick up and haul the animals to spare barns and buildings they let us use until we could rebuild. I still tear up a little every time I think about it. Ice fishing on Mille Lacs in the late 70's was probably the coldest fishing I ever did. -40 overnight and we couldn't get the one guy's truck started. Pulled it back to shore and the oil in the differential was so thick it wouldn't turn. Coldest hunt had to be any of a number of goose hunts in ND where it was raining, hovering around freezing and we'd get soaking wet. Then it would cool off and snow. The sauna on the old Finnish farmstead where I lived near Armourdale Dam was never more inviting.

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July 4th 1999 BWCA

Canoed a 1/2 mile to the fishing spot, picked up our rods to bait em up, the rod tips sounded like a hornets nest. At the same time we heard some rumbling in the distance, "Let's get the heck outta here!".

The other canoe had just arrived at the spot and was wondering why we were leaving, I said a big storm was coming, they didn't seemed too concerned till I told them to hold their rod tips up in the air. They then beat us back to camp. grin.gif

We got camp secured and I just sat on shore and watched the spectacle unfold in front of me. It went from dead calm to 6' rollers back to dead calm in an hour. I warned the guys to stay away from trees, they thought it was because of lightning, told dem they better be more concerned about getting squashed. I was involved in a similar wall cloud type storm 20 yrs earlier up in the BW, and I never forgot the fear I had listening to trees falling all around me.

That's why I sat on shore all Gore-texed up, figured I was safest there. Plus I had a front row seat to the awesome display of Mother Nature. It's really hard to describe the scene as that wall cloud came across the lake, but the downbursts of wind were picking up sheets of lake water the size of a football field and dropping it down just as quick. I sat there and muttered "Wow!!" to myself at least a dozen times as the storm passed.

We were back fishing within an hour, after all that, the mid-afternoon walleye bite was still on.

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The time comes to mind when I ate baked beans, kraut with ring bologna for supper, and finished it off with a 6 pack of Grainbelt Premium. Hiiii-ooohhh!!!! blush.gifblush.gifblush.gif

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Halloween night of 2000, we got a snow storm that lasted for 4 days straight. We had 30 plus inches of snow and high winds. I worked as a lineman here for 37 years, and have never seen such weather, that long. We had to replace 18800 poles and 5 million feet of wire on the poles. CAJ retired

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I was a Navy recruiter in Duluth for the blizard of Halloween (91 I think) It snowed on Haloween night (thursday) didn't stop till Tuesday I think it was. Anyone remember the total? I thought it was like 44 inches.

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I was up in Saskatchewan fishing on Lake Deifenbacker about 5 years ago in July. I was there catching lots a very nice walleyes that day and this lake is just one long resivore. Well the morning started out with a perfect walleye chop from the east and the fish liked it.

Well about 4 or 5 hours later around 2pm it started to get calm. The sun was shinning and everything, what a nice day huh? Well this river is surrounded by hills on each side about 100' to 300' above the water.

All of a sudden we see this big storm cloud off to the west. It was lightening and thundering in it like crazy. We seen it and started to high tail out of there. Well right as we got out lines in the water you could see the wind come right down the river!

Now we are with these fishing guides (a party of us in 3 boats total) and we all take off down river. Soon enough we are surrounded by 6' to 8' rollers! We are all dressed up in our rain gear still getting drenched. It was fun and then again scarry at the same time. In between waves you could stand up and not see infront of the other wave ahead of you.

Since our boat was the first to take off by like a minute we roughed it out and got to the landing which is in a protected bay. The other 2 boats found a creek channel that was protected and stayed there until the winds calmed back down.

We were just lucky there was no hail involved in this mess of things. Otherwise that would of been a totally different story!

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While fly fishing the Bighorn in Montana we had a quick storm roll in. It was sunny and nice one minute, the next minute we had 1" or better diameter hail pounding us. After I took a couple nice ones off the head we tried to take cover under some shrubs but we really had no place to get decent cover. We sat and took hail off the noggin for about 10 minutes. (ouch!) After the storm and most other boats left we then proceeded to have the best evening topwater bite I've ever witnessed. Ended up making it back to the truck well after dark and well after the last boat had already left the landing. A day I'll never forget.

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Quote:

Halloween night of 2000, we got a snow storm that lasted for 4 days straight. We had 30 plus inches of snow and high winds. I worked as a lineman here for 37 years, and have never seen such weather, that long. We had to replace 18800 poles and 5 million feet of wire on the poles. CAJ retired


Where was this CAJ? I think about that time I went through a storm like that the day before and again opening day of deer hunting by Hulet Wyoming. I can't remember if that was 2000, but had to be close...

I think the worst I've been in was last August here in Luverne though. We had 100 mph wind and I had a tree fall on my garage and another 30 foot tree fall across the front yard when it came up roots and all. I left the office 1/2 way through it to get home to my dogs who were outside in it. Man it was ugly...

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Winter of '96-'97. They quit plowing to road to the north of our farmsite. Some guys from Alabama were up here running bulldozers to push the snow further into the fields - some drifts were higher than cars. One 'Bama guy was overheard telling another, "the snow from this year isn't too bad, but the stuff that is 2 and 3 years old is hard as a rock!"

I had a pretty major asthma attack while out doing nursery barn chores during one blizzard that year. I am thankful to be alive!

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My worst ever was a few years ago on Lake Vermilion. Myself and two buddies were taking one of my parents resort boats (16' lund with 25HP suzuki, bench seats, no floor) up to trout lake for the weekend. We planned this trip for months and were really looking forward to it. The morning we were to leave was a really windy day. No rain or storms just 35 mph winds with gusts to 60mph. The National Weather Service had issued a small craft advisory on the lake that morning but we thought we would be able to make it to the portage before the winds picked up. The parents said we shouldn't go, but we had planned this trip for so long and were so excited, that we went anyway. Things started out o.k. but turned ugly quick. By the time we hit Niles Bay the rollers were around 4 feet. Which isn't too bad if you know how to handle a boat well, but by the time we got through oak narrows and back out into big water again the rollers were pushing 6-8 feet and were spaced about 15'11" apart. The reason I say this is when we would come over one roller and down into the swell, the very tip of the bow would hit the top of the next roller. We were so loaded down with gear that we couldn't go fast enough to climb the next swell. We were traveling maybe 2-3 mph faster than the waves. I tried once to sit inbetween two swells but found it very hard to control, and unable to see over the next wave to know which way we were going. Luckily the wind was going in the exact direction we were, because otherwise that boat would be at the bottom of Vermilion right now. Anyway, as we would start to climb a wave we would start to sink into the wave and water would come over the sides of the boat just as we would crest and start down the wave, only to have to climb the next one and do it all over again. Needless to say, the bilge was running full time, and i was starting to think about throwing some of our gear overboard to lighten the load and gain some bouyancy. I'd never seen my two friends so scared before. I've spent a lot of time on the water and feel very comfortable in almost any weather condition, but even I was mentally planning what to do when, not if, but when we sink. Anyway, we made it to Trout lake and never left camp. We tried to go fishing once, but nearly capsized so we said that's enough of that. The wind finally died down the day we left. We never wetted a line. I guess we shouldn't have gone in the first place, but where's the adventure in that? lol! Good news was, we had trout Lake all to oursleves that weekend.

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I remember that storm, Wade. I don't remeber the total but I do remember driving snowmobiles down the streets of Virginia for two days afterwards because it was the only way you could get around town. We haven't had a storm like that since then.

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Not a bitterly cold winter storm, but my roughest...

I was nearly out of the Navy back in '75 and was assigned to a rec center in Great Lakes Naval Base on Lake Michigan north of Chicago. We rented out sailboats (tough duty) and had a 18' Boston Whaler to get back and forth to different boats when necessary.

One day, we had a monster wind out of the east about 50mph.

We heard ambulances come by headed north of the breakwater. We looked out front and there were a dozen people standing on the breakwater. Another guy and I jumped in the boat and went over there and the people were yelling "go around there are people drowning!"

We went to the opening of the breakwater and found the waves to be around 10-12' rollers. We didn't really hesitate and did our best to get over to the north side where swimmers had gotten into trouble with an undertow.

As you might imagine, the ride was very similar to Johnny Namakan's post on Vermillion above.

Ond sailor got too far out, the lifeguard tried to go out to help, and when it was said and done there were 7-8 people in the water, not doing well.

We found one and were able to pull him into the boat, but that was all. Divers went out for the bodies the next day.

Not fun, but one I'll never forget.

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The Halloween storm of 91 found me and two friends heading for Wyoming to deer hunt. We drove from the twin cities to Sioux Falls on the interstates and never made it into high gear in my pickup. In the hills of Wyoming, we had trouble driving tent stakes into the frozen ground after we shovelled off a campsite.

My roughest time was when I was in western Minn. in high school. We were snowed in for about a week and besides keeping cattle alive, I was running a trapline. I was carrying a sack with several muskrats and a large coon across a beaverpond when I broke through the ice. It was below zero with a strong wind, I was soaked to my armpits, and over a mile from the nearest warm building. When I got home, I couldn't feel my feet and my hands were too numb to open the door. But for some reason, I ran that whole distance and never dropped that sack with the animals and traps. The pain of my feet thawing out was horrible.

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Likley not the worst storm i've been around, bur for sure the hairiest. 18 yrs old with 3 buddies up in the BWCA. I don't even know where we were as this was over 10 years ago and I was not the navigator for our 2 canoe party. We were on our way out from a 4 day trip and had like 5 or 6 portages to make. We portage into one lake and it is big for BWCA and motor boats were allowed, I don't recall what lake it was. Anyway it is raining, windy and the waves are not comfortable for a canoe. We decide to push on to get through the "big lake" as fast as possible. Now it starts to thunder and lighting and 18 year old boys are stupid and bulletproof so we paddled faster. We are canoeing parallel with shore about 20 yards from shore. Then we hear the loadest, see the brightest events of our short lives. We all nearly fill our pants look over to shore which is less than 20 yards aways and see a tree fall over which is on fire. We can all look back at it know and laugh but it was a lesson learned.

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Had to be that Holloween snow storm...my nephew and I were running a fox trapline up in the Little Falls area where he lives.

We had about 150 fox sets out and where in the process of running them when that storm hit. We had a he11 of a time and when it got to bad to continue, we made a break for his farmstead.

I threw all my stuff into his pole barn and pointed my pick up truck south, heading for home. It took me something like 4 1/2 hours to make it home from Little Falls, 98 miles.

Kind of crazy, but I did'nt know how bad it was going to get, how long it was going to last, I had already been gone for 3 days and I wanted to be with my family. Yeah, I'd have to say that was my storm!

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A lot of interesting stories here. I found one common theme. Just about everyones "storm of the century" has some element of "we thought it would be ok" or " we thought we could make it". I guess we just to heed the warning signs! I say we because I'm guilty also. I wonder, do we heed these warnings more as we get older???

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i was also in orr during the july 4 blow down. my group was there to shoot a fireworks show. had shot orr on the third and was to shoot crane lake on the 4th. we were fishing on the public pier, and watched the WALL cloud coming in. headed back to the cabin that we were staying in and watched it all unfold. was a bit scary to watch all that lightening and having a truck loaded with all that pyro. after the weather cleared we headed to crane lake and set up the show onto a barge, and headed out to the bay to ready for the shoot about 20 minutes b4 the show i was watching another system rolling in. there were a couple of hundred boats out there waiting for us to start at 10 pm. now remember i am sitting on a barge with my crew of 4 saw lightening on three sides of us. and we're on a keg of powder. let alone all the other boats that had to get home. i called in for an early start in concern for them and us. they said firw at will and we did it was load and pop load and pop never shot a show so fast. as we loaded the last piece of equipment back onto the truck the storm hit us again. and we had to make it back to orr thru the stuff it is fun to have a 2 1/2 ton truck hydroplane about 100 yards while at the wheel. but all were ok we still talk about that storm today. and still agree that it was enough excitement for the week.

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I got caught in a fast moving thunderstorm on the St. Louis River a few 5-6 years ago. It was about a 20 minute run to the landing from where I was. The wind was off Lake Superior and cool, even foggy. Not what you would expect for severe weather. I did not know about the approaching warm front. At the first off distance rumble of thunder, I pulled anchor and set back. But as I started in, the storm literally popped up right overhead. Lightning was striking left and right and I found myself in the middle of the gust front in the fastest developing storm i've ever seen. I made it to the swinging railroad bridge and tied up, figuring it was better if lightning struck the bridge than me becasue it was everywhere. But there was little shelter from the rain and hail, the only roof was railroad tracks above with 6" between the ties. The City of Superior sounded their tornado warning horns, the storm was tornadic but no funnel appeared. Later that evening I watched the radar track of the storm. That front moved through at 60 mph, and there was no way I was going to outrun it. I'm a certified weather watcher but I sure got fooled on that one.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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