Big Swan Lake, Todd County, Minnesota, Summer, 1962.
Fishing in a boat rented from my dad's uncle Henry (the ex-bootlegger), we were out on a warm summer's day, catching some fair sized sunnies in a bay by a marsh on the far side of the lake from where our tent was pitched. The action was pretty good, in fact so good that we failed to notice the massing of thunderheads to the southwest. A few very large raindrops dashed our fish frenzy; a big storm was headed our way. My dad tried to start his cranky outboard as the rain really picked up. He had an old-fashioned trolling motor, the kind where you wrapped the rope around the flywheel by hand, fiddled with a manual choke, gave that rope a quick pull, and hoped for the best.
The rope broke. Us kids were getting pretty scared as the lightning started to increase. Dad gave up on the motor, and started to row us toward the nearest shore.
The oar broke. It was pouring now.
He finally managed to get us to a cabin on the opposite shore, where a kindly couple took us in and gave us towels.
It has been said: "A successful fishing trip is one in which you eat the fish, and the fish don't eat you." This one was somewhere in between, methinks.