July 4, 2015 -- A Day So Cold and Damp, Not Even a Fish Could Love It. Is This Really Tennessee in Mid-Summer?
I got up at 5:30 this morning so that I could be in Germantown to help our Lions Club set up a fishing rodeo. It was not raining, for the first time in days, but the sky was still hanging low with ugly clouds. Long pants, heavy shoes and socks and long sleeves were the uniform of the day.
Despite the appearance of the weather, kids began to arrive shortly after 8:00 AM, but we made them all wait until the starting bell at 9:00. A countdown: 10 - 9 - 8 - - - -and the poles were in the water. First fish wins a prize! -- A nice prize. -- Win a new rod and reel! -- First Fish? --
Anybody? -- Nope. -- Nothing.
Finally a little boy showed up with a little fish -- maybe 8 ounces worth, and he won the pole. That's the way the whole morning went. Last year the fish came out of the water faster than we could get them weighed. One weighed over eight pounds. This year? Nothing! Even the geese decided to leave.
The temperature was about 72 degrees, but there was a stiff wind, strong enough to rattle our loud-speaker system and make it sound like thunder, so lots of people were looking up apprehensively. That wind whistled across the lake and picked up the spray from the central fountain, carrying that spray directly across our registration table and into our faces. It was a great way to cool off . . . if we had been warm to start with.
One little girl brought her catch up to be weighed. She had it all wrapped up in her gloves "to keep him warm." I swear I thought i saw that fish smile.
It was not one of our better years. When i left at 10:30, about 65 fish had been caught, and the largest of those weighed only two and a half pounds. Where were all the five-pounders we ordered? My bet is that they were at the bottom of the lake burrowed into some nice cozy warm mud, waiting for the sun to come out.
I hope the weather doesn't make tonight's fireworks fizzle out, too, but I won't be around to find out. i intend to be curled in a blanket with a good book.