The other day I was remembering when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey–I think I was maybe 11 or 12 then–and I had seen a flyer for some kind of fishing contest where the guy who caught the biggest fish would win money. At that age, I think more than anything it was the idea of winning something that drew me in, more than the fishing. (I’ve gotten into a great number of conversations on fishing over the past year or two it seems, but I myself really never got into it.)
I remember my father was actually willing to go along with this idea I had to fish in this contest; I don’t know why really he did, maybe it was because it was something different than me playing video games, which I did a lot of back at that age. So we went to the local KMart and picked up a fishing rod and some strange green, almost glow-in-the-dark plastic/rubber worms (the idea of stabbing worms on a fish hook didn’t appeal to me I guess). Now, I have no idea how such a strange green rubbery synthetic worm was supposed to catch fish, but I think I wanted to believe that it could be what would get me that fish and with it, the big prize.
So, for a week or so before hand, after school I remember being on the back porch of our house and practicing casting with the rod, having a great deal of fun doing just that even. Of course, the dream of the fish and the big prize was there looming in my young mind, and here I was with a pole, neon fake worms, no idea of how to fish, and just a little bit of hope.
So, the big day comes, it’s a bit early in the morning, gray outside, and my father drives me over to the lake where the competition is. Sure enough there are plenty of other people there, and so I excitedly wanted to get over to the lake and find out what’s going on and get going. My father parked the car, we hopped out, start walking over the lake. It’s getting darker and darker out, and I may have casted once or twice before a gigantic pouring of rain begins, flooding the place.
Now, this is the best part: everyone starts running away from the lake as it’s really coming down. I’m standing there, a little bit despondent, but really wanting to catch that fish. It lasted just a moment, but I remember pleading with my dad to stay just a bit longer and sure enough he stood there with the rain just hammering away at us. Then, of course, it really was just too much, so my father finally broke through to my stubborn self and we got our stuff and we quickly ran to the car. A drive on home, no fish, no prize, but a really nice memory of a brief moment in the rain with my dad.