What...you thought I was talking a horse race? Nah...that derby was held last week.
This derby is the Kids Fishing Derby held at Whatcom Falls Park each May, the Saturday prior to Mother's Day. The anticipation mounts as children eagerly await this Saturday morning. Still more excitement and tension builds in their parents. And certainly none of them is as eager as City Boy.
The falls at Whatcom Falls Park
The Derby is a tradition in our family. Uncle Warthog, you may recall, won the first derby every held here. I've won, Little Hitler has won. Geek Boy and Darling have both won. In fact, the officials often joke that they're just going to write in our last name when they see us show up, as they know one of the kids will show up in line for a prize when they're handed out.
City Boy didn't grow up here. He didn't get to fish in the derby as a kid. But the man is driven. To distraction. For weeks leading up to the derby he's planning the attack. Poles, lures, hooks, lines, and reels begin showing up in the living room. Weights are analyzed. New colors of power bait appear, seemingly out of thin air. And there sits City Boy; his eyes glazed over and a slight twitch at the corner of his mouth (and drool; mustn't forget the drool.) The man is in a fishing stupor this time of year.
It's so peaceful right now...tomorrow it will be swarming with rugrats!
The derby begins at 9 in the morning. The little kids fish first, those 9 and under. There is a two fish limit, with prizes going to the top ten girls and the top ten boys. By now the fish have been stocked in the pond; trout raised specifically for this event. They're not fed the day prior to the derby so they're hungry and will bite for the kids. And bite they do! It never fails that the first few kids have their two fish within two minutes. As fast as you can throw out your line, you've got a fish at the end.
Trout being raised in the park hatchery.
Of course, they're a bit slower to bite for the second round of fishermen. Those fish bellies are now full of lost power bait, eggs and worms. It takes a good five minutes for the first few kids to get their fish. Still, most of the kids there have caught there fish within half an hours time. They then trickle out to the park and wait for the prizes to be given out.
Same trout, now excited because they think I'm there to feed them! Don't worry, they aren't starving; they do this everytime someone walks by.
So here we sit. Bait has been purchased. Chairs have been loaded into the car. The tackle box has been carefully filled and each lure, hook and sinker is in it's proper, easy to locate place. The bucket is ready for the fish. Donuts are handy for an early morning breakfast as we walk out the door. City Boy's plan of attack has been laid out carefully. Everyone knows their positions. We all know that we need to use the rest room at least 30 minutes prior to the starting whistle blowing.
And Darling just told me.....
"I don't think I want to fish this year."