Thankful for the rain

Published 3:49 pm Friday, December 19, 2008

For a part of the world that was dry and even drier for most of the second half of the year, the last month or so has seen a goodly amount of rainfall.

Last week, storms drove through the southwest Georgia area and had most of us awaiting some high winds, hail and heavy rain. We need the rain and that is all we got, at least on Wednesday night.

We did not, however, get the high winds and hail storms that we predicted. I was thankful for that. The only really bad part of the evening for us was when we went to eat. When we were trying to leave the buffet, it was raining cats and dogs and guess who had parked quite a ways from the front door. I was appointed by my wife to run through the rain to the vehicle and drive around the block so as to pick her up all warm and dry at the front door. We drove on to the house in the rain with me dripping and her telling me not to get water on the seats. So I just dripped quietly hoping she wouldn’t notice since it was after dark. The seats are leather so the water would wipe off.

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The next day it didn’t even show any dampness. We had to have gotten in the inches of rain, maybe close to two inches just that night. It will go a long way toward making it a lot easier to stay wet next year with just an average amount of rainfall in 2009. The last couple of years we have started out the year with very little rain though 2008 was an improvement over 2007. So we should be thankful and grateful for the rain during Thanksgiving and the December rain two weeks later. We had rain the week before but most of it went to our north and though it didn’t help us that much locally, it did cause the river and other streams to rise giving the fish a chance to swim upstream.

That is what populates the upper streams when the fish that are caught out each year or really just leave going downstream when the water gets too low for the fish to survive. I do know that it is really a lot of fun to walk these streams as the water drops in the summer and fish the deep holes in just about any creek in south Georgia. The fish that don’t make a beeline for the lower stretches of the creek will gather in these deeper water spots to survive. You are probably doing them a favor by catching them, otherwise they may stave when the food runs out in the pothole, or the water below may be to shallow to allow them to leave.

Of course that is all in the future, at least during next summer. Until then we will just take what we are able to catch and worry about the hard times when they get here. There is nothing we can do to prevent the hard times because we don’t control the rainfall and the one that does knows a whole lot more about things like that than we will ever know.

I talked with J.R. Lambert one morning last week and guess what? He was going fishing. He was buying minnows so the crappie had better be hiding out. He did tell me that another fellow had caught a limit of panfish fishing in 17 feet of water the week after Thanksgiving. He had to have had a 15- or 16-foot pole with extra line on it and still have the float right up near the end of the pole. If the fish popped the float under the water, the end of the pole would be following it quickly. Panfish biting in that depth water are usually good ones, hardly ever the small fish. Pulling them from that depth makes for a good fight and an enjoyable fishing trip.

The rain is helping to keep the deer season in full swing. The way the weather has changed lately you will be able to hunt in almost any temperature you want to given a four- or five-day period to choose from. Wear the orange vest.