Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Gone Fishing

This photo of our fishing spot on the Ninnescah River was taken in the summer of 2010. I don't remember the last time the water was up this high.

Drought isn't good for crops. It's not good for fishing holes either. Our favorite local fishing spot is at a pasture on the Ninnescah. 


Back when we were actively farming, we'd load up the 4-wheelers and join our cattle who were "vacationing" for the summer at the Ninnescah pasture. Our cows and calves are still there - managed by the Millers - but drought has impacted the pasture as a fishing venue. (It also meant fewer cow-calf pairs to spend the summer in the pasture, which is a far bigger problem than missing convenient fishing.)

Summer 2015

Our catch in 2010!

Randy had already scouted out the pasture this spring, and he knew that fishing there was not an option. Instead, our Saturday "date" was a trip to the Pratt County Lake. It's not the lake I remember as a child. Just like an HGTV show for nature, they've done a total redesign of the lake. 

OK, it's been awhile since the lake was rebuilt. If my internet sleuthing is accurate, the lake was rebuilt in 1981, the same year we got married. But, in my mind, the Pratt lake is still like it "used to be" - the version that was completed in 1936. For those keeping track: No, I wasn't around then, and I realize I sound ancient when I reminisce about the "good ol' days."

But the new set-up is nice, with shelters on individual peninsulas scattered around the lake. 

It was a beautiful morning for fishing ... or for reading.

I'm a more dedicated reader than I am fisherman. As long as I stayed in the shade of the shelter, it was a beautiful day in nature. And bonus: I got a book done.

It took awhile for Randy to catch anything at all. Then, the majority of the fish were not exactly keepers.

 But, eventually, he caught three fair-sized catfish. 

It was enough for a small fish fry that evening. And, best of all, Randy was the chef. (I should have taken a photo, but I didn't.)


During the first week of May, one of my Facebook friends posted that it had been 269 days since we'd received at least 1 inch of rain. His records showed that August 4, 2023, was the last day that had appreciable rainfall in our area. He also included a report from the National Weather Service-Dodge City, which said that the month of April 2024 tied with 1909 as the driest April since 1875, with only 0.02 inches of rain. The next driest was 1935 with 0.03, 1893 with 0.04, and 1963 with 0.07 inches of rain.

So, I'm thrilled to say that we finally did get more than an inch of rain. It's certainly not enough to impact the drought in our area, but we are thankful for each drop! At the end of last week, we got 1.10" at home and 1.50" on farm ground north of Stafford. Yesterday's (Monday, June 3) gentle rainfall added another inch here at home, but only 0.15" north of Stafford, so rainfall was highly variable. Still, we are thanking God for this wonderful blessing of rain!


  1. A small catch and a small fall of rain, but both in their own way very exciting. I hope there are larger falls of rain on the way! So heart breaking for this wheat belr.

    1. The farmers who manage our farm ground didn't plant as much wheat as usual on us. But wheat yields in the area have definitely been impacted the last three years due to drought. The rains are definitely beneficial for the corn planted on us. Hopefully, we'll continue to get rain throughout the summer.