A trip that my friend Chris B. and I concocted while at Hunneywell involved some dedication, but neither Chris nor I think we deserve the comments of our being "insane" or "crazy" from wives and friends. We settled on driving 540+ miles Thursday (a day off for both of us) out to Hartell C.A. that is very well managed and catch-and-release. We figured we could get into some pretty big Bluegill, Redear and maybe even a nice bass or two by accident. Sure we only got 2 hours of sleep the night before, sure we'd only fish 60% of the time we'd spend driving (10 hrs total), and sure it meant leaving STL by 3am to get there in time for a morning fish...but crazy? Insane? We're just a couple of bums that love laughing over big bream.
We got there just before 8am ready to go. We loaded up the single boat off Redear Lake (including our new tradition of bringing a stove and percolator on-board) and set to investigating the far bank. Early fishing was great and we were both able to catch some very solid and pretty 9" right off the bat. We watched as midge hatches came and went, damselfly activity came and went, and the fishing itself rose and fell. We went through long periods of no fish which gave us opportunity to re-tie tippets, talk about the fishing and, of course, brew some coffee.
The fishing was worth the drive, but I don't think either of us really felt like we blew it out of the water. We failed at catching a 10"+ sunfish (though one of Chris' redears may be above that and I got a 13" crappie that sent both of us into laughter). We didn't really zero in on the BG either; we caught some, sure, but we also caught redear, crappie, bass, and green. It's an interesting lake in terms of ecology and management and I'll go back one day for sure. The real fun of the day was sitting in that boat, drinking coffee and fishing in the suspense of well-managed water...knowing we were bums.