Our First Trip

It has been 55 years as of this writing since we made our first trip to Alma. There is no way I could write about each and every fishing trip we made to Harlan County Lake and Dam but that first trip in 1963 is one of my favorite memories. It was our first get away, just the two of us, since we had gotten married in 1960. The trip from Lincoln to Alma took at least three hours. We checked into the Western Holiday Inn. Bob suggested a good way to learn about the best fishing spots was to go to the bar. The bar was owned by Don Brouliette. There was only one other person in the bar, Milt Bass.

Milt had all of the information about the best place to go for some river fishing. He was very skeptical about us catching any fish since it was late August; however, he drew us a map on a napkin of how to get to Connie Bealler's place up on the river. We could park in his yard and walk down to the river. The spot on the river was called Mocking Bird. With a hangover the next day we followed the map. It was a long walk down to the river but we were rewarded. We caught catfish!

One thing we learned about fishing in Harlan County Lake. Most fishermen came to the lake to catch white bass. It was fascinating to see large numbers of boats in a cluster fishing for white bass. Many of them caught their limit; many of them spent the entire day on the lake chasing white bass. Therefore, Bob and I were viewed as different. Many of the locals could tell us all about where we could go on the lake for white bass. There were even guides you could hire; few were interested in Catfish. In fact, Catfish were viewed much like we thought of Carp. Word would travel fast around Nebraska and Kansas when the white bass were running.

Following Roads

Following roads was a favorite pastime for Bob (not so much for me). Over the years we learned of many spots we could access on the Republican River; the Mocking Bird site and across the river were many access roads called Fishermen's Gate. Always depending on the weather, the river was either high or low; however, there was usually at least one access road we could navigate.

There were times we tried every road available from Alma to Orleans to try and reach the river. If we happened to travel all the way to the bridge that led into Orleans, we would stop at the cafe for lunch.