Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Crane Creek 11-19 "Small Stream Education"
Another beautiful weekend was forecast and as much as I wanted to stick around the house and catch up on chores , I just couldn't talk myself into it. I wanted to get back down and try a little more sight fishing at Taneycomo but after checking the SWPA schedule and seeing non-stop generation predicted both Friday and Saturday I was forced to devise a plan "B". Seeing as how my last outing to Crane Creek was cut short I opted for a return trip to try my luck again.
A couple of small young of the year fish were all I was able to manage that day and I had hopes of doing better this time.
Got down to the town of Crane about 10:00AM Friday morning and headed to the Upper Wire Road Access for my starting point. Kevin and I were unable to connect with any fish in this section last trip and didn't see very many fish either , so I wanted to do a little more exploring and try to figure out where they were hiding at.
I geared up in the parking lot and then headed off down the trail until I was downstream far enough to begin working my way back to the truck. This stream is small enough that there are very few pools you can't see the bottom in so it's pretty much a visual game.
You walk along keeping your eyes peeled for your quarry and keep the fly on the hookkeeper until you spot a fish. I'd already decided from my last visit that I needed to slow down and spend a little more time at each pool looking for fish. As soon as I did this it was amazing how many more fish I was able to spot.
What I found was that the fish were almost always seeing me before I saw them and then scurrying under the nearest cutbank or rootwad to hide out until they felt safe.
If I sat down on the bank and waited them out for a few minutes they would almost always move back out into their original lie and settle back in.
This simple process improved my success greatly and I began catching fish where I hadn't even seen any on my last trip. This is still small stream fishing and I was by no means tearing em up, but I was consistently hooking up when I spotted fish.
I managed to land 6 or 8 small rainbows in this section before arriving back at the truck , much better than my last trip but I still hadn't hooked up with anything of respectable size.
I decided to move down to the city park and fish the section from the railroad tressle to the ballfields.
I'd actually never fished this area before so I was excited to see some new water. Although not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the Upper Wire Road Access, this section of stream didn't dissapoint me for numbers of fish. Definitely a few deeper pools that seemed to hold some larger fish , they wouldn't prove to be any easier to catch but at least I knew they were there.
The same method of approach used in the upper sections proved to be the ticket in these deeper pools as well. You had to let the fish sit for a few minutes after arriving at a pool so they could move back into their feeding lies instead of their cover areas.
None of these fish were big , but size is all relative to the stream in which you're fishing so I considered a couple of my fish to be respectable for wild rainbows in a small creek.
I had my best day ever on this creek, landing my biggest and the most fish I've ever caught in a day. This is a true gem in the Ozarks and we should all work to keep it protected for future generations to enjoy.
Beautiful fall day...pretty creek...wild rainbows...life is good.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher