Sunday, March 27, 2011
Taneycomo / Crane Creek "Tailwater Toads and Little Wild McCloud Bows"
Lately my fishing trips have been rather unsuccessful when it comes to the catching aspect of things. My last two outings , one for wipers...one for walleye , both left me skunked at the end of the day,something that while it does happen is pretty infrequent when I'm on a trout stream. Let's just chalk it up to being early in the year and maybe a little lack of skill on my part , but needless to say I was ready to redeem myself on a few Taneycomo trout yesterday when I got the chance.
I pulled into the State Park campground about 10:30am , grabbed the usual site and threw up the tent so I could unload some of my stuff out of the truck before hitting the river. The water had been running most of the morning according to the schedule and would be shutting down at 11:00 if one was to believe the evil people who update the generation schedules , so I had some time to kill before the water dropped out. With camp set and a quick lunch taken care of I rigged up , donned the waders and headed down below the dam.
It was just after 12:00 now and as I drove across the dam I could see that the water was indeed shut off and almost fully dropped out , dare I say that the predicted generation chart was accurate today? I'll wait until the end of the day to make that call but the low water looks really good right now , the sun is shining and being a weekday the tailwater is relatively uncrowded by Taney standards.
I started right where I left off my last trip down which was midge fishing down below the Big Hole. A few fish were caught but the midge action just wasn't happening like it had been last time for some reason. No fear , these rainbows are always feasting on scuds up above in some of the faster water and without the crowds I had plenty of choices for prime fishing.
As usual the fish didn't dissapoint and plenty of chunky Taneycomo bows were caught on various bit scud and g-bug combinations with a #22 brown/olive g-bug probably doing the laymans share of the work. The largest fish was a colorful male just a hair over 22" , the only one I taped.
I lost a larger fish that probably would have went 25" , it came unbuttoned as I tried to get him close enough to slip the net under , two more feet and it wouldn't have been just another worthless fish story. The amount of quality fish in this place always amazes me and while it has those summer seasons where the tourists converge on the river like a plague of locusts (too dramatic??) it's definitely a first class fishery when it comes to size and numbers of fish. That's why I was here...if you luck out and the water is right the fishing is always dependable and that's just what I needed.
Around 6:00pm I think , the horn blew multiple times and what few people were still on the river headed for their cars. I managed to land two more fish while the water was rising and when it was inevitable I finally made my way over to the North Shore and finished out the evening catching a fish or two holding along the current edge. That night I had a nice hot meal to warm me up after a long day on the water , homemade chili..chips and salsa..and a couple 24 ouncers of cheap beer from the store down the road to wash it all down.
That's a colon cleansing combination if I've ever seen one , something about cheap beer and chili I guess.
The next morning I awoke to a heavy overcast and steady cold rain , I'd played the odds hoping that the weatherman would be wrong as he usually is, but damn the luck the forecasted rain felt awfully real to me. After making a quick cup of coffee and taking down the tent in the rain I headed down to check out the water situation. They appeared to be running a light one unit as was predicted , for once I was counting on them being wrong but it wasn't to be. I spent about an hour fishing in the light rain , catching a couple fish but not having near the success as the previous day. I really don't like wading these water levels as it's just hard to pinpoint fish location to any real degree. I had all day to fish but didn't want to stay here with these conditions so I decided to head over to Crane Creek and finish out my day trying to catch a wild rainbow or two.
By the time I arrived at Crane the sun had begun to break through the clouds and it looked like it might be a decent day after all. My first stop was below the dairy farm but another vehicle in the lot prompted me to drive on into town and check out the city park area. I saw one other vehicle here as well but didn't know where they were so I decided to head downstream. As I was walking downstream along the ballfields I saw three other fishermen in various locations , all working upstream through the water I had hoped to fish. Oh well , I was here already and had some time to kill so when I got to the railroad tressle I just sat down along the stream , lit up a cigar and relaxed for a while , about half a cigar to be exact.
I figured to give those guys enough time to finish their day without my interruption and with any luck I could fish through before anyone else arrived. After the mornings storms the day had turned glorious with warm sunshine and light winds and both the bugs and the trout were dancing on the waters surface in celebration.
I don't know how long I spent in several pools just watching those little devils coming clear out of the water after the little tan caddis flitting about the surface. I managed several very small fish on a dry fly but as is usually the case the majority of the fish were busy taking nymphs.
The fish seemed to be in the feeding mood today and any nymph presented fairly well through a good run would be rewarded with a 6-8 inch wild Mccloud rainbow in all it's splendor.
A beautiful day..a good gigar..my favorite two weight.. and a pretty little stream with wild fish to round out the package.
Does it get any better?? Probably so , but right now this was enough for me...life is good.
Two days filled with chunky tailwater bows and little wild Mccloud rainbows...just what the doctor ordered.
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher