Re: Crane Creek Mo. Anybody fished there lately
There's a lot more to Crane Creek than the public accesses near town via Wire Road Conservation Area. Most of the private landowners (not all, but most) will let you fish if you're polite, respectful, and courteous enough to introduce yourself and ask permission first. Always helps to chat with country folks before you ask a favor. And a lot of the best fishing on Crane Creek is on that private land.
I'll give you two specific clues. The farmer right across the road from the Lower Wire Road CA parking area (by the bridge downstream of town) is very particular about who he grants permission to. He gets hammered...and trespassed all the time. So that's a low probability option, but not impossible. And he owns the whole stretch of private ground from the city park to the bridge. And it's good. But fishing is even better upstream of the park when water is flowing well and downstream of the bridge I've been mentioning @ the Lower Wire Road CA parking area once you leave the conservation area...for several miles!
There are also McCloud Rainbows in Spring Creek, which runs through Hurley. Spring Creek empties into Crane Creek. Seems to me that if a fella could get himself permission to fish where Crane and Spring Creeks meet, that might be a good spot, huh?
Several miles downstream from the conservation area, Crane Creek begins to warm up enough for bass...especially in the summer. And the creek gets a lot bigger. The last couple of miles of creek before it meets the James River is pretty good size and runs through one farm. I've caught trout and bass in that stretch of river depending on the time of year.
What has been published and the conventional wisdom about Crane Creek is just the tip of the iceberg. It is full of wonders and mysteries. It is a fragile fishery that is home to one of 2 of the world's last remaining sources of genetically pure McCloud Rainbow trout. The other is a small mountain stream in remote Costa Rica. Respect it for what it is: a very fragile global treasure. It is a wonder of the modern world that it is even open to anglers to fish. But it is an Ozarks spring creek. And it has all of the bio-diversity and history and land use issues that all the rest of them do. Wild rainbow trout aren't the only fish living in Crane Creek.
Winter is a good time to fish there. The vegetation is low and rainfall usually drops off in a typical year. So the water clears and the other remarkable biological phenomenon of Crane Creek isn't nearly as much of an impediment to fishing fun. Portions of the Crane Creek bottoms have the highest scientifically documented concentration of Cottonmouth snakes in the world.