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Old 11-24-2009, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Crane Creek Mo. Anybody fished there lately

I just refered back to this and i was a little curious to ask some questions for fly guy.

I might make a trip down in late december. Its really the first chance I will have between now and then. I was interested to know what the situation at crane typically is that time of year. I have no experience with crane during the late winter and was curious if you knew anything about it.

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Crane Creek Mo. Anybody fished there lately

Depends of rainfall/snow and the water level in Table Rock Lake. The higher TRL is, the longer it takes CC to clear and return to her banks after a flash flood. And December is either a very dry or very wet month, depending on El Nino/La Nina patterns. Bad news...we're in an El Nino pattern. So the odds are that the windows of good water conditions will be narrower. When I lived in Springfield and Branson it could even be very tough to fish there at all during Dec/Jan during a really wet winter.

On the other hand...if you can catch CC when she's not blown out that time of year, it is when she fishes the best. The water is coldest, the fish are most active due to high DO levels, and the stream usually yields more quality fish to nymphs, wet flies, and streamers anyway. So the lack of bug hatches you may encounter is really just pushing you where you should be going anyhow. If you do get hatches in winter on CC, they will be midges or BWOs...very tiny. And fishing below the surface is still more productive. But most feeding in CC is fat nymphs near the bottom and scuds in the same feeding zone (in the upper reaches of the creek where all the public access is).

It's too cold for snakes and most bugs that time of year, which is very nice. And all the vegetation is down...opening up far more bank access. Colder weather also chases off more of the few fishermen. If you avoid weekends, you will likely not see anyone else.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Crane Creek Mo. Anybody fished there lately

Ive got a few open weeks in a row around late december into early january. In the fall Ive always had my best luck when the water was just slightly clouded and going down. I'll watch for that type of condition, but low and clear isn't terrible either.

Would I be correct in saying that most of the fish would be in the upper half of the river (above the park access) for their spawning season? From my experience with Blue Springs Creek..Mill Creek...and Spring Creek, that should be holding true..I think.

Ill keep my eye on the weather down there, and thanks for your help.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Crane Creek Mo. Anybody fished there lately

Yeah, when the creek is still just slightly off-color it fishes best. But that occurs when it has already calmed back down. Clear and low on cloudy days is great, too!

No, I disagree on the "above the park" idea. There is a LOT of great fishing below the park, and IN the park for that matter. And all of that is "upstream" as far as Crane Creek is concerned. And I'd have to double-check to see if McClouds are fall or spring spawning Rainbows. But either way, December is getting very late for that. So they should be feeding heavily post-spawn if they are fall spawners.
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