Wild & Wooly Crane Creek

Early morning haze on Crane Creek.

I did something this morning I've been wanting to do for awhile, and that is fish Crane Creek (Stone County).  Crane Creek is known for being a blue ribbon trout stream.  A century ago some railroad workers stocked the creek with a rare species of rainbow trout from California.  Turns out the fish took well to the stream, and the creek now has a self-sustaining population of these fish.  Of course, I am a smallmouth fisherman.  But I took the lightest tackle I had, just in case a big rainbow wanted to strike.  At the end of the day, I didn't have anything to show for my time other than a few perch, although I did see one nice rainbow (2 lb?) in the water.

Crane Creek is a very narrow stream that is wild and wooly.  I saw no gravel bars to speak of.  Thick vegetation lines both sides of the creek.  There are many limbs overhanging the water.  (Not a good stream for novice casters!)  The water runs fast, and it is cold.  Long pools are rare, but there are lots of deep pockets of water around chunk rock and root wads.  I've never seen an Ozarks stream quite like Crane Creek.  It intrigued me, and I hope to return.