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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Report at a Glance

General RegionMissouri Ozarks
Specific LocationToo small and fragile to name
Dates Fished6/18 and19
Time of DayAll day
Fish Caughtwild rainbows
Conditions & HatchesTricos in the morning, caddis in the afternoons and evenings. Good nymphing through the middle of the day.

Details and Discussion

Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jun 20, 2010June 20th, 2010, 3:01 pm EDT
I fished my favorite wild trout stream over the last couple days and did a lot better than I ever had before. This is a stream that I know well, but I never knew it had the possibilities that I now know it does. The water was up and just a touch off color-the fish are normally extremely wary (although rarely selective) but the off color water really gave me an advantage.

The fishing was almost too easy. For the morning trico hatch, I tied on a #16 Adams. I knew that was way too big, nothing like the real thing, but there were some larger mayflies mixed in, and I hate fishing small flies. It worked like a charm. I had excellent sport in the early morning (5 AM to 9 A.M). Then I switched to a #16 Hare's Ear nymph, and caught several more fish through the day, before the evening caddis hatch, where I had more wonderful dry fly fishing. The trout were uniformly significantly larger than I had caught before from this stream stretch using the same methods. I don't understand it, but I find it hard to speculate in the face of such good fortune.

But the climax came the next day. The trico hatch was non-existant when I got on the water at 4:45 A.M (it would pick up later, but I didn't know it at the time). I tied on a brown crayfish streamer, and began working a deep pool where a small spring came in. After a few minutes of unsuccessful fishing, I felt the beautiful sensation of a large trout. I fought the fish for several minutes before I first saw it, but I was knocked out when I did. He was about 20", twice as large as any fish I had caught previously this this trip. He fought valiantly from that point on, but I thought I'd get him. I had him under pretty good control, and I really thought I'd get the chance to see him up close. Not so. Somewhere along the way, the 6x just snapped. It must have rubbed against a boulder or something, but it was as heart-sinking of a feeling as the strike was exhilarating. But I had to give the fish it's due. It defeated me squarely, and deserved to get away. And maybe I'll get another chance at him.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 20, 2010June 20th, 2010, 6:29 pm EDT
Motrout, is this.....Crane Creek???

Jonathon

P.S. I actually found Hexagenia in Crane Creek - judging by the size of the dead mayflies in all of the (very numerous) spiderwebs all along the banks...Threw an imitation to a rising fish, got several hits, but never did hook 'em...

P.P.S. I'm an evening/sunset/after dark kind of guy so I commend you on your early-morning hatch pursuits...Sounds like it was a nice day. And if it WAS Crane Creek, those 20-inchers will snap you off every time...one did me in '95...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 20, 2010June 20th, 2010, 11:56 pm EDT
Congratulations, Motrout! That is a memorable experience, to be sure. You'll return to that hole for the rest of your life expecting a big tug.

Perhaps the discussion of specific small streams should be confined to PMs. Although I sure could have used a few stream names the one time I fished in the Ozarks - what a worthless fishing "adventure" - caught nothing but a few dozen ticks.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jun 23, 2010June 23rd, 2010, 12:28 pm EDT
JMD, this wasn't Crane. It is a very similar, but much less well known stream. I really would love to tell everyone what it's called, but I think you guys understand how that is with small wild trout streams that for some reason or other have sorta slipped under the radar.

As for that fish breaking me off- I swear those wild rainbows fight harder than the stockers. I can usually land a 20" fresh brood stock fish from the hatchery, but a wild fish any larger than 15" stands a good chance of breaking me off.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 23, 2010June 23rd, 2010, 2:14 pm EDT
MO, if I knew of a secret stream that wasn't in the books, I wouldn't tell anyone either. With great fortune, I have been able to find places like that here in MI fairly freqently. Heck, even if everybody DOES know about the waters, half the time there's no one else fishing anyway! Everyone knew about Klacking Creek up near West Branch, yet I never ran into another fisherman there EVER, and had the Rifle completely to myself on around 80% or more of the evenings I fished there. Of course, someone recently made a comment that everyone just blows right past the Rifle on their way to the AuSable...

Anyway, we here in MI are spoiled with lots of fine little out-of-the-way, hardly-ever-fished trout creeks (NOT in MY part of the state at the moment, though). If your MO waters are that ravaged, keep your secret safe from the masses. You won't get any argument from me. BTW, how is the traffic on Crane Creek these days? I don't remember encountering anyone other than the big scary armed Conservation Officer when I was fishing there ('95-'98).

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jun 23, 2010June 23rd, 2010, 3:37 pm EDT
Crane Creek still isn't too crowded. It is pretty well known, but a lot of the people who try it only come once, because they think they can tromp right through the pools they are going to fish like they do back at the trout parks, and of course they get skunked, and proclaim to anyone who will listen that there are no trout left in the river. Despite the gloomy reports you'll here from some, Crane still has a good trout population and the crowds aren't too awful bad.

As for my favorite little creek that I wrote the report about.... It is listed as a wild trout area in the fishing regulation book, and some locals do fish it, but so far it's managed to not get all that much publicity. At least for now, and you can usually have the stream to yourself. It's near several well known trout and smallmouth rivers that have much larger fish, so I guess people just overlook it.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 23, 2010June 23rd, 2010, 6:29 pm EDT
Ahhh, hiding in plain site...

Yup, them Trout Park'ers would give up in disgust after one day on a REAL trout stream. Crane Creek is so gin clear I had a hard time trying to fish it in daylight - I saw lots of nice fish go shooting upstream whenever I came around a corner, and only in certain spots could I sneak up to a good casting position without spooking every fish in the stream. In fact, the hole I lost the 20-incher in looked so good I approached it from the bank on my hands and knees! Good thing because there had to be twenty fish stacked on top of one another in there...the big dude I lost was all the way down on the bottom, and it took a good 15 fly patterns or so before he (big hook-jawed male with a bright pink stripe) FINALLY hit the big black #4 stonefly...

But, ya can't keep 'em and ya can't use Powerbait. So, it keeps the riff-raff out...Someday I'll make it back down there but in the meantime I have a few thousand miles of trout water up here to explore, and you are invited any time you're in the area...but keeping chasing those MO trout!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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