I decided to post some smallmouth pictures of fish caught during a three day trip wading trip to New York State last month in hopes that this audience will be more appreciative than the guys at work. When we talk about our vacations and I talk about fishing, I receive comments like, “I hate fishing--it is so boring”. And, this comment is from a guy who goes to Florida with his family for a week and as far as I can tell, mainly just sets on the beach or swimming pool. Oh well, I suppose if everyone was as passionate about fishing as most of us on this board, then our fishing waters would be way too congested.
My wife is from the Buffalo area and I’ve come to appreciate the fly fishing in the area through the years while visiting her family. I usually do a Spring and/or Fall Steelhead trip, however some Springs I get up there too late for Steelhead and so, like this year, we mainly fished for smallmouth bass.
Me and a buddy arrived at Crane Creek the morning of May 8th, starting at the Lower Access bridge. About 100 yards downstream at the first bend in the stream we each landed our first McCloud. The reputation of these fish as strong fighters is well deserved. I was fishing a prince nymph and my friend had on a sow bug. He caught another one a little further down at the next major bend in the stream. We ended up fishing a few hundred yards further downstream, which required some bushwhacking, but turned back at a point when the stream go much wider, swifter, and more difficult to access because of steep banks.
After a short break, we drove into town and parked at the baseball fields. From there, we walked the railroad tracks to the trestle and started fishing our way back upstream. We came across a few nice holes, but didn't have much action until my friend hooked a really nice 14 incher a short distance downstream from the ball field. It put up a considerable a fight and quite a bend in his 7' 4wt. I caught my second fish of the day directly behind the baseball field on a bead-head crackleback. We got a few more bites in the park area, but the only other fish caught were fingerlings.
We also scouted the middle and upper access areas, but the water was much smaller and we weren't up to the task of walking significant distances to find fishable holes. It was a hot day and we were both exhausted. So five McClouds between us for our inaugural trip to Crane Creek. We both agreed it was a successful day of fishing and we would return.
Thanks to everyone who contributes to this forum and who answered the questions I posted prior to my trip to Crane. The information was very helpful.
I just got back from a 110 mile solo kayak trip last night on the current river. I woke up today wanting to fish ol beave’s so I got the boys ready and headed to the lake. I wasn’t expecting much success sense I haven’t been on the lake all week and didn’t know what was going on. But I was pleasantly surprised with the bite. I had bought some crappie minnows for the boys to use and pitched them about lay downs and caught quite a few fish. We must have caugh 20 or so but only kept 10 or so. I wasn’t really keeping count cuz the boys had me busy helping them. If ur into crappie this would be a good time to go. My 9 and 7 year olds tore them up for a few hours today. Here’s a couple of pics.
It was supposed to be a memorable trout fishing birthday trip for his brother.
But on the last day of a cold and windy outing at Lake Taneycomo, Ken Adam is the one who got a gift he'll never forget.
Adam, fishing Monday with brother Steve in an adjacent boat, said he was almost ready to call it a day because of the lousy weather and murky water when he flipped a white and purple McStick lure up close to a floating log.
I have been trying to get a trip down to Bennett's and the Niangua to fish the catch and release for trout and try to get a couple new species for my 2017 season, particularly rock bass or redhorse suckers. I was also hoping to catch at least 15 fish in order to finish 2017 with over 900 fish caught. I knew that it was going to be a bit cold. Instead of leaving by 5 am and potentially hit ice, I left my house at 8. I hit some flurries between Camdenton and Lebanon. Didn't know what to expect in terms of the number of fishermen. I drove through the park and down to the Niangua to see where folks were fishing. Only saw about 6 or 7 people, a couple above the spillway and four or so around the hatchery outlets and none between the whistle bridge and the confluence. As I headed back into the park, I met two fawns feeding. This one was only 20 feet from my car and the other was even closer. They didn't seem to care as I stopped and took their pictures, even the radio noise did not deter them from putting away some grass.
I hit the water about 10:30 and fished downstream of the spring. I was spin fishing and using mircrojigs mostly. I typically sight fish with these microjigs, I watch the response of the fish, focus on those that are tightly turning around or following the bait on the drop, and set the hook as I anticipate the strike. With the snow, fog, pipe smoke from the flyfisherman upwind from me, and wind disturbing the water surface, it was hard to judge when a fish had the bait and get a good hooks set. I caught one rainbow and missed two others on white, then lost one on a salmon colored microjig. I missed two, lost one, and landed one on a John Deere microjig. I switched to a 1/64 oz cinnamon marabou jig and lost two rainbows on that jig. I put on a tricolored egg and missed at least two strikes. On one drift I kept the egg high in the water and had a rainbow come from 8 to 10 feet determined to take the bait. She was about 15" in length and thin. It was the largest trout that I caught.
I moved downstream and fished above and below the whistle bridge. I caught one other rainbow on the John Deere and got a couple of more misses. I wasn't seeing more than 8 to 10 trout at any one time. I switched to a yellow chenille grub microjig. I missed one or two trout strikes, but did start getting the attention of the local sculpin population. Since I had only caught 4 fish thus far, it was not hard to switch to microfishing to get a few more numbers. Lots of sculpin were interested and I landed four above the bridge and three large ones in the deep pool just below the bridge. I was fishing from a sycamore root wad and got the attention of two of the large suckers but missed getting a hook set one either of them. Those two moved downstream and the others did pay my hopping grub any attention. That hopping got the attention of a fish up under the roots that darted out and grabbed my bait. I was able to hook and land my first rock bass for 2017.
I moved again and started catching striped shiners on the grub. A few of these guys were over 6" in length. I moved again down the confluence spring branch and the Niangua. I caught a bunch more striped shiners on the grub just above the bridge. I ended up with 13 striped shiners for the day. I didn't see any sculpin near the bridge, but did have some darters interested in the grub, but that jig was too large for them to bite.
I left the park and fished the Niangua below the bridge. I was trying to drift a worm under a deep undercut below a large sycamore tree. I didn't get any strikes, but when reeling in my line I had a sculpin holding onto the worm. I also caught another on the grub bait. I am pretty certain that it was a mottled sculpin, which would be another species for 2017. From my position I just could not get a good drift and decided just to fish from that sycamore. I saw a couple of suckers in a log jam below the sycamore. I could not get a bait positioned where it would be upstream of these fish and I could actually pull it out if I got bit. I made a cast and positioned the rod in amongst the roots as a rod holder and was going to fish the grub in the rootwad. As I picked up the grub rod, I had a big hit on the worm. I picked up the worm rod and got hit again. Unfortunately I broke off just as I set the hook. I had moved the fish and could see it in the water. It was either a large trout >16" or a sucker. I retied and fished a while longer. I couldn't get another substantial bite. I did catch a couple of hornyhead chubs and two more sculpin.
I ended the day around 3:30 pm. The temp was dropping and was in the high teens as I left the water. I caught one of the two species that I had hoped for on this trip. I will determine if the sculpin that I caught in the Niangua were mottled sculpin and that may be another species for the year. I also landed 30 fish to end 2017 with 915 fish. Not a bad day.