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.