Crane Creek

Crane Creek.

I had heard about it long before I was fortunate enough to fish it. Finally in 1999 a Springfield, Missouri DARE cop named Joe Curry and I spent several hours on this beautiful little stream near Springfield. We were accompanied by a local resident of Crane, MO, a fly tier whose name escapes me.

 

Crane Creek is not stocked and is strictly catch-and-release fly fishing. The trout are stream-bred McCloud rainbows. The fly tier wore a side arm because he said we might run into some “subhuman bait-dunking redneck scum” not observing the catch and release regulations who might become unruly when chastised. Luckily we did not have to shoot our way out of Crane Creek and did manage to catch a few beautiful little McCloud rainbows.

 

My friend and fellow http://www.heartofamericaflyfishers.com member Terry Robbins recently fished Crane. He did not report any encounters with belligerent bait dunkers but did manage to catch a 22” rainbow, the largest trout I’ve ever heard of to come out of this tiny stream.

crane creek 2_edited-1

 

 

 

 

A duck hunt without ducks

Our second hunt at the Five Guys And A Swamp Duck Club was a little slow for Maggie and me. Or I could say I didn’t miss a shot all morning (because I didn’t take any). This is supposed to be a good year for the duck population so hopefully they’ll show up when we get some cold weather up north to push them south. They don’t migrate because they enjoy flying.

Anyway at least the scenery was pretty.

Kansas big bucks

If this doesn’t get you fired up for deer season nothing will. These big guys showed up on my friend Scott’s trail cam recently. He didn’t tell me where they are and I didn’t ask but they’re somewhere in eastern Kansas.   Scott says the one on the left in the second photo is a shooter but Scott is a trophy hunter. I’m a meat hunter so my trophy is a ninety pound doe. 2 bucks

Missouri teal season

The Lone Oak Duck Club (aka The Five Guys And A Swamp Duck Club) sits at the far west side of the Mississippi flyway in Bates County, MO, only a few miles from the Central flyway. My friend Jon Blumb and I squeezed in a morning hunt before the early teal season ended September 27th. We saw a snowy egret, a pileated woodpecker, mosquitos, frogs and several acres of water lilies but no teal.

The big white bird in this photo is not a teal. It isn’t even almost a teal. It’s a snowy egret.

We called it a day at 8:45 AM and threw some training dummies for my black Lab Maggie who performed vigorously as usual. All she needs is for someone to shoot a lot of ducks over her. Maybe she should trade me in for another hunter.

 

Four days on the San Juan River

I recently joined fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers Kevin Carril, Steve Hedgstrom and Ron Carruthers for four days of trout fishing on the famous San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. We stayed at the Soaring Eagle Lodge where we enjoyed scrumptious buffet breakfasts and mouth-watering dinners.

After daylong guided fishing trips we lounged outside our riverside accommodations, tired but happy, sipping adult beverages, awaiting the 7PM dinner and watching the river flow past a few yards away.

The trout, a mixture of browns and rainbows, were taken on tiny #22 and #24 nymphs and emergers. Most were 12″ to 15″ but several approached or topped the 20″ mark.

It sounds like a commercial but it’s true. You can’t beat The Soaring Eagle for tasty food, comfortable, clean lodging, helpful, courteous employees, and knowledgeable guides.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a rank beginner Heart Of America Fly Fishers has something to offer.  Check us out at http://heartofamericaflyfishers.org.

Interested in learning more about Soaring Eagle Lodge? Take a look at their web site http://soaringeaglelodge.net .

 

Just for the halibut

My  Colorado friend John Norman caught a big halibut in Alaska recently. Actually I don’t know anything about halibut so maybe, relatively speaking,  this is a SMALL one.

I’ve seen John land 26″ rainbow trout on #22 flies. He’s a good fisherman. But I suspect he caught this monster while fishing from a charter boat using a block-and-tackle or maybe an amphibious fork lift.

I’ll bet it was a bitch to clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big ass Salmon

Any way you look at it this is a hell of a big fish. My buddy Carl Walter caught it near Sea Otter Sound off the northwest coast of Prince Of Wales Island. I think that’s in Alaska. But what the hell do I know?

I don’t think he caught it on a #22 emerger with a 3 wt. fly rod and 7X tippet. Anyway it’s a huge fish. Much bigger than any I’ve ever caught. It’s a 37 Pound king salmon and however he caught it, I hope he shares some of that nice pink meat with me.

Carl's big fish