Crane Creek stream report – 13 October, 2012
It has been some time since I visited Crane Creek and on Saturday I was asked to assist a client in improving his approach to this kind of water and to provide some casting help.
The section of Crane Creek that I have exclusive access to is downstream of the public water below Crane. Earlier this year the Conservation Department conducted some much needed work to return a section of the stream to something like its original path. A bend in the stream had slowly expanded into farm land and further bank errosion was expected if nothing was done. The work that was done involved placing rock, leach lines and back fill. Although this removed some nice holding spots on the stream, this new section is now supporting fish and should provide a nice riffle when the insects become more established. With a few more months of aging and vegetation taking root along the edges we should see a wonderful improvement to the stream.
The stream flow was fair considering the lack of rain and as always this section benefits from the input from at least two springs. Strangely another inflow of water upstream of the section we fish that I hadn’t considered is the output from Crane’s sewage treatment plant! It’s not often that we can say a stream is improved by this kind of inflow although it should be considered that the water leaving the plant is purified and with a stream that suffers from a lack of flow, any input is welcomed. There is no evidence of increased nutrients so obviously the plant is working efficiently.
Insect activity was minimal although we did see midges and the occasional small tan caddis on the water. Fish were rising though and so we tempted them with generic patterns like the Klinkhammer and Yellow Sally. In the areas where we didn’t observe any surface activity we added a pheasant tailed nymph dropper to the surface fly and had reasonable results.
My client was an experienced fly fisherman who had fished this water many times and my main task was refining his casting and presentation. Like a lot of fly casters he had grown into the habit of “throwing” or “waving” the cast rather that making the rod flex by producing an abrupt stop at the end of each stroke. Without this stop it is almost impossible to produce leader “turn-over” during the presentation. It also affects accuracy particularly when sight fishing to rising fish. As I have mentioned in previous Posts, a smooth acceleration to an abrupt stop will produce a nicely formed loop and effective turn-over.
At the end of our afternoon on the stream my client had landed at least one nicely plump McCloud rainbow and numerous overly eager Parr. He was also pleased to be able to produce nicely formed loops under total control.