Ray Krouscup

Anyone who has fished Crane Creek over the last fifty odd years is certain to have encountered a local character sporting a battered fishing hat, a walking stick and a huge .357 Magnum strapped to his hip!

This was Ray Krouscup who died unexpectedly last week.

Ray Krouscup taken by Willoughby Johnson

Ray Krouscup – photo taken by Willoughby Johnson

Ray worked as a meat cutter for fifty years and only retired about a year ago.  He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish, particularly if it involved the company of dogs and fellow fly fishers (especially dogs!).  He tied flies commercially and always carried a box with him to hand to fly fishers who were new to the stream.  He would happily pass the time of day with anybody he met and nobody was a stranger to Ray.

He is probably best remember because he was always “packing” some great firearm on his hip accompanied by a couple of speed loaders.  To my knowledge nobody ever asked him what he was afraid of although I am sure his reply would have been “absolutely no body”!

Contrary to this cowboy image, if you took the time to visit with him you would find he was the most gentle and caring person you could wish to meet.

Ray even has his own chapter in a wonderful book called Crosscut Creek: A Year of Fly Fishing on an Ozark Trout Stream by my dear friend Willoughby Johnson.

I am really sorry that future visits to world famous Crane Creek won’t include a chat with Ray and I hope he is strolling along some heavenly creek in the company of other fly fishing heroes like Lee Wulff or Sylvester Nemes.  RIP old chap, I’m going to miss you.

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6 Responses to Ray Krouscup

  1. Kendra says:

    Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really
    make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

  2. Sandy Scroggs says:

    Just ran across this page today, and I want to say I love what you wrote about my dad. Thanks for putting it out there I miss him everyday!!!

  3. Ken Morrow says:

    I met him out there a few times. Honestly, I learned why he carried the pistol one day on Crane Creek when no one else was around. He shot an otter on the bank that he had been watching kill trout and leave them on the bank uneaten for over a week. He didn’t always shoot otters. Only the ones that got too big for their breeches. I heard 2 shots close by as I walked along the creek, and we soon met near the small parking area by the bridge south of town. He was carrying a big dead otter. He explained the situation to me, and then left. I went back to fishing for an hour or so. When I came back to the parking area, the warden was there. He asked if I had seen anyone else. I said yes. He described Ray and called him by name. I said, yes, that was him. He said, “Good. He said he’d probably get here first. I’m glad he took care of it, because I don’t like having to shoot otters.” Apparently, this particular otter had developed a bad reputation, and the wild Rainbows of Crane Creek are prized as much by MDC as they are by fly anglers. LOL That was the last time I ever saw Ray…and it was the last time I fished Crane Creek, come to think of it.

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