Goin’ Fishin’

Todd and I are going up to Missouri to fish Crane Creek tomorrow, and I’m fired up about it. The Ozarks are in full color, and the fishing is always good at Crane. Crane Creek is interesting because it’s full of wild rainbow trout. “Why is that interesting?” you ask. It’s interesting because there are no native trout in the Ozarks. Almost a hundred years ago, a train was travelling through Missouri to deliver a shipment that included some young trout fry to the East Coast from the McCloud River in California. The train broke down in Missouri. Instead of letting the fry die, they released them into Crane, which is a spring creek (important because they’re cold, even in summer, and trout are coldwater fish). They’ve lived there more or less happily ever since. The State of Missouri has a lot of special regulations (including catch and release) that protect that population. They don’t grow very big (it’s a small creek), but they’re beautiful (especially compared to the “rubber” hatchery trout we have in all of our tailwater fisheries in Arkansas, no matter how big those fish get) and they’re very wary, so it’s a real challenge to catch any.