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John or "LC"
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I fished Crane on August 15, and again this weekend on September 2 and 3. August the WT was 71°F, fairly active damsel hatch although I got my 3 on a Sheep Creek and some peculiar thing I tied up that is similar but a larger body. All Cranebows, 18" -22". Fished out of Quinn in the channel, 9-11' depth. 2x and 3x tippet--I don't even carry anything smaller any more for subsurface fishing as I've found with fluorocarbon it doesn't matter even in gin clear water (like Crane right now). I was using a 10' 2x leader with 3-4' of 3x tippet. Years ago we used to use 25' leaders at Crane, as the fish do seem to be leader shy, but this length seemed fine, even though it was a bit of a challenge to cast with a 7'6" rod. I would not use less, even subsurface. A clear, intermediate line is all you need for subsurface, but carry a floater for emergers and some dries during a good hatch.

This weekend there was a major cold front, and the fishing was tough with the WT at 61°F, dropping from the high 60's the day before. The guide boats were getting 1-2 fish per day. Only one fish per day, 1 23" on a Cascade Special, 1 20" on a callibaetis emerger, #14, both Cranebows. Damsels are gone, very minor callibaetis hatch midday. All fish were top quality, full bodied, great jumps and runs. Got them on a CGR 5/6 glass rod, a Fenwick FF806, glass, and a Mark Steffen 5 wt. graphite rod. So fun, and in my mind Crane is back fishing well without having to use bobbers. Totally worth the 1000 mile round trip from Sacramento, and I hope to do it again in early October. Time on the water average 2.5 hours per trip. Time of day varies--this time of year probably mid afternoons are best. In August, 9-11am was the best, with the bite dying around 1 pm.

On 9/2 there was an ODFW creel checker camped out at the ramp all day. With few people fishing we had a chance to talk, and I learned a lot I wanted to pass on.

In Crane, ODFW stocks three species of trout. The Cranebow in various sizes including fingerlings, triploids, and diploids. Fish ID is easy, and I learned you cannot tell from appearance. Cranebows, a derivative of the Deschutes RedBand, must be released and has no fins clipped. The triploids have the adipose fin clipped. The diploids are usually smaller and have both the adipose and ventral fins clipped. The last two may be kept, limit of 5 I think (as if anyone on here cares). She was surveying opinions as to what species of fish was preferred. Good Lord, who would not want Cranebows? Anyway....

She told me my 23" Cranebow was the largest trout reported that day. That was disappointing, as like the other old guys who have been fishing Crane for a few decades, I remember when anything under 30" wouldn't turn a head. I don't know if those are still around, but I was delighted to get what I did as they were great sport and beautiful, quality trout I rarely see down here any more, save Crowley Lake around Mammoth Lakes, which is about the same quality as Crane with slightly smaller average size but even hotter than Cranebows.

I had mentioned that our CDFW has stopped all brown planting programs statewide, and only the utility companies and some private associations and counties are planting browns now. She said ODFW is headed in the same direction, as they want to keep all plants to native species. She calls the Rainbow native. I don't know if that's true; in California the only native trout is the Lahontan Cutthroat.

ODFW has stopped flyover fingerling plants in the high lakes, due to budget constraints. Same with CDFW as far as we know.

Other Waters Fished:
East Lake (August)--a few very nice Blackwaters, 16"-18" great jumpers, my first, and what could be about the perfect trout. A few kokes, 12" maybe, a couple of generic planters, boring. All on #14 callibaetis emergers. I took a boat out for the day with the fam and a friend the following Monday for a cruise, and saw good trout all over the lake, especially around the slide.

Hosmer--I didn't give it enough time to get anything, but there were plenty of Rainbows being caught earlier on damsels. No one is getting salmon, and when I mentioned to Miss ODFW that I thought they were a very overrated fish she said ODFW agreed and has stopped all Atlantic stocking in Oregon. Too bad I guess--hopefully Hosmer can kick out some brookies in the fall still. Too many kayakers to really want to fish it though.

Wickiup and Davis--didn't fish either as Davis was reported to be a mudhole and Wickiup very low. I am pretty familiar with most of the Cascade Lakes but Wickiup is my pain point. I don't know how to fish it, need to learn when I bring my boat up--kind of large for a tube.

Sidebar: Oregonians should consider themselves lucky to have ODFW--at least they care about the fish. I was impressed with our conversation. CDFW is only about money now. It's nearly all put and take, this year I'm getting mostly 8" triploids, and three years ago they legalized spearfishing for striped bass in the American River! They feel they kill salmon smolt, and aside from license fees, their biggest revenue source is funding from Department of Reclamation for operating salmon hatcheries.

Best regards and tight lines,
John
 

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Sculpin Enterprises
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She calls the Rainbow native. I don't know if that's true; in California the only native trout is the Lahontan Cutthroat.
Great report; I have managed to fish several of those lakes in the past. But I do have two minor quibbles. The Kern River drainage is the type locality for golden trout (though there is some controversy over whether it is a subspecies of rainbow trout or its own species). Also, because steelhead range as far south as Baja California and as steelhead are actually a life-history strategy of rainbow trout, rainbows are native to California. In fact, wherever you have rainbows, you will have alternative life-histories expressed, including totally riverine strategies.
Steve
 

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I was at Crane in June during an algae bloom. While everyone else struggled, my buddy and I were having double digit days on Cranebows by slow trolling black wooly buggers in my drift boat.
We'd start at the Quinn launch, straight across the lake and back again, which crosses a couple of different channels. Big fish was 25", most were 18-23"
 

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For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
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John, thanks for the report . Had some epic days on Davis way back in the late 80's. Crane P is a beautiful lake, fished it with my dad one time during the bass invasion. Could see the potential for huge rainbows there.

c/22
 
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LA RAMS are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!
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I fished Davis Lake all the time in the late 80's with my family. It had lots of well fed rainbows, some were huge. Fishing late evenings by the lava flow dam could be amazing stripping matuka streamers. Great dry fly fishing back then too.

John, thanks for the report . Had some epic days on Davis way back in the late 80's. Crane P is a beautiful lake, fished it with my dad one time during the bass invasion. Could see the potential for huge rainbows there.

c/22
 

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For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
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I fished Davis Lake all the time in the late 80's with my family. It had lots of well fed rainbows, some were huge. Fishing late evenings by the lava flow dam could be amazing stripping matuka streamers. Great dry fly fishing back then too.
Did you ever hook one of the Atlantic's that were supposedly in Davis?
 

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LA RAMS are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!
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No, never encountered Atlantics in Davis Lake, just rainbows and thousands of whitefish. I also caught a male kokanee on a comparadun dry fly there one day.

I caught tons of Atlantic Salmon in Hosmer Lake back then though. Most were under 17 inches, but incredible leapers and fighters. I learned how to tie flies in 1987 from the owner of the Patient Angler, and he told me stories of giant Atlantic Salmon in Hosmer from the original planting prior to the 1980's. Wish I could have hooked one of those. The brook trout were nice sized, but pretty smart.

Those inland salmon made me curious about salmon fishing with a fly rod (for life).
 

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Dumbfounded
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John, thanks for the report . Had some epic days on Davis way back in the late 80's. Crane P is a beautiful lake, fished it with my dad one time during the bass invasion. Could see the potential for huge rainbows there.

c/22
Crane has never been good to me. Over decades of trying, I've only caught a few trout in the 20-inch range.

Before the illegal introduction of LMB, Davis was my favorite for trophy size rainbow. I never heard that they dumped any atlantics in Davis. Never saw one. I did see the huge schools of mountain whitefish

I went to war with the ODF&W over the regs for Davis. This was just after LMB started showing up in Davis. The original regulations allowed you to keep rainbow. I felt that was insane. Their management plan for Davis was for a flyfishing only, trophy rainbow trout fishery. As the big trout were reproducing on their own and therefor wild in nature, I felt it was insane to allow the harvest of those trout. I knew the bass would have a negative effect on the trout so allowing anglers to also keep the rainbow was nuts.

You simply can not manage for a trophy trout fishery if you're knocking off the trophy trout.

I beat up the zone biologist to a point where he told me the department would attend the regulation meeting with no recommendation for my proposal and leave it up to the commission.

After I gave my presentation, I thought I had the commission convinced. During the discussion of the commissioners, all the commissioners said my proposal sounded fine to them. Then the new chairman asked the ODF&W if a slot limit would be a viable option. He said that campers at Davis should have the ability to kill trout to have for dinner at their campsites.

I have researched slot limits and it is a stupid regulation if you're trying to manage a trophy trout fishery. If you can keep trout within the size limit, they never have a chance to grow to trophy size so you accomplish nothing with a slot limit.

The ODF&W said a slot limit was okay with them because they had no recommendation one way or the other.

Evidently to impress the new chairman, all the commissioners, except for one, voted for changing the regulations to a slot limit. The chairman announced that the new regulation would be changed to a slot limit and those who wanted to change the regs to C&R would "have to live with it".

Even with the LMB wiping out the trout population and the drought years also damaging the trout population, you can still keep rainbow within the slot limit.

That was my last proposal for regulation change. It was very obvious to me that the ODF&W and commission have no interest in the fisheries but are more interested in catering to the harvest anglers than anything else so there is no point in attempting regulation changes.
 

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Crane has never been good to me. Over decades of trying, I've only caught a few trout in the 20-inch range.

Before the illegal introduction of LMB, Davis was my favorite for trophy size rainbow. I never heard that they dumped any atlantics in Davis. Never saw one. I did see the huge schools of mountain whitefish

I went to war with the ODF&W over the regs for Davis. This was just after LMB started showing up in Davis. The original regulations allowed you to keep rainbow. I felt that was insane. Their management plan for Davis was for a flyfishing only, trophy rainbow trout fishery. As the big trout were reproducing on their own and therefor wild in nature, I felt it was insane to allow the harvest of those trout. I knew the bass would have a negative effect on the trout so allowing anglers to also keep the rainbow was nuts.

You simply can not manage for a trophy trout fishery if you're knocking off the trophy trout.

I beat up the zone biologist to a point where he told me the department would attend the regulation meeting with no recommendation for my proposal and leave it up to the commission.

After I gave my presentation, I thought I had the commission convinced. During the discussion of the commissioners, all the commissioners said my proposal sounded fine to them. Then the new chairman asked the ODF&W if a slot limit would be a viable option. He said that campers at Davis should have the ability to kill trout to have for dinner at their campsites.

I have researched slot limits and it is a stupid regulation if you're trying to manage a trophy trout fishery. If you can keep trout within the size limit, they never have a chance to grow to trophy size so you accomplish nothing with a slot limit.

The ODF&W said a slot limit was okay with them because they had no recommendation one way or the other.

Evidently to impress the new chairman, all the commissioners, except for one, voted for changing the regulations to a slot limit. The chairman announced that the new regulation would be changed to a slot limit and those who wanted to change the regs to C&R would "have to live with it".

Even with the LMB wiping out the trout population and the drought years also damaging the trout population, you can still keep rainbow within the slot limit.

That was my last proposal for regulation change. It was very obvious to me that the ODF&W and commission have no interest in the fisheries but are more interested in catering to the harvest anglers than anything else so there is no point in attempting regulation changes.
That is where the votes and the $$$$s are, Gene.
We live in a time when the urban population in the cities control the
votes and government. This is true of all of the West Coast states and probably the East Coast as well. A large number of these city dwellers never saw a trout rise to a dry fly or a bend in the rod as a large salmon or steelhead made the reel scream.
They are only interested in fish as a dish on their table.
Just my $0.02.

I always wanted to fish Crane Prairie and Davis down there in Oregone.
Doubt that I ever will but they sure look fishy.
 

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That is where the votes and the $$$$s are, Gene.
We live in a time when the urban population in the cities control the
votes and government. This is true of all of the West Coast states and probably the East Coast as well. A large number of these city dwellers never saw a trout rise to a dry fly or a bend in the rod as a large salmon or steelhead made the reel scream.
They are only interested in fish as a dish on their table.
Back when things were a bit less "urbanized," harvest was the standard. Harvest has been the main agenda for most people from long before there were "city dwellers" or the majority of the populations being in urban centers. Conservation, restraint, and C&R are quite new phenomenons. Whether or not the various DFWs are merely feeding into long-standing exploitation of nature by humans or whether they're actively driving it these days as a way of self-preservation can be debated. But the notion that we have what we have now because people are urbanized rings a little hollow.
 

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Dumbfounded
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There is a handful of flyfishing only fisheries in Oregon... almost all are C&R. I don't care about the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of non-flyfishing only fisheries that allow the kill of trout. However, because Davis is a flyfishing only lake, did sustain a population of wild trout and was invaded by illegally planted LMB, I didn't think it was a stretch to request that a single flyfishing only lake was restricted to C&R for trout.
 

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I didn't think it was a stretch to request that a single flyfishing only lake was restricted to C&R for trout.
Of course not. They should be offering more fisheries that are less harvest-oriented, as the ever-increasing pressure makes harvest less and less sustainable. But my point is that this has to do with more pressure--just flat out more people--not where people live.
 

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Back when things were a bit less "urbanized," harvest was the standard. Harvest has been the main agenda for most people from long before there were "city dwellers" or the majority of the populations being in urban centers. Conservation, restraint, and C&R are quite new phenomenons. Whether or not the various DFWs are merely feeding into long-standing exploitation of nature by humans or whether they're actively driving it these days as a way of self-preservation can be debated. But the notion that we have what we have now because people are urbanized rings a little hollow.
Exactly.
The City Dwellers would promote more Wild Fish and catch and release than the local knuckle draggers who kill everything always.
 
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