Crystal River Fishing Report

Information
Often overlooked by visitors to the area, the Crystal is an undiscovered gem worth finding. Starting at the confluence of its north and south forks, the river winds down from the alpine meadows of the Elk Mountains above Marble, Colorado and drains into the Valley of the Coal Miners. Because there are large shale deposits in its drainage basin, the “crystal” water can get muddy after a hard rain or during spring runoff, but if you catch it right it can deliver some great trout fishing.


Public access is quite good since most of the river flows through the White River National Forest and runs nearly parallel to highway #133. In the fall, brown trout come up from the Roaring Fork River to spawn, which can provide a great opportunity for anglers. The state stocks rainbow and cutthroat in the public sections between Marble and Redstone because hatches tend to be lower here than in other parts of the river. This is the only section that is stocked.

Higher concentrations of rainbow are found as you move toward the river’s confluence with the Roaring Fork. Because this is a swift moving river, the fish are known to hold out in current seams and banks where it’s possible for them to feed without exerting too much energy. Most consider late spring to early fall the best time to fish this wading river. 

Between Crystal City and Marble, the river works its way through the Crystal River Canyon, a narrow valley with a challenging landscape. Fishing is known to be good here but the terrain is rugged and access is difficult due to seasonal mudslides, snow slides and rockfalls. If this type of adventure appeals to you, be sure to only go in with an appropriate, 4 wheel vehicle.
 
Additional Information
Tributaries:
Lost Trail Creek, Anthracite Creek, Avalanche Creek
Source:
Confluence of North Fork and South Fork Crystal River
Mouth:
Roaring Fork Creek
Length:
40 miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Hatches
SpringMidge, Stoneflies, BWO, Caddis, Eggs
SummerStoneflies, BWO, Green Drake, Red Quill, PMD, Caddis, Hoppers, Worms
FallBWO, Green Drake, Caddis, Hoppers, Eggs
WinterMidge, BWO, Caddis, Stoneflies
Current Forecast
Water Flow
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Top Fly Fishing Rivers in the US
The Crystal River is rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers inthe US by Bob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
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