Crystal River Colorado Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Crystal River

Crystal River trout fishing can be good though the river doesn't live up to its name at times, but with good planning and some luck, action can be non-stop.

  • Crystal River sees less pressure than the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Frying Pan
  • Rainbows, browns and brookies inhabit the river
  • Royal Wulffs, Humpies and other attractors work well
  • Access the Crystal from the campgrounds along Colorado 133
  • No special regulations, open to all kinds of angling

Crystal River

Fly fishing the Crystal River is a bit of a mixed bag. The higher up the river you go the easier the wading, but the smaller the trout. With an average width of 10 to 20 yards, the river is ideal for post-runoff fishing in the months of July, August and September.  

Seasons On The Crystal

Most anglers target the Crystal as it clears. Fishing can be good up until flows jump up in the spring. Runoff can make for nearly unfishable conditions from April to July, depending on the year's snow pack and how fast temperatures heat up. Fall can be a great time to enjoy the colors and the occasional rainbow or brown that measure 24 inches.

Average Trout 

The Crystal is loaded with nine- to 14-inch rainbows, browns and smaller brook trout in the river's upper reaches. Anglers do manage to pull in some fish to five pounds each year as the Colorado Division of Wildlife plants some brood stock here.

Accessing The Crystal

This smaller fishery doesn't get half the pressure of the other rivers. You can enjoy elbow room on it in the White River National Forest and from the campgrounds along Colorado 133.