Not as well-known as the Frying Pan or the Roaring Fork, the Crystal River is a fast-moving, clear river with good fishing and only a fraction of the crowds you’ll find at the other two. The fish tend to be smaller, but it’s not unheard of to hook a 16-inch rainbow or brown lurking in the deeper pools.
The hatches tend to be the same as the other rivers, and you’ll find whitefish here as well. The mid-summer dry-fly fishing can be a lot of fun, with feisty and hungry fish that are eager for whatever you throw at them.
The views alone are worth the trip, as you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the Elk Mountains. The upper stretches can be breathtaking, especially in the fall when the Aspens are turning from green to gold.
If you’re in the area, be sure to check out this river; it won’t disappoint!
You can get a recent fishing report from the following sites: