05 Aug 2015 Colorado fly fishing on the Crystal River
September = Colorado Fly Fishing bliss
Welcome to the Crystal River Valley!!! Located on the western slope of Colorado about 3 hours west of Denver and south of Glenwood Springs. The Crystal River drains the Elk Mountains and a portion of the “Raggeds”, with it’s source being the South Fork of the Crystal, which originates on Schofield Pass in Gunnison County. The Crystal flows almost due north during its 40 mile life to Carbondale, Colorado where it confluences with the Roaring Fork River. This is where we will call home for 5 nights and base out of for our Colorado fly fishing extravaganza.
It is a very rugged, and narrow valley that was carved by a glacier, you can see the classic U shape in the picture above. This photo was taken from McClure Pass and is looking downstream towards Carbondale, the large peak on the right with just a touch of snow is Mount Sopris. The photo below, was taken from near Carbondale and is looking south, or upstream. You can really see the way the valley has been carved.
The terrain has greatly limited the amount of development in the valley. There are 2 small towns in the 40 miles of river, Redstone, which has a population of about 80, and Marble, Colorado with a population of 130 -ish. It is such a beautiful and awe inspiring river valley, that the local community has begun the process to have it designated as a Wild & Scenic River. This place will knock your socks off.
Now about the fishing, flows in the fall will tend to be in the range of 75 to 150 cfs. This is a small stream that has deep pools, long runs and very defined features. A mixture of nymphing and dry fly fishing will be the plan. In September of 2014, there were swarms of Rusty Spinners that had the trout going crazy for dry flys. Blue Wing Olives ( BWO’s) are also are quite plentiful and fishing these as nymphs is a solid strategy.
We normally spend 2 days fishing various parts of the Crystal. While not as well known as the next door neighbors; the Roaring Fork & the Frying Pan Rivers, this mighty little stream serves up awesome fishing experiences. Rarely, will you encounter fisherman other than those in your party and how cool is it to be wading amongst large chunks of Marble.
The majority of the river is wadeable, allowing you to cover huge amounts of territory in a day if you choose.
There is the opportunity to achieve the Rocky Mountain Grand Slam on the Crystal, Rainbows, Browns, Cutthroats and Brook trout are all present. The fish on the Crystal tend to be a bit smaller than the Roaring Fork, but there is a greater diversity of type of fish.
Most of our guides feel that this is the prettiest river they have ever fished. In fact, we are never really sure that Ryan is going to return to PA when he is done guiding this trip. Come see for yourself.
Join us on our fall pilgrimage for an awesome Colorado fly fishing trip. The goal for this trip is to expose you to a number of different types of water and fishing scenarios, you will want to bring pretty full armory. We aim to fish at least 3 different rivers and multiple locations on each river. All fishing is done via wading, so be sure to bring your wading staff and an extra set of warm socks. To read a bit more about the inner workings of the trip check out the Colorado Fly fishing trip overview.
Wilderness Voyageurs Colorado Outfitter, # 2883 800-272-4141