Crystal River Report 12-23-23

Posted on 23 December 2023

Crystal River Report

December 23, 2023

FLOW: 55 CFS in Carbondale 


OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Midges, Winter Stones, Sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: This little gem of a river is clear and fishing very well. This river is ideal for those seeking a bit of solitude. In-stream work in Carbondale can make the lower mile a bit off-color. The higher up you go, icier conditions will be encountered.

No need to overthink the Crystal- Attractor patterns fished dry-dropper style are effective, and change up to a traditional nymph rig for the deeper pits you will encounter.

The higher you go, the more cutthroat and brook trout you will encounter, and fewer people.

HATCHES: Midges 18-26, Winter Stoneflies 16-18

NYMPHS: Copper John Red, 18-20, Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail 18, Tungsten Split Case PMD Nymph 16-18, Cat Poop Golden Stone 6-10, Tung Pheasant Tail 16-20, Prince Nymph 16-18, Jerome Baetis 18-20, JuJu Baetis 18-22, Neon Nightmare 20-22

DRIES: Harrop's CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, Collette's Quilled Para BWO 18-22, Griffith's Gnat 20-22, Parachute Adams 16-20, Stimulator 12-18, TC Sparkledun BWO 18-22, Putterbaugh Caddis Black 16-18 (Fished as a winter stone)

STREAMERS: Lightning Bugger Black 4, Beldar Lemon Drop 4-6, BH Simi Seal Leech 10, Sculpzilla 4-8

HINTS: Don't ignore the shallow riffles, they are often loaded with sculpins and insects.


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