Crystal River Report 5-23-21

Posted on 23 May 2021

May 23, 2021

FLOW: 660 CFS in Carbondale

WATER CONDITIONS: Starting to yo-yo as we warm up

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 if clear, 0 out of 10 if muddy

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Midges, Caddis, Golden Stoneflies, BWOs (more bugs hatching in the lower elevations than the upper so far)

THE LOW DOWN: Flows are beginning to get "mood swings" as we warm up. The Crystal can run clear one day and blow out the next, so keep an eye on the flows.

In the spring months, don't overlook access areas in the town of Carbondale or any of the National Forest access between Carbondale and Redstone. 

This can also be a great river to do some wildlife watching on as well. Keep your eyes out for migrating Elk, Deer, Bighorn Sheep, and Merriam Turkeys.

The healthier bug and fish populations tend to be above Redstone, but nice fish can be found anywhere on the Crystal. 

Most of you know this is the river to find some solitude, many visitors are focused on the world-renowned Fryingpan, Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers. 

No need to overthink this river, find some of the pools and runs and show them your favorite smaller attractor flies.

HATCHES: Midges 18-26, BWOs 18-22, Caddis 14-18, Golden Stoneflies 6-10, Salmonflies 4-8

NYMPHS: Copper John 18-20, Tung Pheasant Tail 16-20, Prince Nymph 16-18, Jerome Baetis 18-20, JuJu Baetis 18-22, Neon Nightmare 20-22, Sparkle Pupa 14-18, Spanflex Golden Stone 8-10, Copper Back Golden Stonefly 8-12, San Juan Worm 10

DRIES: Rogue Foam Salmonfly 4-8, Egg Layer Salmonfly 4, Chubby Chernobyl 8-12, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, No Hackle BWO 20-22, Griffith's Gnat 20-22, Parachute Adams 16-20, Stimulator 18, TC Sparkledun BWO 18-22

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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