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Often overlooked by anglers anxious to cast their lines in the Roaring Fork, the Crystal River runs for more than 35 mi from its headwaters near the town of Marble to its junction with the Roaring Fork in Carbondale. In spring and fall this junction has excellent fishing for brown and rainbow trout as they attempt a run up the Crystal to spawn. Mountain whitefish can also be hooked. The upper reaches of the river traverse public land in the White River National Forest, but the last 6 mi are mostly private property. Be sure to check signage. Near the confluence, public fishing is possible at the Days Inn in Carbondale, Satank Road, and the Division of Wildlife Fish Hatchery on Highway 133, 1 mi south of Carbondale. Redstone Lodge offers fishing for a fee.
The riverscape ranges from deep boulder pools and white-water rapids to slow, flat sections. Because of the steep shore terrain, storm runoff can sometimes cloud the river, making sight-casting difficult.
Ajax Bike and Sport. There's a large selection of mountain and road bikes for sale and rent at Ajax Bike and Sport. The shop also sells accessories and apparel. 571 Hwy. 133, Carbondale, CO, 81623. 970/963-0128. www.ajaxbikeandsport.com.
Alpine Angling. This company has the gear you need to get fishing, including rods, wheels, waders, and flies. The smart staff here can recommend best places for visitors to catch (and release) local trout, and offers lessons and guided trips. 995 Cowen Dr., Ste. 102, Carbondale, CO, 81623. www.roaringforkanglers.com.
See www.wildlife.state.co.us/fishing for more fishing information.
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