Crystal Lake is a beautiful alpine lake with outstanding fly fishing scenery. Jagged peaks and evergreen trees dot the landscape as you cast for the classic Colorado catch. While this body of water isn’t the first you’ll see in any Colorado fly fishing guides it’s worth the trip for anglers who want both fantastic scenery and good fishing.
Let’s learn everything you need to know about this hidden gem of a lake including when to go, what to take, and what to fish for. It’ll be challenging to concentrate on fishing when views like this surround you.
Crystal Lake is found off the Million Dollar Highway (US 550) about a half hour south of Ouray in southwestern Colorado. If you’re driving from Denver, make it worth your while for the five and half hour drive by planning on at least a couple days fishing. Crystal Lake is approximately a five-hour drive east from Colorado Springs. The picturesque alpine scenery makes it worth your while no matter the drive distance.
You could consider Crystal Lake a large pond rather of a lake so expect a lot of shore fishing. You can get away with waist waders, but the warmth of chest waders will be appreciated. Fish your favorite trout ties including dry flies or try out some streamers and nymphs to see what freshwater species you can pull out. You don’t need a heavy outfit to fish Crystal Lake, just an 8 – 10-foot road at no more than 6 weight. If you know the fish are there but are having difficulty try switching to a lighter rig.
Ouray County can see some nasty winter conditions which locks up fishing for many months at Crystal Lake. Due to cold and snow it’s best to fish Crystal Lake after the spring thaw and into the summer. Talk to local anglers to figure out what’s hatching at what time and what you should be tossing in the water.
Finding yourself at the river during the wrong time of day can result in plenty of great views but zero fish. Let’s go by the season so you don’t waste time angling at the wrong time.
If you want to fish in some of the most dramatic alpine scenery has to offer, you’ll love fishing Crystal Lake in stunning Ouray County. Grab your assortment of flies, toss on your waders, and ready your line for everything Crystal Lake and the surrounding area has to offer.