Carbondale |


AspenAlive Staff Report

Along County Road 100 (the back road) between Carbondale and Emma, there’s fisherman access at the Catherine Bridge. Set along the railroad tracks, this access point offers dramatic views. The access is 30 feet from the centerline of the bridge in both directions.

Fish the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Crystal rivers. From downtown Carbondale, head out Highway 133 to Highway 82 and take a right and then another immediate right. Here, the buzz of two highways is quieted by the sounds of the water. You’ll find a parking area and a sign telling you all about the fishing access. Anglers have about a half-mile of riverbank and river to wade here. The road can be rough for low-clearance vehicles so park up top and walk down if you’d prefer.

This access is located 90 feet east of the Carbondale Bridge and south of the highway right of way. It extends upstream on the north side of the river, about 2,015 feet. The lease goes to the center of the river; the south side of the river is private property. Also ask at a local fly shop about the Gianinetti Spring Creek Access fee-fishing for up to two miles of creek, a half-mile of the Roaring Fork and in a small lake.

The old settlement of Satank –the first new town on the Aspen branch of the old Denver & Rio Grand railroad, laid out in 1885 was originally called Rockford. To access the river in this area, take Highway 133 from Carbondale and go left on Highway 82. Travel down to where the guardrail stops, and take a left across the oncoming lanes onto Satank Road. About a half-mile down the road, there will be some parking spots. Walk across the irrigation ditch to find the access. Or, continue down the road to where the old bridge is now closed and the road dead ends. You can fish that side downstream. Watch for property signs and DOW access signs. You can also get to this fishing access without getting on the highway by taking the side roads to the other dead end of the bridge. Check a local map. County Road MSTo access the Crystal River confluence with the Roaring Fork, park at the Satank bridge and walk upstream on the Crystal. You can also cross the County Road MS bridge, where you’ll see a path down to the Crystal. Access is on the north side, one-quarter mile to the Satank Bridge on the south side of the river. Access is also up the north side of the Crystal to the County Road MS bridge.

This small park is behind the Crystal Village subdivision and accesses the Crystal River. This spot is a good one during spawning season when fish come up from the Roaring Fork. It’s also a great place to take beginning anglers who need to learn some basics. To get there, turn off Highway 133 at the 7-Eleven and head past the City Market complex. Take the last entrance to Crystal Village on the left, then an immediate right on Oak Run Road, which hooks around. Go about .2 miles and look for the sidewalk and sign to your right (it’s in between two houses). The sidewalk is a little hard to see. Take the 40-step stairway down to the river park, where there are two picnic tables and two fire pits. It’s a quiet spot.

Surprisingly, the Division of Wildlife’s Crystal River Fish Hatchery, located along the Crystal River and Highway 133, also welcomes anglers just not where it’s growing the fish. The DOW has riverfront property here. Access is from the Highway 133 bridge to the bridge by the hatchery on both sides of the river. Access is also along the east side of the end of DOW property. Visitors to the hatchery are welcome. Here you’ll see concrete troughs filled with trout of all sizes.

About five miles outside Carbondale on Highway 133 you’ll find the Lilly Bridge on Nettle Creek. There’s not much parking off the highway, though. Access is 250 feet on the east side of the river and 165 feet on the west side.