Dream Stream flows are healthy and stable and with the exception of the past few days, the weather has been surprisingly mild for this time of year. Mornings have definitely been cold and slow from a productivity standpoint but this quickly changes around 11 am. Slow and deep drifts through pools and soft runs with a nymph rig is the most productive approach regardless of the time of day. Double midge setups with a midge larva attractor and a midge pupa trailer are a great place to start. Flashback Pheasant Tails, Micro Mayflies, JuJu Baetis, orange scuds and egg patterns are alternative lead pattern options. As the water warms up, bug activity will increase and trout will rise up from the deepest portion of the water column. Drop some weight and let your midge pupa trailer do the work. Mercury Midges, Black Beauties, Top Secrets, Disco Midges and Rojo Midges are some of our favorite pupa patterns. Take advantage of the warm afternoons while you can and cover more water in the afternoon. Pockets, transitions and slow riffles tend to hold actively feeding trout that aren’t as selective.
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The Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area, A.K.A “Dream Stream” is a tailwater section of the South Platte River situated between Spinney Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir. The Dream Stream is highly sought after due to its trophy worthy trout, serene views and easy walk-in access. While the cold winter months deter a number of anglers, this stretch receives heavy angling pressure year-round. Fishing during the week or hitting the river early is typically the best way to find serenity. The Dream Stream is known for its healthy population of rainbow and brown trout. During the fall, kokanee salmon run out of Eleven Mile Reservoir and spawn in the Dream Stream, which is unique to only a few rivers in Colorado. During the spring and fall, lake run rainbow and brown trout all make their way into the system and provide anglers the opportunity to land 20 – 30 inch trout.
The Dream Stream is a great river to land your personal best trout, but be prepared to work for it. Similar to other tailwaters in Colorado, these trout are incredibly smart and aren’t fooled easily. Clean drifts and presentations are critical and if you’re fishing when flows are low, stealthy fishing becomes much more important. During the warm months, nymph rigs, dry flies, hopper droppers and streamers are all fair game. Slapping hoppers against undercut grass banks is one of our favorite tactics during the summer and early fall. Streamers are a great way to attract large and aggressive trout. During the winter, micro nymph rigs and streamers are the best approach.
There are a number of ways to get to the Dream Stream. However, If you are coming from Denver, the most efficient route will be to take Highway 285 through Fairplay and continue onto CO-9 South. Once you have reached Hartsel go east (left) on US-24 E then right on San Juan St., left on CO-RD 59 and finally, right onto Thirty nine mile Road. If you continue on to CO-9 (foregoing US-24 E), there are several parking lots that are visible from the road to the left.