Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Dream Stream

Difficulty Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 2/22, 2/23 & 2/28

Weekly Report

Report DateFeb. 25, 2021
While the other South Platte tailwaters will receive relatively mild weather over the next week, the Dream Stream will continue to experience cold winter temperatures. Trout will continue to be sluggish during the morning and moderately active during the afternoon. Either way, the 12 pm – 4 pm window will be the most productive window. Flows are holding steady at 85 cfs and water clarity is high. Walking several feet from the bank and moving slowly is important. It will help you avoid spooking trout and improve your ability to sight fish. For the most part, trout are stacked up in their winter lies (pronounced pools, deep and slow runs and soft pockets). With that said, you may see a few trout spread out towards the bank or in shallower runs, so keep an eye out. Small and simple midge nymph rigs are a great place to start. Lead with a midge larva such as a blood midge or Miracle Nymph and trail and midge pupa such as a Top Secret, Mercury Flashback Black Beauty, Jujubee Midge or WD-40. If that doesn’t get the job done, consider swapping out your lead pattern for a Mini Leech, scud, Flashback Pheasant Tail, Perdigon or Frenchie. Dead drifting and slowly stripping streamers through soft pools is also an option. Relatively warm and overcast days are ideal for streamers.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


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.

River Access

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.