Dream Stream flows increased in a stair step fashion this week, rising from 160 to 350 cfs. While this is a positive thing to see this time of year and will help regulate water temps, volatile flows have made it difficult to locate trout. As flows increase or decrease, trout have to make adjustments to their holding and feeding positions. As a result, cover a lot of water and cover every inch of the section you’re fishing before moving on. Adjusting your depth during the process is also critical. You could be fishing the perfect flies in the perfect run, but if your flies are drifting above or below the trout, it won’t matter. Surface activity was hot the past few weeks but with rising flows, we’re seeing the most action, sub-surface. Heavy double/triple nymph rigs with a combination of big attractor patterns and flashy pupa/emergers will get the job done. Stoneflies, caddis larva, scuds, leeches, worms and searcher patterns (Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear etc.) are good lead patterns. Patterns such as Darth Baetis, Sparkle Wing RS2s, flashback Mercury Black Beauties and Sparkle Pupas have just enough flash to get attention in the trailer position. While nymphing, keep an eye on the undercut grass banks for rising trout and hoppers. If you observe this, tie on a juicy hopper pattern and trail it with a larger attractor nymph.
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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.