Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Dream Stream

Difficulty Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 9/25, 9/26 & 9/30

Weekly Report

Report DateSept. 21, 2023

With the Dream Stream sitting in the mid 100 cfs range, trout are favoring deep pools, runs and pockets but will spread out into riffles and tailouts during hatches. Midges, tricos and BWOs are the primary hatches right now. While surface activity during the midge and trico hatch has been consistent, the BWO hatch is hit or miss depending on conditions. Griffiths Gnats, Midge Clusters, Parachute Tricos, CDC Trico Spinners and Parachute Adams are good patterns to have on hand. Other than those hatches, terrestrials are still present and encouraging aggressive takes along undercut grass banks and shallow riffles. Trigger Bellys, Fat Alberts, Amy’s Ants and Hippy Stompers are some of our go-to patterns for terrestrials. Sub-surface, trout are responding to a variety of bugs such as leeches, worms, caddis, baetis and midges. Olive leeches, Buckskin Caddis, JuJu Baetis and Mercury Black Beauties have been particularly effective. Unless trout are overly selective and picky, leading with a larger pattern and trailing a small midge/baetis emerger is a great place to start. This is also the time of year when red patterns become very appealing. Red midge larva and searcher patterns such as Blood Midges and red Copper Johns are good examples.

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.