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Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Dream Stream

Difficulty Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 5/16, 5/21 & 5/22

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 14, 2022

Dream Stream flows increased by 80 cfs on Friday and now sit at 250 cfs. While 250 cfs is at the top end of the productive threshold, off-color water and poor water clarity has led to difficult fishing. Trout are also in flux as they try to adjust to their new habitat. During the morning and absent hatch activity, get your flies deep in pronounced pools and runs. Depth is critical, so you may need to adjust your weight and indicator placement until you find their feeding lane. Unless you see trout suspended in the river, start by getting your flies into the deepest water column and then progressively work your way towards the surface. As water temps rise and hatches materialize, either fish the middle water column in deeper water or focus on faster moving sections. Transitions, shelves, riffles and pockets are ideal holding positions for trout as bugs begin to emerge. Midge hatches have been consistent and BWO hatches have been pretty strong as well. You likely won’t find any big boys feeding on the surface, but if you’ve had a slow day, targeting smaller trout with a dry fly can be a lot of fun. Keep an eye on slack water along banks and slow pools/runs for rising trout. As far as bugs go, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Midge and baetis offerings are always a safe bet, but with elevated flows, trout are keyed in on scuds, leeches, worms, caddis larva, messy and/or flashy searchers. These patterns will serve well as a lead fly and get the trout’s attention. Midge pupa and baetis emergers with some flash will do the most damage in the trailer position. This is also a great time to fish streamers. Black and white patterns stripped off of undercut banks and through protective water will get the attention of the more aggressive trout.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
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Detailed River Info

Background:

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.

Angling:

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.