Dream Stream flows have held steady at 148 cfs for the past week. Water clarity is high between the dam and first parking lot. Below the first parking lot, anglers will encounter dirty water and poor visibility due to active restoration work. With that in mind, we highly recommend fishing above the first parking lot. Crowds are heavy due to the kokanee and brown trout spawn, so be prepared to share the river with other anglers. Redds are becoming more prevalent by the day, so watch your step and avoid fishing to actively spawning trout. When targeting trout, you can’t go wrong with olive leeches, egg sucking leeches, San Juan Worms, egg patterns, red Copper Johns, Buckskin Caddis, Pheasant Tails and classic midge/baetis patterns such as RS2s, JuJu Baetis, Chocolate Foam Backs and red Zebra Midges. Red always seems to be a hot color when trout are spawning, so when in don’t, put a red fly on your line. Focus on pronounced pools and runs around bends, pocket water and shelves. Aside from nymphing, dry flies have been hit or miss depending on the conditions and the same goes for streamers. Overcast days tend to be the most productive for both of those tactics. When it comes to kokanee, keep it simple with leech, worm, egg and bright/flashy nymphs. Presentation is key with kokanee, but if you put your flies right in front of them, odds are, you’ll get them to eat.
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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.