The Dream Stream still has some cold and windy days in its back pocket but for the most part, conditions have been relatively mild. As a result, bug activity has been more consistent and angling pressure has increased. Healthy and stable flows have allowed trout to spread out a bit more, so don’t get stuck fishing the same pool all day. Anglers that efficiently explore pronounced pools, holes and runs, and cover a lot of ground will have the best luck. Slow riffles and transitions are highly productive on warm afternoons. Eggs, San Juan Worms, scuds, Mini Leeches, Pheasant Tails, Rainbow Warriors, Miracle Nymphs, Bling Midges, red Zebra Midges, Mercury Black Beauties, Top Secrets and Chocolate Foam Back Emergers are our go-to patterns right now. If those don’t do the trick, switch to simple and neutral colored midge patterns (thread and tube midges). When trout see hordes of anglers and the same flashy patterns day after day, reverting to something simple can often turn things around. Streamers are also becoming very effective as temperatures rise and the rainbow spawn progresses. Dead drifting and cross river retrieves will get looks when conditions are right. More lake run rainbows are making their way into the river, so avoid wading when possible and respect redds and spawning trout.
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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.