Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Dream Stream

Difficulty Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 5/11, 5/12 & 5/13

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 6, 2021

If we’re dreaming about anything, it’s higher flows. With low flows and clear water, trout are skittish and selective. While you’ll find most trout stacked up in pronounced pools and runs, these will be the hardest trout to fool. These trout have more time to inspect your flies and getting your flies into their feeding lane can be a challenge. Based on that, our preferred approach is hitting slow riffles, pockets, transitions and shelves during the afternoon. BWOs are hatching regularly, which encourages trout to move into those faster sections to feed on emergers. Because trout have less time to inspect your flies in faster moving water, you’ll have an easier time fooling them. Lead with a Flashback Pheasant Tail, JuJu Baetis, Electric Caddis or Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear. These patterns will help get their attention and your baetis emerger trailer will seal the deal. You may also find trout feeding on the surface along banks and in soft pools and runs. If you see this, tie on a Parachute Adams, Sparkle Dun or Mole Fly.

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.