The infamous stretch of the South Platte between Spinney and Eleven Mile Reservoirs is known as "The Dream Stream". This is due to the hefty trout that venture out of Eleven Mile Reservoir and run upstream into the "Dream Stream" section of river. This section is a typical "tail Water" featuring lots of smaller bug life, clear/cold water, and high fishing pressure. While you always have the shot at catching the trout of your dreams, fishing here can be somewhat of a nightmare for the newcomer. Expect heavy fishing pressure, spooky trout, and high winds along with your chance at a trophy trout. That being said, the Dream Stream is still one of the best trout fisheries in the state. Glorious views, abundant aquatic food sources, and Gold Medal numbers of trout still grace these waters.
Fishing can be sporadic at the Dream Stream, don't expect to consistently catch fish all day. Instead, focus on brief hatches that come and go throughout the day. These hatches cause normally spooky trout to leave undercut banks, and feed on emerging insects while they have the chance. It can be a good idea to bring two set ups, one for a nymph rig, and one for dries. Fish dries, a light nymph rig, or a dry-dropper set up during the hatch. Try nymph or streamer fishing in the deeper pools and back eddies while you are waiting on the hatch.
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River Flow (Cubic Feet Per Second)
Flows out of Spinney Reservoir are near 70 CFS, a bit low/spooky
Water Temperature (degrees F):
mid 40's through low 50's
Very clear, with just a slight green tint.
Current Food Sources:
Terrestrials | Fall Baetis | small caddis larva | Tricos | Midges | scuds | crayfish, smaller fish, leeches, etc.
Flies to Try:
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Natural and Flashback Pheasant Tails size 16-22 | Barr's Graphic Caddis size 16-18 | Flashback Hare's Ear size 16-18 | Black Beauty size 18-24 | Miracle Midge size 18-22 | Tungsten RS2 olive or black size 20-22 | UV midge black or brown size 18-24 | JuJu Bee Midge olive size 18 -24 |
Chubby Chernobyl 8-14 | Hippy Stomper yellow size 10-18 | CDC Baetis Dun size 18-22 | Matthew's Sparkle Dun BWO size 18-22 | Peacock Caddis size 18 | Parachute Adams size 18-22 | AK's Trico Dun size 20-24 black/green | CDC Trico Male size 20-24 | Griffith’s Gnat size 20-22 | Morgan's Midge size 20-22 | Dandelion Midge black size 22
Big Gulp Sculpin black size 4 | Sculpzilla olive or black size 8 | Mercer’s Micro Crayfish rust size 8 | Kraft’s Clawdad | Flash-a-Bugger olive/black size 8 | Pine Squirrel Leech size 8-10 black, or olive | Hale Boop Leech wine size 8
guide tip of the week:
Low flows, combined with an already spooky piece of water you will need a stealthy approach, and lighter weight rig. Think dry dropper, or light weight nymph rig with a yarn indicator. Imitations of tiny mayflies, and midges will be the go to patterns at this point in time.
It is time for some lake run brown to start running up the Dream Stream, so expect heavy fishing pressure, and please try not to fish over top of spawning beds.
Harlan took a post work trip to the Dream Stream to see how it was fishing with hightened flows. Higher flows means an abudacne of bug life from fish to choose from. This cutbow was found chowing on emergers in the riffles but did not turn down the big ol' chubby fly
Remember there are lots of other great public access areas on the South Platte besides Charlie Mayer's SWA. Ben McCormick took a day off from slinging flies, and reordering product to do some investigative work on the South Platte between fairplay and Buena Vista....
A smattering of bug life.... A few nice large golden stoneflies, some caddis larva in cases composed of small pebbles, and a good sized mayfly nymph.
Water temps are staying nice and cool, in our smaller/higher elevation streams.
...and finally the rewards of on stream research pays off.
Ben McCormick snuck into the Dream Stream and plucked this long fin brown trout on a Black Beauty size 20. Must have been the Howler camo that kept him hidden.
A nice Cuttbow taken on an a Baby Rainbow Gonga earlier this spring