The famous 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 "Tailwater" 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.
Flows have come WAY down to 44 cfs. We reccomend looking elsewhere as this is a very low flow. Expect ice flows in the morning and a frozen river downstream from the bridge pending increase in flows or warmer weather.
Water Tempertaure (dergrees F):
4' or better, if flows take a large rise expect more stain in the water
Current Food Sources:
Baetis | small caddis larva | midges | scuds | crayfish, smaller fish, leeches, etc.
Flies to Try:
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Juans Kryptonite Caddis 14-16 | Natural and Flashback Pheasant Tails size 16-22 | Barr's Poison Tongue olive/black | Flashback Hare's Ear size 16-18 | Black Beauty size 18-24 | Miracle Midge size 18-22 | Tungsten RS2 olive or grey size 20-22 | UV midge black or brown size 18-24 | JuJu Bee Midge olive size 18 -24 |
CDC Biot Trico Spinner 18-22 | Chubby Cherobyl Olive #10 | Parachute Adams Size 12-24 | CDC Baetis Dun size 18-22 | Matthew's Sparkle Dun BWO size 18-22 | Brook Sprouts midge grey size 18-24 | 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:
Flows are around 44 cfs- a very low flow for this piece of water. As of late the lower river below the bridge has been mostly frozen over. Pending warmer weather or an increase in flows this should remain consistent for another week or two. If you choose to fish here bring small baetis and midges and cover the deep water. This is a crowded section of river typically however, winter is an excellent time to fish it and you will see significantly fewer crowds in the winter than at other times of year.
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.
A nice Cuttbow taken on an a Baby Rainbow Gonga earlier this spring