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.
WATER TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F):
30’s - 40’s
4' or better
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:
85 cfs is a good flow for the winter. Midges are going to be your best fly choice for this time of year. Take your time in the winter and look for trout holding in the usual areas. Blind casting wont be as effective as sight fishing these picky winter trout. When nymphing be sure to adjust your weight so you are reaching the trouts feeding zone.
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