south-platte-1.jpgThree Streams

The South Platte River begins as three different streams – the South Fork, Middle Fork, and North Fork. Each fork originates in South Park, and eventually empty into downtown Denver. For anglers, any discussion involving South Park tends to revolve around wind. South Park is settled between the Rampart and Sawatch Ranges, which form a wind tunnel. Whenever you plan to fish the Platte be sure to arrive early in an attempt to avoid the crowds and wind.

South and Middle Forks

Both the South and Middle Forks of the Platte are small streams that primarily flow through lush, mountain meadows. The trout tend to be small, averaging ten to twelve inches; however, the catches are usually pristine specimens. This area is a great choice for novice anglers looking to hone their casting and fish fighting skills. The diminutive trout hold near undercut banks and drop-offs, and are usually eager to eat a well place attractor dry fly or bead head nymph.

Above Antero Reservoir

Anglers will find ample public wade access on the South Fork above Antero Reservoir on the Knight-Imler State Fishing Easement and 63 Ranch State Wildlife Area. The Tomahawk and Badger Basin State Wildlife Areas, located on the Middle Fork, offer miles of public access near Hartsel. All of these accesses feature countless undercut banks and shallow riffles.

The Dream Stream

south-platte-2.jpgBelow Spinney, the river is known as the Dream Stream and is part of the Spinney Mountain Recreation Area. This tail water section holds large trout and boasts fantastic hatches. The Dream Stream quietly meanders through a massive meadow for just over two miles until it forms Eleven Mile Reservoir. Usually, we fish the Dream Stream from dawn until noon in an attempt to avoid the crowds and potential wind. With no trees in the area, the river is susceptible to high winds that will quickly slow any day of fishing.


Nymphing with tiny scud patterns and midge larva is usually the technique of choice; however, the BWO and Trico hatches are not to be missed. The Tricos can be so thick that they literally form clouds above the river.


Each spring, the Dream Stream sees a major migration of monster trout out of Eleven Mile Reservoir. This annual spawning run offers anglers a chance at a leviathan trout. Double-digit weight trout are a strong possibility. As long as the weather cooperates, this can be one of the most productive fisheries any time of the year. Don’t think that you will be alone in your pursuit of trout. Locals diagnosed with troutitis will brave frigid temps and hurricane force winds as they flock to the Dream Stream in search of spawners.


While many of our guides frequently venture further downstream of Eleven Mile Reservoir, Cutthroat Anglers is not permitted to guide any lower than the Dream Stream. Many fantastic tail waters exist beyond our permitted scope, include Eleven Mile Canyon and Cheesman Canyon.