Dream Stream Fly Fishing Report
Latest Update: 2/18/2017- Flows are down at the Dream, in comparison to last week to 62.3 CFS. This is however still a very good flow for this time of the year compared to annual trends. With the higher flows it creates more of those darker shelf areas where fish love to hold on the Dream. Fishing continues to be best in the middle and upper sections this time of the year as people begin to anticipate lake run rainbows and cutthroats to move in. No certain patterns have been overly consistent on a daily basis. With that said, rigs with a good variation have been producing the best results, leading with a larger protein item such as a Mayer's Leech, Red San Juan or Size 14-16 Hares Ear trailed by two variations of Baetis or Midges. This gives fish a good selection and will help you dial in on what seems to be working the best that particular day. From their change accordingly with which fly is getting the most takes. Work knee to waist deep areas where you see the color changes and you should have pretty good success.
- Flow: 48.7 cfs
- Wind: 23.3 MPH
- Temp: 21.6 °F
- High/Low: 30/6
The Dream Stream, also know as the Charlie Meyers Recreation Area, is the most well known section of the South Platte River, if not the most famous in the State of Colorado. Positioned between Spinney and 11-Mile Reservoirs, The Dream Stream is a notorious stomping ground for anglers looking to catch trophy rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout. Located in South Park, CO, this section of river is a meandering stream that flows through a high desert prairie. This makes it a great destination for beginner anglers, as there isn't much growth around the river to get caught up on. But be warned, the "open" nature of this river also makes it vulnerable to the epic winds that can hammer South Park year round. Additionally, The Dream Stream is also a very popular anging destination for private anglers and outfitters, so don't expect to be the only angler there on any given day.
Match the Hatch
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Oh the Dream Stream in the Fall.....where do I even begin.
I'd imagine there are at least a handful of novice anglers reading this who don't know the backstory of this place so let's start there. The 'Dream Stream' earns it's name for the size of fish it produces (primarily) in the Spring and Fall that run up out of Elevenmile Reservoir- located at the eastern end of this 5 mile stretch of water. Brown trout of obnoxious proportions (like sometimes over 30") begin migrating out of Elevenmile Res. sometime towards the end of September and continue to pack the river (depending on flows) throughout the Fall. The 'Dream also sees a run of Kokanee Salmon during the Fall which can provide a fun change of pace as well.
And while a river full of aggressive Brown trout and Kokanee may sound like a dream too good to be true, the accompanying crowds seeking these temporary residents can seem more like a nightmare at times. Long story short, depending on the day you could likely experience the most crowded river you've ever seen in your life. Consider yourself warned.
Lake run fish aside, the Dream Stream also boasts a healthy population of resident Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout that can push the 20" mark with regularity. Given the pressure this place recieves, bringing your 'A-game' is always best practice.
The Dream Stream is a very 'buggy' river so plan on matching the hatch whenever possible- tricos, caddis, bwo's, pmd's and yellow sallies can- and will- show themselves throughout the Fall so make sure your fly boxes are adequately stocked. The Dream Stream is also (in my opinion), the most productive stretch of the South Platte to fish hoppers and this can be a productive way to catch fish through October.
Like every stretch of the Platte, covering water is almost always the name of the game so be prepared to do some walking. It's not uncommon for my iPhone to show over 15,000 steps taken during a day here. Lastly, the typically clear water here can provide some incredible sight fishing opportunities so keep your eyes peeled at all times.
*Side Note- the aforementioned pressure this river recieves during the Fall seems to always lead to some very questionable angling practices. This is not a big river and when the Browns are on thier redds they are VERY easy to spot. Trust me, I know it can be very tough to not cast at a 26" brown sitting in less than a foot of water but PLEASE remember why these fish are here- to make more fish for us all! Focus on the closest deep water near these spawning areas when fishing. These areas will still be loaded with fish, and some very big ones at that. Just remember, the better we take care of this resource during this fragile time the better it will continue to fish for us in the future (and more importantly, the more BIG trout there will be to return in the years to come!)
Suggested flies: worms, leeches, eggs, copper johns, pheasant tails, hare's ears, barrs bwo emerger, juju baetis, shotglass baetis, sniper baetis, graphic caddis, buckskin, nitro caddis, barr's pmd emerger, jujumidge, mercury bead flashback black beauty, mayer's tube midge, mercury midge, rs2, juju emerger, sculpzilla, slumpbuster, Galloup articulated streamers, near nuff sculpins, etc.
Approximately 2 hours from Denver near South Park, the Dream Stream is very easy to get to and the entire 3.8 mile section between Spinney and 11-Mile Reservoir is open to the public. There are 4 public parking areas once you arrive at the river and they won't be hard to find....as they are very rarely without at least a couple vehicles in each.