Dream Stream flows increased by roughly 30 cfs yesterday and currently sit at 148 cfs. While this isn’t a large increase, it’s promising for a couple reasons: 1) it will make trout a little less spooky and provide them more room to spread out and 2) it will help bring the water temperature down closer to the ideal range for lake run browns to move into the river to spawn. That last statement requires emphasis on fishing ethics during spawning, so while the flow increase encouraging lake run browns to spawn is positive from a reproductive and sustainability standpoint, it’s important to remember that these trout move into the river to reproduce and it’s important we let them do that. With that in mind, please be careful when wading to avoid stepping on redds and do not cast to trout actively spawning on redds. Along with brown trout, kokanee salmon are currently spawning. Crowds have been heavy but compared to prior years, the kokanee appear to be more spread out, helping anglers spread out as well. Red and/or flashy nymph patterns, worms and eggs are ideal when targeting kokanee. Trout are responding to those patterns as well but are more keyed in on olive/black leeches, Pheasant Tails, Two-Bit Hookers, Hare’s Ears, JuJu Baetis, olive/black RS2s, Barr’s Emergers, Micro Mayflys, Chocolate Foam Back Emergers, Pale Ale Midges, Black Beauties and WD-40s. Focus on pronounced pools, runs, pockets, seams along undercut banks and shelves, and tailouts. Trout are favoring deeper water columns but do your best to sight fish and adjust your depth accordingly.
Need flies for your trip? FlyCast has collaborated with our friends at Anglers All to package a dozen flies that are hot on the South Platte, right now - Click here for hand selected flies
The Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area, A.K.A “Dream Stream” is a tailwater section of the South Platte River situated between Spinney Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir. The Dream Stream is highly sought after due to its trophy worthy trout, serene views and easy walk-in access. While the cold winter months deter a number of anglers, this stretch receives heavy angling pressure year-round. Fishing during the week or hitting the river early is typically the best way to find serenity. The Dream Stream is known for its healthy population of rainbow and brown trout. During the fall, kokanee salmon run out of Eleven Mile Reservoir and spawn in the Dream Stream, which is unique to only a few rivers in Colorado. During the spring and fall, lake run rainbow and brown trout all make their way into the system and provide anglers the opportunity to land 20 – 30 inch trout.
The Dream Stream is a great river to land your personal best trout, but be prepared to work for it. Similar to other tailwaters in Colorado, these trout are incredibly smart and aren’t fooled easily. Clean drifts and presentations are critical and if you’re fishing when flows are low, stealthy fishing becomes much more important. During the warm months, nymph rigs, dry flies, hopper droppers and streamers are all fair game. Slapping hoppers against undercut grass banks is one of our favorite tactics during the summer and early fall. Streamers are a great way to attract large and aggressive trout. During the winter, micro nymph rigs and streamers are the best approach.
There are a number of ways to get to the Dream Stream. However, If you are coming from Denver, the most efficient route will be to take Highway 285 through Fairplay and continue onto CO-9 South. Once you have reached Hartsel go east (left) on US-24 E then right on San Juan St., left on CO-RD 59 and finally, right onto Thirty nine mile Road. If you continue on to CO-9 (foregoing US-24 E), there are several parking lots that are visible from the road to the left.