Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Dream Stream

Difficulty Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 4/1, 4/2 & 4/3

Weekly Report

Report DateMarch 30, 2023

Conditions on the Dream Stream have been favorable and that has led to some great days on the river. Keep in mind though, this river is seeing an incredible amount of angling pressure, so don’t be surprised if you come across highly selective trout. Experimenting with pattern size and type and focusing on drag free drifts will help you fool selective trout. Leech, egg, red searchers/attractors, midge and baetis patterns are receiving the most love. Depth is a key right now, so frequently experiment with your weight and indicator placement until you find the right depth. For protection, trout will hold deep in the water column, particularly during the morning. Large, lake run rainbows notoriously favor the deepest portion of the water column, even during the afternoon. If you’re not snagging the bottom every few casts, odds are you need to add more split shot to your line. If you don’t see results, drop some weight and fish the middle water column. During the afternoon, trout typically move up in the water column in pronounced sections or slide into slow riffles, transitions, pockets or seams to feed. Eggs, leeches, San Juan Worms, Pheasant Tails, JuJu Baetis, red Copper Johns and Rainbow Warriors are great lead patterns right now. Below one of those patterns, trail a midge pupa or baetis emerger. When wind is minimal, we’ve seen decent surface activity during the late morning and evening midge hatches, so keep an eye out for that. Either fish a Griffiths Gnat or Parachute Adams on its own or as a dry dropper with a Chocolate Foam Back Emerger or RS2. With the rainbow spawn underway, walk along the bank whenever possible and if you need to wade through the water, avoid stepping on redds.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


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.

River Access

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.