Flows were sitting at a comfortable 200 cfs last weekend but have decreased since then. Currently sitting at 122 cfs, trout still have plenty of room to spread out but are a bit more spooky now due to high water clarity. Do your best to keep your distance from the bank when scouting new sections and keep a low profile when casting to feeding trout. Trout holding in deep pools and runs are favoring the deepest water column, so make sure to experiment with your nymph rig until your flies are drifting through the deepest column. As hatches materialize, trout will move up into the middle column to feed on emerging bugs. While the pronounced sections of the river hold the most trout, our favorite sections to target right now are riffles, pockets and transitions. Trout holding in these sections are feeding on emerging bugs and are must easier to fool. Mini Leeches, San Juan Worms, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Flashback Pheasant Tails, JuJu Baetis, CDC RS2s, Barr’s Emergers, Sparkle Pupas and Jujubee Midges are all productive patterns at the moment. Lead with a larger attractor and trail one of the pupa/emerger patterns listed above. Some of the more opportunistic trout will rise as feed on the surface during midge, BWO and caddis hatches, so keep an eye on the tailouts, seams along undercut banks and shelves.
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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.