Dream Stream (Section of South Platte)
There is a six mile section of the South Platte River that includes the Spinney Mountain and Eleven Mile reservoirs known as the Dream Stream. You would be hard pressed even in your dreams to find a more plentiful supply of trout in surroundings that change from meadows to mountain peaks depending on which direction you look. It’s a stretch of water definitely worthy of its name and there’s public access all the way.
It is an ideal place for fish to live and breed. The fish population here is so spectacular, it has been called the “Dream Stream” by the locals, and has been given a Gold Medal designation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Expect to catch trophy rainbow and brown trout in the 16-20 inch range in these waters, as well as Kokanee up to 12 pounds during the three to four week fall spawning season.
This meandering stretch of water offers anglers the rare opportunity to catch trout so large they should be able to sight cast for them. However, because of the intense pressure on this part of the river, it is seldom the fish will come to the top to feed. Remember these fish have seen it all from the wiles of the experienced enthusiast to the fumbles of the beginning fly fisher.
Think through your tactics. Perhaps add a small bead-head trailer under a large attractor or fish deep with midge larvae. You’ll soon discover what works best. Only artificial flies and lures may be used and the policy is immediate release of anything caught, after a quick photo, of course.
Thanks to the tailwater from the reservoirs, there is good fishing all year round. However, it is early spring and the fall when it is most spectacular. From March until early May there are rainbow and cutthroat trout in the deep pools and runs just waiting to grab streamers, blue winged olives and pheasant tail nymphs.
Between late September and November, you’ll be looking for brown trout especially in the flow from the Eleven Mile Reservoir. The bonus is the one to five pound kokanee salmon in that same water and also attracted to egg patterns, pheasant tails and midge patterns. The Dream Stream definitely deserves its Gold Medal designation!
To get to the Dream Stream, travel about 55 miles from Colorado Springs along Hwy 24 over Wilkerson Pass. Go south on County Road 23, south again on County Road 59 and then west on Road 59. If you are traveling from South Park, go south on Hwy 9, and then follow Hwy 59 from Hartsel to Hwy 59.
There are four parking areas that can be used to reach the Dream Stream. One is immediately adjacent to the river on County Road 59, and two other lots are just across the river. The tailwater section can be reached by paying a $4 entry fee to the Spinney State Park.
Check out the latest Dream Stream fishing report details before heading out here.