If you are new to reading maps and working your way through current fishing reports, you will want to consider engaging one of the friendly professional fly fishing guides from Minturn Anglers in Denver, Minturn or Vail for your first visit to the Dream Stream. These professionals will maximize your fishing experience, from finding the best spot to access the stream to coaching you on reading the water and improving your technique. On later trips, you can venture out to discover your own special spots.
The Dream Stream is part of the South Platte River in Colorado, a couple of hours drive west from Denver. In a three mile distance between the Spinney Mountain Reservoir and the Eleven Mile Reservoir, the river meanders some five miles through the windswept high mountain plains of South Park, tucked scenically between snow covered mountains. The river banks are grassy, so you don’t have to worry about trees eating your flies. This Dream Stream stretch is about 30 feet wide and mostly slow running, making it ideal for easy wading.
These waters are called the Dream Stream, because it is a classic Colorado tailwater. Fish and aquatic life here enjoy a relatively constant year-round temperature and an abundance of food that results in gargantuan trout. I know to expect Gold Medal fishing here, with an abundance of rainbow and browns and even Kokanee in the fall.
My usual approach to the Dream Stream is at the Spinney Mountain Reservoir on CR59 just off SR24. This is below the dam, southeast of South Park. There are four parking areas here. Three of these lots are accessed off County Road 59. One of these areas is right next to the stream, and two others are located by crossing the river and turning north. Sometimes I go directly to the tailwater section by driving into the Spinney State Park, paying the entrance fee of $7, and driving directly to an area below the dam.
The Dream Stream is public water, so while I expect competition I am always confident of finding the perfect spot. I start with the least crowded parking lot. Knowing that most people tend to fish at an area closest to the lot, I walk up or downstream until I discover the day’s sweet spot. I am always assured of a most enjoyable fly fishing experience!