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Where to Go South Platte River – Dream Stream

Current Reports

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WINTER HOURS- 9am to 6pm Daily


Covey Guide Phil Tereyla

Report Date: 2/6/2023

Current Conditions: 

The flows came down pretty significantly and are currently 54 cfs. We expect flows to stay on the lower side, but fluctuate slightly well into spring. Low flows are normal on this stretch, but especially this year. Spinney is still low and it will be interesting to see what happens as we move into the season. Luckily the South Platte basin is currently at 112% of average snowpack so this will help. Even with the low flows, there can be some decent fishing to be had. Right now it's a game of finding the fish. Be prepared to cover a lot of ground while fishing up here.  With the lower flows, the fish are spooky and a stealthy approach is necessary.


With the sustained cold weather, things have definitely transitioned into winter mode. Although we are still seeing some mayflies, midges are the top dog right now. The water temps out of Spinney are still relatively warm, which supports some good bug activity.


Nymphing is the name of the game right now. You may luck out and get some limited dry fly opportunity, but it's getting less and less by the day. Fish will key on the specific hatches so be sure to have a wide variety of different patterns and sizes. Small terminal tackle and tiny flies are the name of the game. Most of the hatch-specific bugs need to be in those smaller sizes (#20-26). Anglers can expect consistent fishing and this is also a great time to blast the banks with dead drifted streamers.


 After a beautiful weekend, we will see temperatures in the 30's all week. Thursday will cool off substantially with a storm moving through our area. It does not look like there will be high precipitation with that storm. Weekend temps look great, and we will have some pretty big changes next week. Stay tuned on that. In all, this is a great time to hot the river and you will see some gorgeous winter weather.  The morning lows will still be very cold this week. If you do go, be sure to give it some time before you fish. Prime times will be during the warmest parts of the day.  You may still see some ice on the lower river, but it wont last long. 

Keep this in mind while fishing in cold temperatures- While winter time fly fishing is not impossible, a couple of things should be considered. In temps below 20 degrees, be sure to take extra special care of the fish after you catch them. Keep them in the water and handle them the least amount possible. The eyes and the gills of the fish can freeze in temps colder than 20 degrees. Add in some wind and this freeze can happen almost instantly.

Also be sure to have the proper layering. We cannot overstate this enough, BE PREPARED. Be sure to watch the weather before heading up and plan accordingly. 


It gets cold in South Park. Don't be surprised if on some mornings there is a lot of ice on the river. If you see this, head closer to the dam as there is usually open water up there.  The crowds have thinned out a bit and there is a lot more real-estate to fish right now.

This is an area we offer guided walk/wade and float trips, please give us a call if you are interested! 


For a custom fly assortment for this location, click here! 

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Purple Haze, size 20 & 22 
  • Zebra Midge, red/black. Sizes 22 & 24 
  • Miracle midge, cream. Size 22
  • Massacre Midge, brown. Sizes 20 & 22
  • RS2, grey, black, purple. Sizes 20 & 22
  • Juju baetis. green, brown. Size 22 

Our Top 6 Dry Flies for Today:

  • Mole Fly, brown. Size 22 
  • Neil's BWO, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Matt's Midge, black. Size 22
  • Iwane Dun, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Comparadun, green. Size 22
  • Griffith's gnat, black. Sizes 22 & 24 

Our Top Streamer Patterns for Today:

  • Double Gonga, yellow. Size 4
  • Butt Monkey, brown. Size 8
  • Slumpbuster, black/brown. Size 4


Standard nymph rig set up for the South Platte:

Screenshot the diagram above to reference while you're out on the water!




The South Platte River below Spinney Reservoir is known to most local anglers as the "Dream Stream." This tailwater doesn't have many holds over fish and is subject to high wind speeds and inclement weather. The spring and fall have been the Dream Stream's saving grace because of the spawns. Large rainbows and cutthroat trout move into the river in the spring, and Large browns and kokanee salmon move in in the fall. There is no camping available next to the river; however, several great campgrounds are downstream along Elevenmile Reservoir. There is a $9 parks pass fee to park in the last lot below Spinney.

This is an area we specialize and are permitted to guide in, so give us a shout if you have any questions or if you are interested in allowing one of our Orvis-Endorsed guides show you how best to conquer South Platte River – Dream Stream.

Interested in Booking a Trip?

Distance - 47 miles - 1 Hour 2 Minutes