The flows in South Park are just a tad higher than average right now. There will have to be a significant increase in water flows to get the fishing really turned on. And unfortunately, we don't see that happening anytime soon. Fishing on the Dream is fair right now. Cover ground, a lot of it.
With our current snowpack in the South Platte basin only at 90% of average, we will need to hit at least an average year to return to normal flows this summer. We don't expect to see any flow increases with Spinney being so low. Currently, Spinney is only 45% full and the water boards will try and fill it this spring.
South Park can get extremely cold so come prepared for wind and freezing temperatures this Winter. We see low temperatures frequently hit -40. Be sure to dress warm in South Park. The upper half of the river is ice free, and there is a lot of ice downstream.
Midges are making up most of the bug activity, and nymphing with tiny bugs is the name of the game right now.
Watch out for redds! Be aware of redds/spawning beds to avoid disturbing spawning trout! Even if there are not currently fish on them, stay off! The redds still have the fall browns eggs in them. NEVER STEP IN A REDD!
Egg patterns, scuds, Mayer's Mini leach in black or brown (18) Miracle midge, Black Beauties, Pale ale, medallion midge, purple haze, Blindside midge, Money midge, buckskins, red larva, Mercury midge, Juju midge, all in sizes 20-24, Caddis Candy (18) Sniper baetis, Jedi Master, pheasant tails, RS2 (grey and black), cheesman emergers, ice emergers, Stalcups baetis, all in sizes 18-24
Griffiths gnat (20-24), Matts Midge (22), smokejumper (22), Mole Fly (20-24)
Slump busters in white or natural, Baby Gonga, and Mini Dungeons. White, tan yellow, and natural seem to be doing the best right now.
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 $7 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.