Fishing The Dream Stream Of The South Platte River, CO – Complete Guide w/ Map, Pictures, Tips & More


Article Categories: Fishing

The Dream Stream is one of the most sought out stretches of river in all of Colorado. This is a 3.8 miles stretch of water located between two reservoirs on the South Platte River, making it an extremely consistent fishery year round, that produces extremely large fish and lots of bug life. This stretch of river is known for being windy, extremely buggy in the summer, filled with many other anglers, and often quite picky fish. It therefore can be a challenge, but the rewards for a solid effort is often several fish in the 20+ inch range.

Quick Navigation:
River Access | River System | Best Places to Fish | Rules & Regulations | Flies | Guides | Current Weather | Current Water Flows


Need To Know Information:

  • This river can get extremely buggy in the summer months. Be prepared with clothes that cover your body.
  • This river can get very windy, be sure to check the forecast.
  • There now is cell service on the river.
  • This is a catch and release fishery and Gold Medal designated stretch of water.
  • This is an artificial fly and lure fishery only.


River Access

The Dream Stream has some really great river access at 5 separate parking locations that require relatively quick walks to the water. The longest of which is about a half mile, and the shortest only a hundred feet or so. We have created a map below that shows off these 5 parking areas, and directions are also included below.


Dream Stream Map

Parking Area Information

There are 5 common parking areas for angler access to the Dream Steam. Our recommendation is to be early to pick your favorite spot, or simply park at the lot with the least amount of anglers. All of the above are marked with details in the above map.

Most Popular: Located right where the river crosses on Thirtynine Mile Road. This is the most common parking area for anglers due to the ease of river access here. This is a free lot and open year round.

Spinney Mountain Access Road Lots: These lots are free, accessible year round, and both require a bit of hiking to get to the water (less than a half mile) on flat ground.

State Park Lots: There are two fee required lots. One just below Spinney Mountain Reservoir in the state park (the upper Dream Stream), and one located at the inlet into Eleven Mile Reservoir. There are parking areas and campgrounds, but a parking pass is required.


The River System

The Dream Stream is a small section of the South Platte River system located between two reservoirs. This makes it a tailwater fishery that fishes fantastic pretty much year round. The dam usually releases water between 250 cfs and 50 cfs, all are within fishable ranges, and often anglers love to fish in the 75-150 cfs range on this water. Of course, spring time during snowmelt seasons tends to be when the most water is released.

Read more about the entire river system in our Guide to Fishing the South Platte River.


What Fish Are In The Dream Stream?

Most anglers are targeting all types of trout. Healthy populations of big rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon (they run in the fall) are in this stretch of water. It is not uncommon to catch 20+ inch fish in this stretch of river, however, the fishing can often get quite technical due to some intelligent and highly pressured fish.


Best Places to The Dream Stream

The truth about fishing the Dream is that the best fishing spot is where other anglers are not. All of the parking lots provide river access to very similar water that all has dense populations of large fish. Our best recommendation is to go to the parking lot that has the least amount of cars. If you are the first, then simply pick however you feel!


River Rules & Regulations

The dream stream is a catch and release, artificial lure only fishery.

Here is the CO fishing rules and regulations book:



The entire stretch of river is open year round to anglers. The state reserves the right to close sections of the dream stream from September 15 – December 31st, which will occasionally occur.


Best Flies for The Dream Stream

During the summer and in the warmer months in general, just about everything works. In summer, terrestrials and smaller dries are also successful. Try to match the size that you see on the water or that the fish may be feeding on. Nymphing of all types works in the summer, and should be utilized if dry fly fishing is slow. Midges and small emergers will be a great backup and should work year round.

During the winter and in colder months, you’ll want to go smaller with your flies. Midges work really well. Anything size 18-24 like the zebra midge or rs2 will work well. Small is the name of the game during the winter, but we have actually had a lot of success with a size 14 above a small trailing midge or rs2 when we needed to get the flies to the bottom of a deeper run. When the water gets low and clear, the small fly game is usually necessary.


Dream Stream Fishing Guides

If you are looking for a guide in the canyon, be sure to check out the following, or reach out to us.

Use our page on Colorado Fly Fishing Guides, to find a guide near the dream.

Blue Quill Angler:
Colorado Trout Hunters:


Current Water Flows For Dream Stream, South Platte River, CO

Here is a link to see the current water flows:


Current Weather Conditions

Here is a detailed forecast for the next four days:

Guffey, CO

A slight chance of snow before 2pm. Mostly sunny. High near 37, with temperatures falling to around 27 in the afternoon. West wind 16 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 53 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Mostly clear. Low around 7, with temperatures rising to around 9 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -1. West wind 6 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Partly sunny. High near 40, with temperatures falling to around 32 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind 6 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 16. West wind 8 to 12 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. West southwest wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Sunday Night
A slight chance of snow after 5am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

A chance of snow. Mostly sunny, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 30%.


Directions & Parking

All of the parking lots are located between Eleven Mile Reservoir and Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Driving in from Thirtynine Mile Road, anglers will drive right past a lot right where the river flows under the road, and then will find other lots on Spinney Mountain Access Road. All parking lots are marked on our map above

Here is the most common parking lot:


Additional Pictures

A good fighting rainbow on the South Platte

A good fighting rainbow on the South Platte

Brown trout from the Dream Stream

Brown trout from the Dream Stream

Medium sized rainbow trout from the Dream Stream of the South Platte

Medium sized rainbow trout from the Dream Stream of the South Platte

Chunky rainbow trout from the dream stream

Chunky rainbow trout from the dream stream

20 Inch Dream Stream rainbow

20 Inch Dream Stream rainbow

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about