South Platte River

South Platte River (Dream Stream) October 2017

Dream Stream Brown TroutFirst post in a while but I wanted to share with you my trip to the DS (Dream Stream). I have to be honest I avoid the DS like the plague this time of year. There are many reasons why I avoid it, One of my top reasons is the sure amount of anglers on the water. When i’m not guiding and I go out fly fishing I like to be way out away from people and just enjoy the day. On the DS this time of year that can be really tough.  Jerry Vigil my usual fly fishing partner and I decided to buck our trend of avoiding the place and get out on the water to see for ourselves what the DS is like this time of year.

It’s been a couple years since I fished the DS in October and I got to tell you I forgot how much fun it is. Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroats and the fun and exciting Kokanee Salmon are all in play in the river. The Kokanee seem to be pretty thick this year from what I remember and good size as well. Elevenmile Reservoir  had a real problem with Gill Lice a few years back that really affected the populations of Kokanee. Well they are back and doing well, I saw no signs of Gill Lice and the other fish in the system are feeding heavily on their eggs. South Platte KokaneeWe caught Browns and Rainbow Trout that had giant bellies just full of eggs. I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have such a great food source for the DS trout. This food helps them grow faster and keeps them coming back to the river system year after year. Plus these damn Kokanee are fun to catch, giant leaps into the air long hard runs are all a part of hooking into one of these bad boys. Now I hear this bull shit all the time that Kokanee don’t eat  when they are running in the river! I will tell you that BS is not true. Weather you call it reaction strikes or what ever you want to call it Kokanee eat if you are throwing the right bugs at them! If you look close at the pic on the right there is a size #20 Buckskin in the upper mouth of that fish. Yea they don;t eat when they are running! Right!! Enough of that, hope you got my point. If you fish to these guys you’re bound to foul hook one or two because the deep runs and groups that they hold in. The best way to avoid this is fish the edges of the groups or try and pick out individuals that are holding away from the group. I like to fish an indicator rig with a streamer and a couple nymphs behind. ( I will show this rig in an up coming post in the near future.) Shafer’s Ella’s Beast was the ticket to explosive strikes for these Kokanee. If your fishing to these awesome fish correctly you won’t foul hook them and you will have a bunch of fun in the process.

The water was pretty damn low about 60cfs. I like the flows to be over 100cfs when I fish the DS. Man I tell you if we could get a minimum flow of a 100 on the DS it would be truly incredible. But we don’t live in a prefect world so you have to deal with the hand that is dealt. There are a lot of trout moving around but they are educated and they know how to avoid the anglers. I have a couple rules I go with when I have conditions like this. First one is “Fish where they aren’t!” Don’t fish around crowds, check areas above and below groups of anglers. Chances are they have pushed fish out of those big runs. The second rule I have is check areas that you don’t think other anglers would fish. One of my favorite areas to check is heavy rippled areas. DO NOT fish lightly rippled areas, the spawners typically are in these areas actively Spawning.  The big heavy rippled areas most people don’t target and its a great place to find feeding fish. I was actually shocked at the amount of bug life in the DS this time of year. I took a couple good Seines and found; Midges size #30-#18, Caddis cased and free living in Sizes #20-#16, Mayflies in sizes #24-#20 as well as Scuds and Aquatic Worms. We did well on; Bubble Back Midges, Reef Worms and Shafer’s Ella’s Beast. We tried a bunch of patterns and did pretty well but those bugs where the most consistent ones. Keep in mind you can find Brown and Rainbow Trout all over the river system. Most of the Cutthroat Trout I have found to be in numbers in the lower sections of the system. My point being, check out the whole river! Don’t be one of those guys with cement boots and stand in a run all day! Nothing pisses me off more than watching anglers plant themselves in runs because they see fish in a deep run and they don;t move all day. It doesn’t help you as an angler and you never get to experience the rest of the river system. You all know who you are, move get after it, learn the whole system instead of one or two runs.  South Platte River Rainbow

All in all a very enjoyable day on the river with “V” (Jerry Vigil) haven’t had a lot of time to fish together because of work and guiding, so anytime out on the water is awesome. I was surprised at a few things going on the DS this time of year and I found that we could still get out away from people so it was a great experience. I can’t tell you I will be fishing the runs on the DS often but I will start to check them out from time to time. Keep in mind when you go fish the DS this time of year you will have crowds but remember, it is what you make of  it. If you don’t want to fish around people stick and move often. I bet you might just surprise yourself and have a fantastic day I know we did!

Like always if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and if you would like to book a trip to the DS with Jerry or myself follow this highlighted section. Take care!


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