The small stretch of South Platte connecting Spinney and 11 Mile reservoirs can be the place where your dreams come true. Cutties and ‘bows push the tape measure to 25 inches and above during February through April. Brown trout weighing in at 8 pounds and above make the rounds on social media from September through November. The river has an abundance of scuds, midges, baetis, and caddis. The trout here are as big and strong as ox. Yes, this really is a dream of a stream.
But with all that said, each parking lot can look like a Costco on a Saturday morning. Friendliness and civility can be replaced by combat fishing. High-holing and low-holing your fellow angler can be more the norm rather than the exception. Yes, this really can be a nightmare of a stream.
There are those that love the Dream Stream and those that loathe it.
Regardless of your personal feelings on fishing the Dream Stream, the only thing that matters is that it’s fished in an ethical manner. Large cutthroat and rainbow trout from 11 Mile Reservoir move into the river for their annual spawning process anywhere from February through April. Brown trout from 11 Mile do the same during late September and lasting until early November.
As responsible anglers, we must respect the spawning process of our trout. This will ensure a naturally reproducing eco-system and help maintain the overall health of the river. To do so, we should follow these four simple rules during the spawning months:
- Never fish to trout on Redds
- Never fish to trout that are in pairs anywhere near a Redd
- Limit your wading across the river
- Stay away from the river at nighttime
A Redd is a clean patch of river bottom where the female trout lays her eggs to be fertilized by the male trout. Fishing to trout on or near them, especially if they’re paired up, should be avoided like the plague. Walking across a Redd will destroy the eggs on it so it’s something for us to avoid at all costs. And as much pressure as these trout get it’s a good thing to stay away from night time fishing as well. Avoiding nighttime fishing will help because if trout are over-pressured it will negatively affect their body’s spawning behavior so giving them that nighttime break.
Love it or leave it. Fish it or don’t. The only thing that matters during these spawning months is that we anglers fish the Dream Stream in an ethical manner.