Good Flows & Big Brown Trout on the Dream Stream


October Dream Stream Forecast:
After seeing such quality fish in so early we are eagerly expecting a run of browns like we have never experienced.  Many of those going on guided trips with guide Brandon Soucie this month will  break the magic 30″ fish mark, every trip you have the opportunity to land 20-24″ and good chance at fish of 25″ and up. If you think that is a stretch, be sure to check in on the most recent South Platte fly fishing reports as the month progresses.  If you would like to book a guide trip on the Dream Stream this fall call the shop at 720-851-4665.


Video from today’s first fall R&D trip to South Park on Monday 10/2. See Brandon hooking up, James catching fish on dries and all of us getting way to excited every time the rod bends when a smaller brown and a kokanee swipe the fly before the really big fish has a chance. No matter how many fish you have caught, a big brown makes us all feel like kids again.

Date: 10/3/11
Flow: 249 CFS
Rating: Good and Getting Better
Hot Flies: eggs, #14-20 copper johns (various colors),  San Juans in Various colors, #22-26 parachute Adams, #20-24 Sprout Midge, #18-20 Rojo Midges, #4 Gonga and Double Gongas (rusty, tan, black, olive) #4 Black Circus Peanut
Gear: 6-7 Wt rods for nymphing, 5-6wt Switch Rods or 7-9 wt single handed rods for streamers, sink tips, 0x-5x tippet, indicators, heavy split shot, and dress in layers!

Brandon Soucie was in town this past week for a presentation  here at the  and there was no way he was getting out of town before we all hit the Dream Stream together.  Brandon, James and I got out early on Monday morning to scope things out.  If those big browns were in from Eleven Mile Reservoir the three of us were going to find them. It’s fun when your fishing in a team of three that are all very capable yet all have different styles and preferences.   Brandon is a big fish sight hunter.  This time of year, nothing under 25″ keeps him interested.  James plays it smart and fishes what the river suggests.  If there are fish eating dries, he will switch over.  If a run looks good he will pluck a few fish, and if he comes across a big fish he will go get it.  As for me, it’s hard to do anything but  throw anything other than big flies on the two hander when a river is fully of big angry brown trout.


With the fog still coming off the water in the morning, I grabbed my T2H 1085 switch rod and started swinging by the upper lot while I waited for brandon to rig up. I was  rigged with a skagit head,  T11 sink tip and a gigantic rusty colored double Gonga streamer.  My second cast I threw down and across at a deep bend on the opposing bank and just as the fly began to come out of the deep water, I GOT CRUSHED! Still half awake, the fish almost pulled me off the bank on the hit.  I had the fish on for all of 20 seconds before the fly came loose.  Big wide bodied brown glowing yellow that I would really like to have back.

Once Brandon was setup we walked up stream to some of the deep fast staging areas to see what we could dredge up.  After missing that fish earlier, I was not going to put the streamer rod down.  I fished below Brandon and watched him land fish hand over fist like only he can.  Nothing big by his standards, just a half dozen fish 18-21 inches! James also put quite a few quality fish in the net that looked something like this…

I got a few good bumps and finally a healthy male  connected on my streamer on a dead spring across the middle. I really do love this time of year when the browns get territorial and streamers come into play.  Nothing is as heart thumping as a big brown hitting a big fly moving fast on a tight line….

After 30 minutes Brandon wanted to walk down stream. James and I decided to walk up to the dam.  Rule #1 Broken: If Brandon says I have a feeling there are going to be some big fish a few bends down…GO WITH HIM!  James and I didn’t hit much up top but saw some nice cutties rising to trico’s which James had to fish to.  If you ever get a chance to fish dries with James, he is about as good at it as anyone you will ever meet.  He’ll creep up on fish,  continually downsize his flies until he finds the right fly and right drift to fool all those tough fish in the slack water.


when we met up with Brandon down low we saw a bent rod and a ear to ear grin on his face.  What can I say, the guy has an incredible knack and sixth sense for big fish. We fished together for an hour or so and Brandon and James pulled in a lot of quality fish.  I shot some video, swung a few runs and bummed a fish now and again. Brandon and James continued their march down stream and I took my time slowly working their way.

As the morning sun crept higher, the streamer bite for me slowed down.  I switched over to a smaller and lighter colored streamer and started hitting fish.

As I was releasing a hefty female brown the clouds rolled in and I was already more then content so I tied on the the biggest most gaudy fly I had in my box that came in the form of a 6″ long black Circus Peanut. It’s one of those flies that moves like crazy in the water, looks really cool, and you tie on for fun thinking it is way to big for any trout in Colorado to eat. Still on cloud nine from the fish I just released I made a long cast into the fast stuff above a drop and tossed a big mend just as the sink tip came over the deep water to get the big fly down.  I was on a high bank and could see that fly even at the bottom of the deep hole.  I got my line tight, saw the fly swing across the trench and after that it’s a blur that is still replaying in my head.  What I remember is a  yellow lightning bolt about 30 inches flash across the pool from the deeps, the running line in my fingers stretching, something  sounded like a gun shot as the 2x snapped, and then hitting the deck as the sink tip came shooting out of the water mock one right at my face! Did that just happen???  I’m not going to speculate on the size of that fish, it’s to painful and my own fault for not roping up to 0x or atleast checking the tippet after releasing the fish a previous cast.  That was my only fly I had that big, so I went back to the brown Double Gonga wishing the entire time I had one more  of those giant black Circus Peanuts.  Rule #2: Don’t EVER go to the river with only one of a certain pattern. it’s better to have non than one of a certain fly, because all you will do is wish you had one more of that fly after a fish breaks it off!

For the next few hour the bite as streamer fishing goes was HOT!  A lot of bumps, a lot of flashes, and a half dozen fish over 20 inches.  Throughout the day I learned a lot about the way those fish react to streamers on the swing, what they like and don’t like, where they hit them, and in what type of water.

I think a big part of fishing streamers and swinging flies is being committed to it and having the gear to do it.  I see a lot of people out there throwing light streamers on floating lines and  stripping the fly back to them  2″ below the surface with little success.  For comparison sakes, would you nymph that section of river for big fish using a  7′ 2 wt. rod and no split shot?  Of course not!  Throwing streamers for big browns with a 5wt. and no sink tip is no different.  If you want to hit fish on streamers, then do it right and give yourself a chance. Otherwise stick with what you are geared up for and nymph it up.

I caught up with Brandon and James downstream and by the sounds and pictures of it, they found some really quality fish.  The only downer is that while James and Brandon were doing a little ” roe entomology” James got his camera wet.  Ouch!  The camera he uses to fill these reports for doesn’t come cheap.

We fished a run together for a good while as fish continued to pore into it fresh from the lake.  Nothing over the magical 30″ mark but a lot of 20-24″ fish.  We called it quits around 7 after a solid 11 hours of fishing.  All of us are very excited about what this fall will bring.

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8 Responses to Good Flows & Big Brown Trout on the Dream Stream

  1. jmccauli says:

    Those are some damn nice browns, good stuff. I fished Saturday and landed a nice long female and then they raised the flows around 100 CFS…so that was fun (ungodly amounts of grass knocked free). Weather has been awesome up there.

    • jmccauli says:

      Forgot to mention something important. Its not a report on how I did, but something people need to look out for when you head to the dream stream right now.

      Obviously, water fowl hunting season is upon us. I was in the parking lot and headed down to the stream at about 7:30 AM. I was walking to a little south of the first parking lot on the dirt road towards the Spiney damn. In front of me was the old railroad bed/berm and once over that you can see the stream. Well, as I was getting close to the berm I heard a close gun shot and the sound of something going over my head. I was pretty sure at that point that I had just heard some kind of shot go over my head. And, as I crested the berm…wouldn’t you know it, there were two hunters on a bend in the river with all their decoys set on the river. As soon as I crested the berm they started waving me away…I was a little stunned to say the least.

      No problems with hunting, but if you’re hunting a place like the dream stream…you need to be a little careful on where you shoot (pretty sure they must of been taking shots at the berm for me to hear the bird shot go over my head). So, long story short, watch your butt if that is still going on up there. Once the morning starts getting on the hunters leave.

  2. Jerry Shin says:

    Great report. Those fish were awesome. I need to get back up there soon.

    I noticed that the water has come up over the past few days. Will the Eleven Mile spawners find this inviting? Will the spawning run be better than in the past?

    • James says:

      Oh yes! The lake fish are going to fly up the river in the next few days. We saw a couple huge lake fish and Brandon hooked one an lost it. They are already making their way into the river!

  3. Tom says:

    It sucks that you lost that big ol monster brown Theo, but I would’ve paid money to witness the diving acrobatics that took place immediately afterwards…bet it was hilarious! : )

  4. Tomas says:

    As a photographer and a fisherman, I noticed right away that nice camera hanging off James’ shoulder while he was standing in the river! It made me nervous. Then I read he got it wet. Man, that really sucks. Hope it’s not ruined.

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