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Uncharted Fishing Adventures in Colorado Springs

The Dream Stream: Where Monster Trout Await

Colorado Springs may be known for its dense population, but hidden within its surroundings lies a haven for fly fishing enthusiasts. The area offers unparalleled opportunities to chase trophy trout, from monster brown trout in the fall to rainbow trout reaching an impressive 20 inches. Whether you prefer ripping streamers or delicately casting midges, Colorado Springs has it all.

The South Platte: The Dream Stream Stretch

For anglers in search of monster trout, the South Platte River’s Dream Stream is the place to be. This 4-mile stretch of tailwater fishery, located between Spinney Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir, boasts consistent water temperatures, flows, and abundant food sources. It has earned the title of a gold medal stretch of water, hosting brown trout, rainbow trout, and cutbow trout that can reach over 22 inches. During the fall, anglers can even catch kokanee salmon during their spawn.

Where to Fly Fish on the Dream Stream

The entire stretch of the Dream Stream is open to the public, with several convenient parking areas available. Anglers have the freedom to park in the middle of the stretch and fish upstream or downstream depending on the crowd. One recommended parking spot is Charlie Meyers State Rec Parking, where clear trails lead down to the river.

Recommended Gear and Flies for the Dream Stream

Due to the high elevation of almost 9,000 feet and prevailing winds in the area, it is crucial to come prepared. A fast action 9ft 6wt rod is recommended to handle the streamers or a tandem nymph rig, especially in windy conditions. Opt for a floating line and 9ft leader, ranging from 5x to 6x in strength, to suit the trout’s leader-shy nature. When it comes to flies, midges and little bugs are a reliable choice, with juju baetis, black beauty, and rs2 being popular options. Additionally, green caddis and big bugs like chubby chernobyl can attract attention. Don’t hesitate to explore new areas away from other anglers to increase your chances of success.

The Arkansas River: An Epic Fly Fishing Experience

Contrary to the South Platte and other rivers in the area, the Arkansas River offers a more dynamic fishing experience. This freestone river may be overlooked by some, but its BWO and caddis hatches are the stuff of dreams. With 102 miles of gold medal water, the Arkansas River boasts impressive dry fly fishing opportunities and is home to rainbow and brown trout, with a predominant population of brown trout.

Where to Fish on the Arkansas River

The Arkansas River offers a diverse range of fishing spots, from high country meadows to fast-moving canyon waters. To make the most of your fishing experience, head upstream of Parkdale during spring and fall when pocket water fishing is at its finest. As the warm summer months arrive, explore further upstream for new angling opportunities.

Recommended Gear and Flies for the Arkansas River

Dress in layers and equip yourself with sturdy waders when fishing the Arkansas River during the winter, spring, and fall. A 9ft 5wt rod with a weight forward floating line is ideal for most fishing conditions, while leaders ranging from 7ft to 9ft, in strengths of 3x to 6x, will suit different water levels. When it comes to flies, BWOs, Griffiths gnat, parachute adams, caddis, and stimulators are go-to patterns. Hoppers and streamers like slump busters and sculpzillas are also worth considering. Remember to explore different pockets and seams, giving each area a fair chance before moving on.

Deckers: Consistent Fly Fishing on the South Platte

Deckers is a small town located near the tailwater stretch of the South Platte River. This section offers fantastic access to miles of gold medal water with consistent water temperatures, making it fishable year-round. Anglers can expect to catch brown trout and rainbow trout ranging from 12 to 18 inches, with occasional surprises of larger fish up to 24 inches.

Where to Fish near Deckers

Although the area outside of Deckers can be crowded at times, numerous access points ensure that finding a suitable spot to fish is never a challenge. From Colorado Springs, travel north on US-24, then take CO-67 N towards Deckers. As you pass through the town, keep an eye out for parking areas along the river. Anglers often choose to park and fish upstream, as this stretch offers a rich variety of water.

Recommended Gear and Flies for Deckers

Deckers’ weather and wind conditions can fluctuate, so a reliable setup is essential. A 9ft 6wt rod provides the backbone needed to cast on windy days and handle deeper runs. Opt for a weight forward floating line and carry 9ft leaders ranging from 4x to 6x, as these trout can be selective. Pheasant tails, San Juan worms, brassies, top-secret midges, and BWO patterns are among the recommended flies to bring along.

Lake Pueblo: A Haven for Varied Species

Just south of Colorado Springs, Lake Pueblo awaits fishing enthusiasts seeking a diverse range of fish species. From wipers and largemouth bass to walleye and carp, this expansive lake offers an abundance of opportunities. With 60 miles of shoreline, anglers without a boat can still enjoy a fantastic stillwater fishing experience. Target monster carp, indulge in thrilling wiper and bass fishing, and bring along a 7wt rod with sinking and floating lines to make the most of this unique fishing spot.

Rampart Reservoir: Fly Fishing Close to Colorado Springs

Located a short drive from Colorado Springs, Rampart Reservoir is a picturesque destination known for its stunning views and excellent fishing opportunities in the spring and fall. Fly fishermen can target lake trout, also known as mackinaw, as they migrate to the shallows during these seasons. These trophy-sized fish give anglers the chance to fish from the bank in shallow water, making it a truly unique experience. A 7wt rod, floating and sinking lines, and a selection of streamers are essential for pursuing these elusive lake trout.

Cheesman Canyon: A Fly Fishing Paradise

Upstream from Deckers, Cheesman Canyon offers breathtaking trout waters and the promise of encountering monster fish. Tailwater from Cheesman Lake creates optimal conditions for rainbow trout and prolific midge and caddis hatches. Prepare for your trip by equipping yourself with 5x and 6x fluoro leaders, as well as small midge patterns, Cheesman emergers, and parachute adams. A 9ft 6wt rod will give you the strength and control needed to tackle the powerful trout inhabiting the canyon. As you venture into the fishing scene around Colorado Springs, remember to check the general fishing regulations for the South Platte River and familiarize yourself with local fly shops, such as South Platte Fly Shop, Peaks Fly Shop, and Angler’s Covey. Each of these shops offers knowledgeable staff who can provide valuable insights and advice for a successful fishing trip. Embark on your uncharted fishing adventures and uncover the hidden gems waiting to be discovered in the beautiful wilderness surrounding Colorado Springs.

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