Photo from Phil Tereyla.

WOT 69: Big Brown Trout Tactics on the Dream Stream with Phil Tereyla.

In this episode we Wadeoutthere with Phil Tereyla from Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Phil grew up hitting the South Platte River and teaching his teammates about catching trout on the fly between hockey practices.  After his hockey career, he returned to Colorado and began guiding through college, eventually becoming a full time guide and author.  We discuss:

** NOTE** Podcast episode and upcoming guests appear at the end of this short article.

Subscribers have access to submit questions for future guests.

What makes the Dream Stream special?  Talking with Phil Tereyla taught me it’s much more than catching big fish.

On the surface Phil’s experience on the Dream Stream and my own seems anything but similar.  Phil Tereyla is a professional fly fishing guide, born and raised in Colorado, who loves targeting big brown trout on the Dream Stream section of the South Platte River.  My time fishing the Dream Stream was twenty years ago, as a beginner fly fisher going to school in Colorado, who was more concerned with catching any fish, let alone big browns. 

But the Dream Stream gave us both something very much the same.  A challenge.  And a hope for a great fish, that could only be caught by embracing that challenge.

Phil mentions in the podcast that when he targets big browns on the Dream Stream he is accepting that it probably means less numbers.  But he is okay with fewer fish because of the challenge and reward of chasing these big browns. 

For my friends and I starting out in fly fishing, just driving up to the Dream was a challenge.  We knew we would catch fewer fish, but we still went. 

I never caught a monster brown trout on the Dream Stream, but I caught a few nice fish, and I remember one or two hook ups to lost fish that resulted in a couple “one that got away” stories.  Those handful of hook ups, combined with my friends’ similar experiences, was enough to keep me coming back.  

The Dream Stream represents a fishery that more than any other I have fished, treats all anglers ruthlessly the same.  It reminds us that fly fishing can be humbling, frustrating and simultaneously deeply rewarding. 

Talking with Phil was a fun reminder that these are the things that bind certain types of anglers together.  The things that keep two strangers who just met, chatting about fly fishing like they have known each other for years.  And maybe they have known at least a part of each other.  The river gave us that in common.  The Dream.

Key Takeaways.

  • Be careful where you walk while crossing the river during spawn.  
  • Cross above redds vs below because some trout eggs may have gone downstream.
  • Fishing deep water looking for feeding fish can help avoid fishing to spawning fish.
  • Once there are spawning beds in the river, most fish on the riffles are
  • 70% of the fish are in 30% of the water.
  • Looking in front of rocks and structure  is a great place to find trout on the Dream Stream.
  • Fish spent spinners 1-2 feet upstream from feeding trout for a more natural drift with less currents affecting the fly.
  • A great beginner fly to tie on the Dream Stream are basic pheasant tails in sizes 16, 18, and 20.  They are easy to tie and have been a proven performer for years.
  • When targeting big browns look for deeper water with structure.

Learn More.

You can find out more about Phil or schedule a guided trip at Phil’s website:

Or visit the fly shop where Phil guides at Angler’s Covey:

If you are interested in picking up one of Phil’s books about Colorado’s easy access mountain lakes visit:

If you want more information on some of the topics we discussed try reading these blog posts from Wadeoutthere:

READ: WADEOUTTHERE | What Makes a Good Day’s Fishing.

READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Small Flies, Light Takes, and Lost Fish.  It’s Good for You.

READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Five Techniques to Make Your Catch and Release Count.

READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Now What? How to Land Trout Before the Hookset.

Upcoming Podcast Guests.

  • Josh Miller – Euro Nymphing and competition fly fishing
  • Shyanne Orvis – Colorado
  • Allison Helen Hendricks – Wyoming | Traveling guide | Casting
  • Rachel Leinweber – Anglers Covey Fly Shop | South Platte River, CO
  • Cameron Cushman – Wild Trout | Veterans
  • Matt Wagner – The Driftless Region
  • Marina Gibson – Fly fishing in the UK
  • Paula Shearer – Bow River, Alberta Canada

Subscribers – Ask a Question on the Podcast.

If you have a question for an upcoming guest, I would love to hear from you. I will ask questions from Wadeoutthere subscribers towards the end of the conversation during “Wadeoutthere Wants to Know.”

If you enjoy the Wadeoutthere Fly Fishing Podcast, and want to help it grow, please leave a rating and review.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking with Phil.


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Jason Shemchuk

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