I know the list is probably endless and also depends on what is hatching at the time, etc., BUT if you are from out of the area and coming in, what patterns and sizes would you pick if limited to 3 dries and 3 nymphs? 8)
Money, I tie flies but as I understand it the S. Platte requires small flies that I am not that good at tying so I'll buy some. Figure a couple in each size, maybe two colors, 6 patterns, I can go a bit farther on the budget but I figured I'd get some variation in suggestions, plus the cheap $.80 stuff doesn't always float that well so I want to buy from a good shop.
I tie a fairly good fly, some I've tested against store ties and mine have held up better, it is the smaller sizes that give me trouble.
Personally in July I go with some bigger flies; some smaller stuff too but as the summer moves on you can go bigger. I would have Tricos #20-#24 if they make an early appearance and some thread midges in the same sizes. But for standard flies I like a #12-#16 rubber legged stimi. If the flows are above 150 CFS a rusty slumpbuster is a killer in #6-#12. I also throw damsel/ dragon flies at the upper end of the river in #10-#16.
Well, July is when I'll be there (I'm from out of State) so I don't have much choice and "Doing" the Dream Stream is on my list of things to do. I also want to move downstream and hit 11 Mile Canyon and Cheesman Canyon. Will the same choice of flies work there in July or are different flies needed. I know I am asking a tough question. What I'm looking for is:
If no hatches, Use a grey #20 RS2. Most hatches use a #22 BWO or #22 BWO emerger, or when in doubt a #20 Adams. have some Grey #24 Midges. High water- a san Juan Worm. This will help me get together an assortment of flies to bring.
Tricos, hoppers, midges, scuds, generic mayfly nymph patterns. Take your pick, they all may or may not work.
If tying up or buying something special for the trip, as stated, Tricos 20-24 (spinners are what everyone fishes, but you can try the emerging stage too), miracle nymphs 20-24 maybe try some with different beads, red wire midge, pheasant tail 18-24 (BH and non BH). Ive never done well on scuds there, probably due to flows, but olive and tan should be standard fare.
See if your local library system has any of the fly fishing in colorado type books available. Most will have a section on the dream stream.
I have one book on the south plate that I've read and it had an emerger pattern that is sort of like an Elk Hair Caddis but you don't trim the front off near the head- it sticks up and floats the fly. I've used that pattern on local streams on brown trout that I can see. On several occasions they have refused everything else- swum right up, looked over the fly and turned away but that elk hair emerger- wham. They've grabbed it. You sort of develop a fondness for a fly like that.
It sounds like this need for tiny flies (#22-24) might be a little over stated- that was my issue- I just cannot tie flies that small.