Nebraska Fly Fishing

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Ponca Creek at Verdel, Nebr.: 42.811111, -98.175833
Missouri River blw Ponca Creek nr Verdel, Nebr.: 42.770972, -98.061944
Tyler Falls at Ft Niobrara NWR nr Valentine, Nebr.: 42.903611, -100.425833
Niobrara River near Sparks, Nebr.: 42.902222, -100.362222
East Middle Creek at Norden Road nr Norden, Nebr.: 42.794167, -100.055000
Long Pine Creek near Riverview, Nebr.: 42.689444, -99.678889
Willow Creek at Atwood Rd nr Carns, Nebr.: 42.717222, -99.414722
Niobrara River at Mariaville, Nebr.: 42.780556, -99.339722
Niobrara River near Verdel, Nebr.: 42.739722, -98.222778
Verdigre Creek near Verdigre, Nebr.: 42.654444, -98.043333
Niobrara River at Niobrara, Nebr.: 42.747500, -98.050833
Missouri River at Niobrara, Nebr.: 42.761667, -98.028127
Bazile Creek at Center, Nebr.: 42.616389, -97.878056
Bazile Creek near Niobrara, Nebr.: 42.732222, -97.922500
MISSOURI R AT YANKTON,SD: 42.866109, -97.393948
Bow Creek near Wynot, Nebr.: 42.765278, -97.172567
MISSOURI RIVER NR ST. JAMES, NE: 42.761109, -97.082270
Missouri River near Maskell, Nebr.: 42.714694, -96.943611
South Omaha Creek at Walthill, Nebr.: 42.148056, -96.483333
Omaha Creek at Homer, Nebr.: 42.321667, -96.487778
Missouri River at Decatur, NE: 42.007210, -96.241688
Missouri River at Blair, NE: 41.550556, -96.096389
Missouri River at Omaha, NE: 41.258887, -95.922514
Big Papillion Creek near Blair, Nebr.: 41.508889, -96.210278
Big Papillion Creek near Kennard, Nebr.: 41.451108, -96.190664
Big Papillion Creek near Bennington, Nebr.: 41.378886, -96.182797
Big Papillion Creek at Fort Street at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.306665, -96.104185
Big Papillion Creek at Pacific St at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.248975, -96.079358
Thomas Creek near Bennington, Nebr.: 41.364778, -96.100611
Little Papillion Creek near Irvington, Nebr.: 41.310553, -96.047794
Cole Creek at Blondo Street at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.277694, -96.035056
Little Papillion Cr at Ak-Sar-Ben at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.245277, -96.020572
Big Papillion Creek at Q Street at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.205416, -96.016683
West Papillion Creek at Elkhorn, Nebr.: 41.292861, -96.252389
West Papillion Cr at Pacific St at Omaha, Nebr.: 41.248667, -96.168444
West Papillion Creek at Millard, Nebr.: 41.207361, -96.127611
South Papillion Creek near Gretna, Nebr.: 41.172764, -96.215983
South Papillion Creek at Chalco, Nebr.: 41.180554, -96.139463
West Papillion Creek at Papillion, Nebr.: 41.155749, -96.043349
Papillion Creek at Fort Crook, Nebr.: 41.117833, -95.937667
NORTH PLATTE RIVER AT WYOMING-NEBRASKA STATE LINE: 41.988576, -104.053282
North Platte River at Scottsbluff, Nebr.: 41.849944, -103.675556
Lodgepole Creek at Bushnell, Nebr.: 41.227778, -103.893056
South Platte River at Roscoe, Nebr.: 41.126111, -101.576667
Platte River near Overton, Nebr.: 40.682500, -99.540556
Spring Creek near Overton, Nebr.: 40.707231, -99.559829
Platte R,So-Ch,Cottonwood Ranch nr Overton, Nebr.: 40.678889, -99.489167
Platte R Mid-Ch, Cottonwood Ranch nr Elm Cr, Nebr.: 40.685565, -99.439268
Buffalo Creek near Overton, Nebr.: 40.734454, -99.505937
Elm Creek near Elm Creek, Nebr.: 40.728899, -99.398989
Platte River near Kearney, Nebr.: 40.658056, -99.086111
Platte River near Grand Island, Nebr.: 40.874457, -98.282004
Wood River at Grand Island, Nebr.: 40.874722, -98.378333
Warm Slough near Central City, Nebr.: 41.090833, -98.077778
Silver Creek, at Mile 4 near Silver Creek, Nebr.: 41.297222, -97.713889
Prairie Creek near Silver Creek, Nebr.: 41.328903, -97.675330
Platte River near Duncan, Nebr.: 41.368333, -97.495278
Middle Loup River at Dunning, Nebr.: 41.830917, -100.099528
Dismal River near Thedford, Nebr.: 41.778611, -100.525278
South Loup River at Arnold, Nebr.: 41.422778, -100.203378
South Loup River at Saint Michael, Nebr.: 41.032500, -98.740556
Middle Loup River at Saint Paul, Nebr.: 41.203500, -98.446111
North Loup River at Brewster, Nebr.: 41.941667, -99.860278
North Loup River at Taylor, Nebr.: 41.776944, -99.379167
North Loup River near Saint Paul, Nebr.: 41.263346, -98.449236
Loup River Power Canal near Genoa, Nebr.: 41.409167, -97.793611
Loup River near Genoa, Nebr.: 41.418611, -97.723611
Beaver Creek at Genoa, Nebr.: 41.441402, -97.734775
Clear Creek 1.75 mile W of Polk County line, Nebr.: 41.351944, -97.403333
Shell Creek near Columbus, Nebr.: 41.526111, -97.281667
Platte River at North Bend, Nebr.: 41.452778, -96.775556
Platte River near Leshara, Nebr.: 41.320000, -96.404191
Platte River near Venice, Nebr.: 41.198055, -96.339745
Elkhorn River at Ewing, Nebr.: 42.268444, -98.339361
Elkhorn River at Norfolk, Nebr.: 42.003778, -97.426028
North Fork Elkhorn River near Pierce, Nebr.: 42.148500, -97.478528
Elkhorn River at Pilger, Nebr.: 41.995278, -97.058056
Elkhorn River at West Point, Nebr.: 41.839444, -96.727532
Logan Creek at Wakefield, Nebr.: 42.276945, -96.861986
Logan Creek near Uehling, Nebr.: 41.712778, -96.521944
Maple Creek near Nickerson, Nebr.: 41.561167, -96.540833
Elkhorn River at Waterloo, Nebr.: 41.293333, -96.283889
Platte River near Ashland, Nebr.: 41.062222, -96.324722
Salt Creek at Roca, Nebr.: 40.657778, -96.665556
Salt Creek at Pioneers Boulevard at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.770278, -96.718889
Haines Branch at SW 56th St at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.767503, -96.796965
Middle Creek at SW 63rd St at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.810806, -96.806083
Antelope Creek at 27th Street at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.804944, -96.685083
Oak Creek at Air Park Road at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.855278, -96.779444
Salt Creek at Fairgrounds at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.838611, -96.691389
Salt Creek at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.846667, -96.681667
Deadmans Run at 38th Street at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.835364, -96.665558
Little Salt Creek near Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.893056, -96.681667
Salt Creek at 70th Street at Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.886111, -96.624180
Stevens Creek near Lincoln, Nebr.: 40.856944, -96.595290
Rock Creek near Ceresco, Nebr.: 41.015833, -96.544167
Salt Creek at Greenwood, Nebr.: 40.965556, -96.454444
Wahoo Creek at Ithaca, Nebr.: 41.147500, -96.537778
Wahoo Creek at Ashland, Nebr.: 41.053611, -96.367778
Salt Creek Near Ashland, Nebr.: 41.051667, -96.338611
Platte River at Louisville, Nebr.: 41.015278, -96.157778
Missouri River at Plattsmouth, NE: 41.001110, -95.866675
Weeping Water Creek at Union, Nebr.: 40.794167, -95.911389
Missouri River at Nebraska City, NE: 40.681946, -95.846946
Missouri River at Brownville, NE: 40.398889, -95.653333
Little Nemaha River at Auburn, Nebr.: 40.392778, -95.812778
Missouri River at Rulo, NE: 40.053639, -95.422417
North Fork Big Nemaha River at Humboldt, Nebr.: 40.156945, -95.944721
Big Nemaha River at Falls City, Nebr.: 40.035558, -95.596096
Arikaree River at Haigler, Nebr.: 40.029167, -101.967500
North Fork Republican River at Colorado-Nebraska: 40.069435, -102.051298
Buffalo Creek near Haigler, Nebr.: 40.039444, -101.866667
Rock Creek at Parks, Nebr.: 40.042222, -101.728056
Republican River at Benkelman, Nebr.: 40.034444, -101.542778
South Fork Republican River near Benkelman, Nebr.: 40.010278, -101.541944
Republican River at Stratton, Nebr.: 40.140556, -101.229722
Frenchman Creek at Palisade, Nebr.: 40.351667, -101.123611
Frenchman Creek at Culbertson, Nebr.: 40.234722, -100.878214
Driftwood Creek near McCook, Nebr.: 40.145837, -100.673208
Republican River at McCook, Nebr.: 40.187778, -100.618611
Red Willow Creek near Red Willow, Nebr.: 40.234722, -100.500833
Republican River at Cambridge, Nebr.: 40.284444, -100.143611
Republican River near Orleans, Nebr.: 40.131667, -99.502500
Beaver Creek near Beaver City, Nebr.: 40.120007, -99.893457
Sappa Creek near Stamford, Nebr.: 40.118333, -99.516944
Courtland Canal at Nebraska-Kansas Stateline: 40.004181, -98.132268
Republican River at Guide Rock, Nebr.: 40.064167, -98.330833
REPUBLICAN R NR HARDY, NE: 39.992513, -97.932543
West Fork Big Blue River near Dorchester, Nebr.: 40.731118, -97.177541
Big Blue River near Crete, Nebr.: 40.596667, -96.960556
Turkey Creek near DeWitt, Nebr.: 40.367222, -96.889444
Big Blue River at Barneston, Nebr.: 40.044722, -96.587222
Little Blue River near Deweese, Nebr.: 40.332500, -98.066944
Little Blue River near Fairbury, Nebr.: 40.146472, -97.200722
Little Blue River at Hollenberg, KS: 39.980278, -97.004722
Missouri River near La Platte, Nebr.: 41.059353, -95.883669

You may not immediately think about fly fishing when you think about this heartland of America filled with corn fields and…well, not a whole lot else. Surprisingly though, the state does engage in an active trout stocking program, which allows anglers of all kinds to do what they love most – drop a line in and wait in hopeful anticipation for that telltale tug.

Where to Go?

While it may seem like a well-kept secret, Nebraska does harbor many beautiful, bountiful rivers and streams that serve as angling paradise to fly fishermen. Most of these are tucked away in the north and western portions of the state, where colder waters can sustain a trout population.

Niobrara River

This waterway, situated in central northern Nebraska, receives annual stockings of browns and rainbows by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. While natural reproduction is hampered by the lack of high-quality spawning habitat in the river, the stocked trout offer anglers fly and other fishing opportunity between the Wyoming border and the Box Butte Reservoir. Public access is available via Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Much of the water flows through private property, so permission must be obtained from the landowners.

Long Pine Creek

Another local favorite, this tributary of the Niobrara serves as a fertile ground for natural reproduction in both rainbows and browns. The best place to fish is between the public access at Seven Springs and Camp Witness. As you travel further downstream you’ll encounter even larger fish, but past the Bone Creek confluence the populations become scarce.

Verdigre Creek

Northeastern Nebraska is home to this perennial favorite of anglers throughout the state. The few miles that support a trout population offer riffles, pools, and runs, ideal for the fly fisherman seeking a classic trout stream experience. At 10-15 feet wide and featuring some pools as deep as three feet, the Verdigre is a haven to naturally reproducing browns and rainbows as well as 200 catchable rainbows that are stocked weekly by the Grove Trout Rearing Station. This stream may not offer the largest trout but for a serene, scenic angling experience it can’t be beat. Public access is available via the Grove Lake WMA.

Elm Creek

This creek is situated in south-central NE and is the ideal rainbow fishing ground. Three miles out of the 22 miles of drainage provide a hospitable habitat for the stocked trout. Public access is available throughout the Elm Creek WMA, the rest of the creek flows through private property. Pools and runs abound, and aquatic vegetation thrives, offering fishermen a lovely environment in which to cast a line.

Lake Ogallala

This reservoir for water coming from the Kingsley Dam at Lake McConaughy is nestled in the southwestern area of the state, just kitty corner from where Colorado juts in. While it’s not a traditional trout stream, the area has proven extremely rewarding to many anglers – yielding trout over 20 inches in length. The state stocks rainbows in Lake Ogallala, making it a wonderland for those seeking catchable sized fish.

At the bottom end of the lake there is a Nebraska Public Power diversion dam, forming a North Platte River tailwater. A mile of this stretch also serves as a fruitful trout fishing area for rainbows and browns, although it is not stocked, due to the fish that escape from Lake Ogallala. These two areas sit within a state recreation area and offer plenty of public access.

​When to Go?

Nebraska offers year-round fishing. Spring at the Kingsley Dam brings walleye who are ripe to strike as they prepare for spawning. Summer is a productive time at Lake Ogallala, during high irrigation flows. Fall and winter are also lucrative as flows are good after the irrigation season.

In May, the Box Butte Reservoir in the northwestern corner of the state holds a glut of pike. Remember, anywhere bait fishermen can cast, you can cast too. Many fish species besides trout can be caught on the fly.

​What You Will Need When You Get There?

Nebraska streams tend to be fairly low-key, without a lot of whitewaters or chest-high depth, although some pools can reach four feet so it’s a good idea to go with chest waders if possible. You’ll also want a wide-brimmed hat, a rain jacket with a hood, a vest or small pack, sunscreen, bug spray, polarized sunglasses to see into the water, and your nippers and other accessories necessary for cutting line.

A standard 4-6 weight rod with 9-foot leader will do for most of Nebraska’s fly fishing locations. For the larger fish in Lake Ogallala you may want a 6 to 8 weight. Keep a wide variety of flies on-hand, including scuds, BWOs, caddis, streamers, tricos, midges, and baetis. Terrestrials can come in handy particularly in the fall when nothing else seems to work – hoppers, ants, and crickets should be a staple in your fly box.

As for boots – leave the felt-soles at home this time. Nebraska has banned this type of wader due to the risk of spreading didymo and other nuisance invasive species that can have deleterious effects on the fish and other wildlife habitats within aquatic environments.

​Fishing License Requirements

Nebraska requires all residents and non-residents age 16 and over to carry a fishing permit. These are available at a cost of $29.50 for residents and $61.50 for non-residents. There are also one-day and three-day options for both residents and non-residents, as well as combination hunting and fishing permits. Disabled veterans may obtain a free fishing permit. Nebraska also offers reciprocal licensing privileges for South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri – holders of fishing permits in any of these states may fish the Missouri River in their own state as well the waters across the river in the other state.

There are trout limits that apply statewide – the bag limit is five, with a possession limit of 12, and no more than one fish may be longer than 16 inches.

Whether you live in the Cornhusker State, are planning a vacation through the area, or are visiting involuntarily on a business trip, don’t leave your rod at home. Even though it may not be rife with classic fly fishing opportunities, the state does have plenty to offer those who just want to relax and cast a line out.