Fly Fishing Nebraska

by | Apr 20, 2018 | fly fishing Nebraska

Cornhusker Flyfishers Club president Larry Dostal retrieved me from the Omaha Marriot Hotel at 8 AM today to lead me through my first ever day fly fishing in Nebraska.  We took the I 80 from Omaha to Lincoln then north to Branched Oak Lake.  Our target species were hybrid stripers – better known as “wipers”.


Branched Oak is the largest of the Salt Valley Lakes.  We parked at the recreation area and headed out on a rock jetty.  I rigged my 5-weight with a heavy black Clouser minnow at the point and a lighter weight chartreus and white Clouser as my dropper on straight 0X Flouro.  The weather was nice when we arrived but before we made our first cast the wind kicked up.


When I purchased my Nebraska fishing license earlier at the Branched Oak Marina the clerk cautioned us the fishing had been slow.  He hadn’t heard of a wiper being caught yet this year.  He also said the walleye bite was over and we were too early for the crappie.  Larry and I worked the lake hard for nearly two hours but nothing.


Our next stop was a short hike down a grassy hill to the spillway of the Lake.  Oak Creek is tiny but right below the dam was a promising looking deep pool.  Larry hung over a cement ledge and covered the water well but nothing cooperated.


This day had been planned for months and Larry’s original hope was to get me my first goldeye on the fly.  That idea diminished with all the terrible spring weather effecting the US lately.  Larry made me plenty aware that catching a fish would be tough.  Therefore, he had several places in mind and our next stop were some carp ponds near downtown Lincoln.


Things started bleak.  We walked a half hour without sighting a carp.  With the wind, water clarity was bad but we didn’t give up.  Eventually we started seeing a few then nestled in a clump of cattails we saw a waving carp tail.  A cast was impossible so I dapped a dark Crazy Charlie style fly and jigged it where I suspected the head of the hungry carp was.  He ate and by miracle didn’t break me off in the reeds.  My first Nebraska fish was my second common carp of the year – both thanks to speaking engagements this season (first was Phoenix in January).


We saw quite a few carp during the next hour.  They weren’t as easy as my first.  They were both finicky and spooky.  You really had to get down low and drop the fly perfectly for success.  Larry’s stealthy approach soon led him to our next carp.


I’d end up hooking one more carp but cooler weather and more wind moved in over the afternoon.  We didn’t see much more after Larry landed his carp.  We returned to Omaha and tonight Larry and the Cornhusker Flyfishers treated me to a delicious prime rib.  Tomorrow I’ll be delivering a full day of fly fishing seminars.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!