In the Wild with Greg Wagner

Verdigre Creek Vacation by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
July 16, 2009, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Streams | Tags: , , ,
The cool, clear water of the Verdigre Creek's East Branch.
The cool, clear water of the Verdigre Creek’s East Branch.

People who know me know that I have an affinity for moving water, especially Nebraska’s trout streams. One such stream is the East Branch of the Verdigre Creek flowing through the Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area near Royal in Antelope County. Some two miles of public access is available along the creek for trout fishing. Primitive camping is also available. Motels can be found in nearby communities, i.e., Orchard, O’Neill, etc.     

This brook is a real, wild fishing gem filled with lots of aquatic plants. Brown and rainbow trout thrive in its clear, cool, spring-fed water that rarely reaches my ribcage. Also, to keep up with fishing pressure, 200 pan-sized rainbows from the nearby Grove Trout Rearing Station are stocked weekly year-round.

I must admit, the Wagner family thinks the Verdigre Creek is just plain COOL! In fact, so much so, that my entire family likes to put on old shorts, T-shirts, ball caps and river sandals and then take to the creek to wade-fish it!   That’s what we’ll be doing before school starts on our mini vacation! We simply spread out in pairs and stealthfully work different sections of the creek. We walk downstream on hot summer days putting nightcrawler rigs into holes, under root wads and around logs. We have a blast catching and releasing the trout and never get too hot! It’s always an adventure in the creek because we see everything from frogs to fur bearing animals or the occasional Wagner family member getting an unexpected bath!

 Don’t think that the Verdigre Creek is the sole attraction in that area there either, its not. Fed by the creek, 50-acre, scenic Grove Lake offers great fishing for northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish, depending on conditions, of course. Nice, shady campsites can be found around the lake, too. The classic, nostalgic Grove Lake Bait Shop is a must-stop near the lake to buy a pop, an ice cream bar and a few dozen locally picked up nightcrawlers. Several other attractions in the area to visit are the Grove Trout Rearing Station Ponds to see trout swimming around, the unique Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park to view prehistoric animals preserved in volcanic ash, the Green Gables Restaurant to enjoy dinner featuring homemade broasted chicken, potato salad and pie, the Orchard City Pool to take a dip, and the Starlite Drive-In Movie Theater in Neligh to take in a fun flick beginning about sunset on a nice summer night with popcorn and pop in hand. 

 I hope to see you on your own Verdigre Creek Vacation! Oh, and pass the popcorn, will you?  


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What a cool picture… I love the stories that go along with it. I’m not an outdoorsy person, but have friends that love to fish and I have told them countless times to add Nebraska Game and Parks on facebook.. Well, now I can really suggest someplace to my supervisor, who loves to fish with her kids. Thanks so much.

Comment by Theresa

I was just flipping through the “Trout Fishing in Nebraska’s Streams” guide that is published by NGPC and it doesn’t mention Verdigre Creek. Is there an updated or better guide available somewhere?

Comment by Adam


The Trout Fishing in Nebraska Streams booklet does include Verdigre Creek. See page 16 of that booklet.

Daryl Bauer
Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Comment by Daryl Bauer

Ah Ha, I see it now! I guess I should have drank some more coffee this morning. Thanks for the info.

Comment by Adam

wow!! this brings back great memories. I was stationed at offutt for almost 5 years and trips to verdigre with my air force buddies was great stress theraphy..since then i went back home to the philippines but the fun times there still lingers..hope to visit the area again to show my kids were there papa caught his first rainbow and to give them pointers..just dreaming..keep up the good work

Comment by ed boza


You will be very interested in this blog too, !

Daryl B.

Comment by Daryl Bauer

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