In the Wild with Greg Wagner



For those of us living in, around or near Omaha and Lincoln, the Two Rivers State Recreation Area Trout Lake, situated 1 1/2 miles south of Venice (West Center Road and 264th Street) in western Douglas County, offers one of the best places to take kids fishing! This is where I got hooked on fishing as a youngster in the late 1960’s! Many thanks Mom, Dad and Uncle Gerry! 

Two Rivers offers a put-and-take, pay fishing lake for pan-sized rainbow trout that are rather easily caught. Kids use powerbait, corn, nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, marshmallows, etc. to land the rainbows as well as small spinners and spoons. It doesn’t take fancy equipment. Light to medium-action tackle, along with small hooks, weights and bobbers, work well for the kids to enjoy success. Have the kids cast out, put their bait just up off the bottom a bit and wait for a hungry rainbow to cruise by and strike it! If  the kids aren’t catching anything, move around the lake but don’t intrude on anyone else’s space. You’ll find though that Game and Parks personnel and most other anglers on the lake are eager to help the kids catch fish! 

The trout lake (Lake #5 on the area) is open from 7 a.m. to sunset each day. To fish there, anglers must purchase a daily trout tag from the Two Rivers office. The tag sells for $4 and allows the taking of  4 trout. An angler may purchase a maximum of three tags each day and is allowed 12 trout in possession. Anglers possessing trout on any other lake at Two Rivers SRA must have a trout tag as well.

Anglers are asked to return their tag to the office at the end of their fishing day, as the information collected from each tag is critical in helping fisheries biologists determine catch rates and stocking rates.

An adult angler is allowed to be accompanied by two children under the age of 16, but the group bag limit is still limited to four trout per tag. Anglers are allowed to use one fishing rod and reel each.

Steve Wilhelm, Fisheries Superintendent of the Grove Lake Trout Rearing Station near Royal, which supplies the 10-11 inch rainbows stocked at Two Rivers Trout Lake, reminds anglers catch-and-release fishing is not allowed at the Two Rivers Trout Lake, a rule that must be observed even by fly anglers, many of whom adhere strictly to the catch-and-release philosophy. So, you’re gonna take ’em home and cook ’em up!

Here is a delicious, simple recipe for pan-fried rainbow trout that the Wagner family likes to make:


  • 4 whole (1-pound) Trout, cleaned, head can be on or off but gills must be removed
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 slightly heaping plate of flour
  • Salt and pepper to season the flour

When ready to cook, rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Drying will prevent the fish from steaming when you cook it.

Cut a few diagonal slashes along each side of the fish.

Roll fish in flour seasoned with salt and pepper until covered.

Heat the butter in a frying pan until bubbling, and then fry the trout for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. To test if the fish are done when cooking the trout,
 insert a fork at the thickest point of the fish. Perfectly cooked fish is nearly opaque, should be very moist, and will flake easily with a fork. Fish that looks slightly dry is overcooked. Undercooked fish will look translucent and raw. If you have a digital meat thermometer
, the internal temperature in the center of the fillet should reach 145ºF. Serve with a slice of lemon for a slightly fresher, livelier taste.

Two Rivers Trout Lake anglers 16 and older must possess a current Nebraska fishing permit All vehicles entering the area are required to have a current Nebraska park entry permit.

For more information about fishing at the Two Rivers State Recreation Area Trout Lake, call the area office at (402) 359-5165.

See you out there, with the kids fishing!

Special thanks to Michael Carrick, Two Rivers State Recreation Area Acting Park Superintendent for the on-site fishing photos of kids at the trout lake. Most appreciated, Mike!


MAKE TIME FOR KIDS, TROUT by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Parents, take advantage of those windows of opportunity when your kids have it available as well as nice weather and go fish with them for stocked, pan-sized rainbow trout!

Hey, my 12-year old son Noah and I did just that this week on Monday when he was off school for parent-teacher conferences. What a fantastic time we had, just me and him, with no interruptions!

 Here are some trout he caught at Benson Park Lagoon in Omaha, NE.

noah 1

Noah wants me tell you that the stocked trout “went bananas” for garlic-flavored salmon eggs! Besides Noah’s salmon eggs, pack some Powerbait and corn in your bait bucket, plus I would recommend using light or medium-action tackle, plus small hooks and weights to catch these nice rainbows! You don’t need fancy fishing gear!

noah 2

  Alright Noah, forget smelling like fish, how do we get that garlic-flavored scent off your clothing … hmmm?

See Daryl Bauer’s blog for a trout-stocked location near you: