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Lahontan Cutthroats – Pyramid Lake

May 31, 2011

Once a year, a motley crew of boys get together and head out to Pyramid Lake, north of Reno to go after Lahontan Cutthroat trout.  I’m going to start by saying that it couldn’t be a greater group of guys.  I’d easily say there’s a minimum of 175 combined years of experience on the water.  They’ve fished blue water, alaska, eastern sierra, and the bahamas, and we’re not talking they’ve been there, they’re exchanging stories from the multiple trips to these famed locations over the past years (fyi. sentence heavily laced with admiration and envy).  They’re prepared for most anything, they’ve got any and all the gear, and know how to use it.  They tie their own flies, know all the knots, and teach us “younger guys” how to read the water.

The trip is pretty brutal when you look at it from the outside, we’re on the water around 4:30 (a.m.) and, depending on the fishing conditions, are on the water until 6 or 7 (p.m.).  The lake is on an indian reservation, and it’s BIG  at 476K acres, (by comparison Lake Tahoe is around 122K acres).  The water in late April is cold and the conditions can change by the hour.  By change, I’m talking we could start in the morning with a sunshine and be blown off the water with monster sandblasting winds or be fishing in the snow – technical clothing is a must.  This particular trip, unfortunately, the weather was good and the water was clear.  The fish stay out in the deeper water unless the water starts to get murky and dirty, so unless the weather gets snotty, the water will stay pretty clear.

So let me get to how we fish this place – we stand on ladders.  It seems odd, but it works great – wade out, plant your ladder, and start casting.  You don’t want to be standing in the cold water all day long and there’s no way you could make the casts standing in waist deep water.   Our ladders are outfitted with stripping baskets, rod holders, net clips, and everything else you need to get the job done.

It’s a great trip, it’ll beat you down and provide great reward.  I’m always looking forward to the next trip. . .

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