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The Pyramid Lake outing, April 23-28, it’s no coincidence this lake is in Nevada, the gambling state

By Jerry Neuburger
Sutcliffe, Nevada—It’s no secret that fishing Pyramid can be a crap shoot. Numbers can be as high as 80 fish per rod on very good days and zero on very bad ones. However, even with these widely varying results the lake has a certain draw and mystique that cannot be denied.

Perhaps it’s the topography, a large lake in a moonscape like setting, high desert and tufa towers. Perhaps it’s the fishing technique so different than any other fish-ing, casting a long sinking line with foam beetles and woolly worms, and slowly stripping in while standing on a ladder in three feet of ice cold water. Perhaps it’s the fish themselves, ancient Lahontan cutthroat trout, a species dating to the ice ages over 40,000 years ago. Or perhaps the possibility of catching (and releasing) one of the remaining giants of this species, a fish in excess of 20 pounds, on a fly.

What ever the draw, it can’t be denied that at certain times of the year, the lake’s shores, especially the western side are swarming with fly and spin fishers, some loners and others in large camps, generally club based, all hoping to catch their share of this beautifully marked fish.

Although fly guys fish the lake all winter long, February through April are the prime months since the fish are cruising the shore, looking for inflow while pre-paring to spawn. The three most popular beaches for fishing during this time are Pelican and the North and South Nets. Pelican has the additional advantage for the camper since it’s slightly sheltered by the mountain rim from the sometimes fierce winds blowing in from the west.

Because the lake can get crowded on weekends, fishmeister, Larry Mettler likes to fish this body of water during the week. Rather than camp on the lake shore, Larry arranges a group of rooms for those that want to fish Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Larry asks that you contact him at least two weeks ahead of time, before April 11.

Those who can’t make the midweek schedule usually arrive on Friday and fish through Sunday. Both tent and RV camping is available on the lake shore, a $9fee is required for each night. A Nevada State fishing license is NOT required to fish this lake. Instead, anglers are required to purchase a special Pyramid Lake license from the Paiute Tribe since the lake is on Paiute Reservation property. The license runs $9 per day with multiple day pack-ages and season licenses available.

The two principal presentations when fishing Pyramid are either casting a sinking line while standing on a ladder in three to four feet of water, and then slowly stripping the attached woolly worm and beetle in, setting up on any line hesitation. The second is indicator lake fishing with a variety of dedicated Pyramid lake flies as well as brassies and Copper Johns.

While the average size Lahontan runs about 20 inches, you might be lucky enough to hook up to a fish in the ten pound class. However, as big as that sounds, it’s not near the lake record of a fish weighing over 41 pounds.

Just the facts:

Fishmiester: Larry Mettler, 209-481-6478.

Website: http://www.pyramidlake.us

Species: Lahontan cutthroat trout

Fishing license: $9 one day, $74 season, other combinations available on-line.

Hotel Accommodations: Larry will ar-range accommodations at the Nugget in Reno at a special rate for DFFers attending this outing, cost somewhere between $30 and $40 per night, two to a room. Plans for dinner Thursday night are at the Basque restaurant in Sparks, and at the Nugget smorgy on Friday.

Camping: $9 per day, permit available on-line.
The western lake shore is open to dry camping. An RV park with hookups, seldom used, is available at Sutcliffe Pyramid Lake Store

Carla & George Molino 29555 Pyramid Highway Sutcliffe, NV 89510 775-476-0555 FishPyramid.com
Supplies: Fishing licenses, flies, fishing supplies, snacks and some groceries, gaso-line and propane are available at the Pyra-mid Lake Store on Hwy. 445, as you ap-proach the lake.

Recommended Equipment:
7 weight rod, floating and quick sinking lines. 6 foot ladder.
Pyramid Lake Woolly worm
Pyramid Lake Beetle
Pyramid Lake Tadpole
Snow cone midge
Mahalo nymph
Damsel and Dragon fly nymphs

Fishing regulation highlights:
• 2 barbless hooks per line.
 Artificials only.
 Check for closed areas
 Fishing permitted from one hour be-fore sunrise to one hour after sunset.
 Two fish may be kept, see the slot limit for sizes.

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