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Wow! What a fall at Pyramid. This has been the best fall fishing out at the lake in recent history. The new strain of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout continue to grow and offer anglers the chance to catch a fish of a lifetime. Several fish over 20 pounds and a couple in the 25 pound class have been caught over the past month or so. Lots of fish in the 10-20 pound range have also been caught. There are several beaches that continue to produce fish but the fish are really spread out. Spots with access to deep water have been the best places so far. www.pyramidlakeflyfishing.com/fishing/beaches lays out the variety of spots to try at the lake and the ones that have access to deep water. All sorts of techniques have been working. Shooting head set-ups with Midnight Cowboys, Bloody Mary’s and Olive Martinis have been working well. Dropper flies like white Wooly Buggers and Chartreuse Loco Beetles are also worth a try. Nymphing has also been catching fish. An estimated 24 pound fish was caught last week on a size 12 Black Maholo Nymph. Albino Wino Midges are also doing well.
There is a bunch of really cold weather headed our way and the water temperatures are bound to plummet. This could change the fishing conditions and drive fish into deeper water sometime soon. It should remain pretty good for a while however if you can handle the cold. Fish have been biting seemingly any time of day so as the cold weather sets in it might be a good idea to get a little later start.
Opening Day at Pyramid was as good as it has been for several years now. There were some really good reports of anglers catching 10-15 fish. The good fishing has continued for most of the first week. It is really important to find schools of bait near shore this time of year to have the best chances. Minnow patterns fished with a fast sinking shooting head that sinks 6-8 inches a second on beaches that offer chances to get your flies into 15-25 feet of water are your best areas to try. There are not too many spots around the lake that shore fishermen can do this but those types of beaches were awesome on the opener. The beaches page does a great job of explaining which areas offer access to deeper water around the lake. The fishing should only get better as the water cools and fish creep into the shallows over the next month. Midnight Cowboys, Olive Martini’s, Bullet Head Streamers and just about any minnow imitation in size 2-6 is worth a try.
The best story of opening day goes to Lauren Dunn of Truckee who caught and released the new Junior Female World Record Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. This is a category for anglers under the age of 17. The fish was Lauren’s first fish of the day and weighed slightly over 9 pounds. Congratulations to Lauren! Go to http://pyramidlakeflyfishing.com/2013/10/03/new-world-record-lahontan/ to see the story.
Opens to Trout Fishing October 1st. This is going to be an interesting and hopefully another great year at Pyramid. We now have two sustainable strains of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in the Lake. The Summit Lake strain which has been the main strain in the lake for the last 20 years or more and the Pilot Peak Strain which was introduced back into the lake in 2006-2007. Both strains of fish play an important role in the fishing at Pyramid Lake. We are still learning a lot about the Pilot Peak strain and some of what we think we know is based on only a few years of experience catching these fish. There is much more recent history with the Summit Lake strain.
In years past most of the Summit Lake Cutthroats are still in deeper water on opening day. It has a lot to do with water temperatures. The boaters usually do very well in October catching these fish in 20-40 feet of water or more. Trolling is a great way to fish this time of year. Shore fishermen usually try to fish near fast drop-offs where deeper water can be accessed. Looking for Tui Chubs and Perch Fry are also important to finding fish. As the fall wears on and water temperatures drop more and more fish can be caught from shore in more like 8-15 feet of water. The fish can be really spread out and moving around is important to finding fish. This should be very close to how the fishing goes for the Summit Lake strain of Lahontan Cutthroats again this fall.
It is going to be interesting and fun to experience another year with the new Pilot Peak strain which is believed to be as close to the original strain of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout that used to roam the lake 100 years ago. These fish do not act like the Summit Lake strain. They are more aggressive, tend to grow faster and may even live longer. They also seem to hang out in different water. Last spring after most of the Summit Lake fish were out in deep water and the hatchery was shut down a large school of Pilot Peak fish showed up in shallow water and there were a few weeks of excellent fishing in May and June because of it. These fish seem to spend a lot more time chasing Tui Chubs and smaller Trout and will move in and out with the schools of bait. There are usually more Tui Chubs near shore in the fall so there may be some really big fish close enough for shore fishermen to catch as early as Opening day. We still have a lot to learn about these fish and what the future holds for the largest Cutthroats on the Planet.
What a great day on the lake. Started out with a couple begginer clients in the morning and we caught some nice fish. We went through a slow spell around lunch and then it was on again. 10 Pilot Peak fish to hand up to 5 pounds in about 2 hours. Fish were deep. We were fishing the new deep line breakaway indicator rig in 12 feet of water. Developed by Rob Anderson. Awesome set up. Anyway then we get a last fish of the day story.
a couple of fish over 8 pounds today with this monster fish. Maybe 12-14 pounds. Lots of Pilot Peak fish being caught right now.
Pyramid can be tricky for shore anglers this time of year. The fish have moved on from the spawn and warmer water moves most of them back into 30-50 feet of water. However cooler weather has stalled the warming of the water and the fishing has picked up. The fish seem to have moved to the North end of the lake and places like Monument and Warrior have been best. First light has been the time to be there for sure. It looks like the wind is going to blow for a few days and this should help the fishing. There is no one fishing Pyramid from shore right now. You can have just about anywhere to yourself. The boaters are really doing well. Korey Farnsworth has been hammering fish from a boat the last few weeks.
Water temperatures have jumped into the high 50’s over the past week. The Pyramid Lake fisheries reading at Sutcliff on May 5th was 56 degrees. The water is still in great shape for May and there are still some really nice fish being caught. There was a 14 pound Pilot Peak fish caught at Warrior Point on May 3rd. There was an 11 Pound Pilot Peak fish caught around Popcorn on the same day and a 10 pound fish caught at Dago Bay as well. Although numbers are a little on the low side there are still some big fish cruising the shallows. The next couple of weeks should be pretty good at Pyramid. There have been a ton of Chronomids or Midges hatching as well as a few Callabaetis as well. Nymphing rigs continue to produce with red or black Maholo’s. This is also a great time of year to fish Olive colored flies right on the bottom to imitate Dragon Fly nymphs and sand beetles.
The full moon is behind us now and the water temperatures are still in the low 50’s. The month of May could really be a good at Pyramid. We have had some really good reports even through the full moon cycle. It looks like we are going to have some really warm days in the coming week and the water could warm up fast. It is perfect right now though and if you are thinking of going to Pyramid now is the time. Weather will start to play an even bigger part as the water gets warmer. Wind and chop on the water will become more and more important. Early mornings and late evenings when the sun is off the water will also be a factor. There are more and more midges hatching at the lake now and there are even some Callabaetis showing up. Fishing with nymphs and midges under an indicator or simply stripping them in without an indicator with a long leader and a floating line is hard to beat right now. Black Wooly Worms like the Midnight Cowboy and the bloody Mary have been really good fished with a shooting head as well. Fish the wind and move often. Fish really tend to school up this time of year.
The lake has been pretty tough for the last week or so. This is very normal due to the moon phase. Pyramid has always been a little tough around the full moon. The water temperatures are creeping up into the low to mid 50’s and the next few weeks should be really good overall. As we get passed the full moon the fishing should keep getting better until the water gets to about 60 degrees. The spawning channel is full of fish and there are some huge Summit Lake and Pilot Peak fish in there. This should be a really good year for the hatchery. Fish are spread out all over the lake and it is really important to follow the wind and conditions out there right now. As we get more and more nice days, early morning and late evening should also be good times to fish. Maholo nymphs and Midges are still catching lots of fish either under an indicator or fished on a long leader with a floating line and retrieved really slow. Midnight Cowboy’s and Bloody Mary’s are great flies to use with a shooting head.
Keines fly shop has the only remaining Maholo nymphs in stock for this season. They are getting low. If you need to restock give them a call soon. As far as I know evryone esle is out.
Now is the time to go to Pyramid if you have been waiting for the magical report. We have had a North wind for most of the last 9 days and it has kept the lake from getting warmer for sure. April has looked much more like winter than March. This time of year is the time to be there but you can’t assume everyday will be great. Weather plays a big role. There are plenty of fish close to shore so get out there and fish. Nymphing with Red Maholo Nymphs has still been awesome with a floating line either with or without an indicator. Loco Popcorn Beetles with a Midnight Cowboy is a great way to go for fishing on the bottom. Conditions look great for fishing over the next month.
The fishing over the past week has been up and down. It is just about what we excpected for this spring. We had a couple of brutal days of wind and snow on Sunday and Monday. Normally the wind is a good thing but it blew so hard it created some really muddy areas and it was hard to get into the water. A few anglers who stuck it out on monday did pretty well in the afternoon. The water dipped back into the mid 40′s on Monday but it is climbing fast again. Shallow areas like the South Nets is around 50-54 degrees depending on who’s thermometer you look at. The hatchery is full and the first spawn of the season happened yesterday. The next few weeks should have some really good days and some slower days mixed in.
With the Full Moon behind us now the fishing has already started picking up. The water temperatures are slowing climbing into the upper 40’s in the last couple of days. There are way more fish in shallow water now and good reports have come from all over the lake. Schools of fish have been seen cruising the shelf at places like Windless Bay, Pelican and the Nets. The water at the hatchery is scheduled to be turned on any day now. Most of the females being caught still look a little “green” or not quite ready to spawn yet. As the water warms up into the 50’s over the next couple of weeks they should be ready.
Weather is still going to play a part in the day to day action at the lake. It is important to fish the mornings and evenings on those sunny Blue-bird days. For shooting head set-ups, Olive Martini’s and Midnight Cowboys have been working well on the back and Lime Green Tadpoles have been hard to beat as a dropper. It is a great idea to fish a bright fly on the front of your rig so you can see the fly as it gets close to you on your retrieve. Don’t get in a hurry to re-cast. Fish have been following all the way to the ladder. For nymphs and midges, Red Maholo Nymphs are still hard to beat as either a top or bottom fly. The males are really keying in on red this season. Maholo Midges are a good way to go for the bottom fly. Good Maholo Midges to try are Copper Tops, J.W.’s and for Maholo Stretch Midges try the P.M.S. or the Albino Wino.
The afternoons have been the only real bite again. We caught almost all our fish between 2:00 and 4:30 today. The fish seemed to move in and then just dissapear after 4:30 ish. The Moon is reaking havoc. We did the dawn patrol again today and it was beautiful at Dago Bay for sunrise but the fish were not there. Reports were basically the same for other anglers as well.
Full Moon syndrome at the lake the last couple of days. The morning bite has been tough overall for sure. The afternoons have been way better. The fish seem to be eating Wooly’s and Beetles better the last few days than midges and nymphs. We have some stormy weather coming in tomorrow and hopefully that will get the fish going again. The water is still off at the hatchery and the water is still on the cold side. I got to spend some time with U.S. fish and Wildlife at Marble Bluff dam. It looks like we are getting another 140,000 Pilot Peak fish this year. The future looks bright for the Mid.
The approach of spring has the Cutthroats thinking spawn at Pyramid. The weather however is a little behind. The water is still pretty cold for the middle of March. The Pelicans have just started to appear on their yearly trip to the lake as well. Fish are being caught all over the lake and are very spread out right now. As of 3-18 the water at the hatchery was not on yet. The weather usually plays the biggest role in the fishing this time of year. Cloudy, windy days are the best and if you can get some chop on the surface it is a plus. Early mornings and late evenings when the sun is off the water can also be a factor. There are some really nice Red male fish starting to show up in the shallows. Pick a spot and give it an hour and see what the wind is doing. Fishing the beaches with a little chop or some rollers is best. Red Maholo nymphs fished under an indicator has been the most consistent bite so far. Mark For and Strike, Scheels in Reno have them and Keine’s in Sacramento also. Casey Ryan of Dallas caught an 11# 14 ounce Male on Sunday using this fly.
The fishing at Pyramid has been just about as I expected it for Early March. We have has some really cold weather in the Reno area and that has kept the lake water temps. down in the low to mid 40’s. There have been some fish around for sure. It is very hard to predict however. The best days have been when there is some chop on the water or at least some cloud cover. Today the bite was slow until the wind picked up around 11:00 am and then it seemed to turn on for a while.
Warmer weather over the next week is going to really increase the water temperatures and it should bring more fish into the shallows. There have been some big fish caught over the past week. Jay Clark of Portola caught a 16 Pound Summit Cutthroat on Friday while fishing Midges and there were several more fish over 10 pounds caught as well. Maholo Midges and Nymphs in Red and Black have been working well. There are several Fly Shops like Keine’s in Sacramento and Mark Fore and Strike in Reno that have these flies in stock.
I Spent the entire morning on the South end of the lake. It was a sunny blue bird day but the wind was blowing out of the North and making the chop on the water perfect. 12 fish to hand by 11:00 am and missed a few more. One female Pilot Peak fish that was around 7 pounds. The bite was on for sure. It seemed as though I got a grab every 10 minutes or so. Most fish were caught retrieving a Midnight Cowboy and a few came on the Loco Popcorn Beetle. Late in the morning I switched to the Indicator rig as the wind came up and started getting grabs right away. Good day to be at the lake for sure. The Albino Wino was the hot fly but then again it was the fly I had on the bottom the whole time. I can’t wait to go back out in two days. It seems as though I found a bunch of fish and I hope they stay put until I get back.
As far as the overall report. The water is still in the low 40′s. There are fish around and most of the beaches are reporting 2-5 fish days with some scattered better days in between. The water has come down about 18 inches from last year and just about all of the popular spots have great access to the drop-offs and ledges. It should be a much better year than last year. some of the beaches still have weeds and muck issues on the bottom for sure but there are also a bunch of really clean spots where you can drag your flies in with no issue. The water is not on at the Nets yet and the fish are spread out all over the lake.
February 4th 2013
A long cold spell in the Reno area has the lake water temperatures down to around 41 degrees. This is usually about the coldest the lake gets in the winter. It is supposed to be a little warmer over the next week or so with sunny skies. The fishing at Pyramid is pretty average for this time of year. Cold water in December-January tends to move most of the fish into deeper water in search of a little warmer conditions. There are however a few fish being caught from shore anglers. This year continues to produce some large fish. There was an 18 pounder caught last week and Reno local Adam Heuer caught and released an 11 pound fish on Saturday. The fish are really spread out and the reports are coming from all over the lake. It is pretty much a given that you are not going to catch more than a few fish a day right now but the chance to catch a fish of a lifetime keeps anglers coming. February is a great month to catch big fish at Pyramid. There are less little fish in shallow and the larger fish make a pass through shallow water from time to time. There are fewer fishermen and more chances when the fish come by. A bunch of different flies are also catching fish. Bloody Mary’s, Midnight Cowboys, Olive Martini’s are always good and White Wooly Worms and Popcorn Beetles are great options for droppers.
Note: Use 12-15 pound tippet on your shooting head set-ups. If you do get the chance to hook into one of these monsters don’t take a chance with light tippet. Go to pyramidlakeflyfishing.com for more info