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Cool-weather angling for cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, Northeast of Reno

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Cool-weather angling for cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, northeastof Reno Tucked in among stark foothills on the Paiute Indians’reservation, Pyramid Lake offers first-rate trout fishing just 36 milesnortheast of Reno. For a natural lake, it’s big: about 26 mileslong, 4 to 11 miles wide.

With 70 miles of sandy beaches, it’s apopular summer place for swimming and boating. But for anglers, thereal attraction comes in October when the cutthroat trout season getsinto full swing. Last year, more than 8,000 people fished here. You can fishyear-round, but the best chance to catch a big one is between Octoberand April.

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The Federation of Fly Fishermen (FFF) and Cal Trout considerit trophy trout fishing. Cutthroat keepers are 19 inches or longer, with a limit of two perday. But fish don’t come easily: anglers work an average of 14hours to catch a typical 3 1/2-pound cutthroat. Most successful anglers use two flies: a black woolly worm at thebottom of the line with a white one tied as a dropper about 3 1/2 feetup.

The technique is to cast straight out from shore and let the flysink to a depth where it will tick a sandy shelf when retrieved.Biologists have discovered that if you drag the fly along the shelf, itmimics the action of the tui chub, a small fish that comprises a largepart of the cutthroat’s diet. Anglers have also been successful at trolling with spinner lures.But boaters must exercise caution; if winds pick up, and they often do,the calm lake can suddenly churn with ocean-like waves.

October temperatures often dip into the teens in the morning beforeclimbing into the 40s. Dress warmly with layers of clothing, and bringchest-high waders. Required Paiute fishing permits ($6 a day, $25 ayear) can be purchased at the ranger station just south of Sutcliffe. On November 17 and 18, the FFF will sponsor a Pyramid Lake FallTrophy Trout Fishout, including a catch-and-release contest.

For thenovice, it’s a chance to learn how experts fish the lake. For moreinformation, write or call Bill Rusk, 17 Cathy Lane, Danville, Calif.94527, or call (415) 837-4153. Cutthroat comeback.

The original Pyramid Lahontan cutthroat trout became extinct in the 1940s. One cause for their demise was a dam onthe Truckee River blocking water to their spawning grounds. The lake was restocked in the 1950s with Lahontan cutthroat fromWalker Lake. Then in the 1970s, the Paiute Tribal Council set up fourhatcheries around the lake and on the Truckee.

You can now visit thesehatcheries from 9 to 11 and 1 to 3 daily; or call (702) 259-2234 for anappointment. Lodging, camping. For tackle, gasoline, and limited groceries tryCrosby Lodge in Sutcliffe, open 7 to 9 daily. The lodge also has fourmotel rooms ($10 per person), overnight camping hookups ($8 a night),and campsites ($4 a night); call (702) 476-0104.

Next closest lodgingand food are in Reno. You can also camp around the lake. Purchase camping and boatingpermits ($5 per permit each day, $35 for 10 days) at the Sutcliffestation. By boat or foot, you can explore the craggy shoreline.

Near thepyramid is Anaho Island, a national wildlife refuge and one of eightnesting colonies in the West for the American white pelican. To reach the Sutcliffe station from I-80 in Sparks, take StateHighway 445 (Pyramid Road) north 33 miles, then go northwest 3 miles onState 446 (Nixon Road); the signed station is the first trailer on yourleft. Or take State 447 from I-80 about 30 miles east of Reno. Headnorth 16 miles to Nixon, then about 16 miles farther on 446 toSutcliffe.

Photo: Jutting out of the water, tufa formation gives Pyramid Lakeits name. At left, bundled-up angler displays his 8 1/2-pound cutthroatwith woolly worm fly still in its mouth Photo: Pyramid Lake, less than an hour’s drive from Reno, canbe reached from I-80 on either State Highway 445 or 447. You can launcha boat at Pelican Point 9 miles northwest of Sutcliffe

Cite this Cool-weather angling for cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, Northeast of Reno

Cool-weather angling for cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, Northeast of Reno. (2017, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cool-weather-angling-for-cutthroat-trout-at-pyramid-lake-northeast-of-reno/

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