Adventures on Pyramid Lake, Nevada
Pyramid Lake Nevada: Mystical Waters, Mythical Trout
We don’t have an exuberant amount of stillwaters to choose from in Northern Nevada, however that is deemed a moot point due to the fact we are the home to Pyramid Lake. Pyramid, or often referred to as "The "Mid”, is a magical place teeming with prehistoric size trout known as Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. We have two Cutthroat Trout variations here, the Pilot Peak Strain and Summit Strain…we will save the history lesson on these fish for another time, just know they are big, feisty, and have a voracious appetite. These trout exhibit anadromous behavior that is similar to that of Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead, and usually that means they live their lives at sea and spawn in freshwater rivers, however these fish are landlocked in the remnants of the ancient Lahontan Sea, and Pyramid has such a large surface area these fish act like their sea-going brethren.
Our season runs from October 1 to June 30, and each month/season offers a variety of methods to chase these trophy trout. Early and late season normally has us aboard float tubes/pontoons jigging the depths with pretty sizeable flies, and our colder seasons will find the fish moving closer to shore (Nov-April) where will fish from rock structures or famously from sloping sandy beaches from ladders or custom fabricated chairs. This helps us get closer to the cruising zones and also keeps us out of the water and the Northern Nevada winters and Pyramid Lakes famous winds can be quite brutal.
These Cutties love to chow on the Tui Chub, Cui-Ui, and Sacramento perch, and even though other baitfish live in the lake the Tui Chub is a majority of the trouts diet. We often hang balanced leeches and large midge patterns (Sz 6-12) under indicators or strip buggers, streamers, and the infamous “Popcorn Beetle” along the sandy bottom to draw freight train like strikes from these monsters. We have a unique approach to indicator fishing out here with a preference leaning towards 7wt Switch rods (Mystic M-Series Switch Rods) with heavy switch lines combined with heavy leader/tippet combinations..for example my preference is a 20# leader with a 10-12# fluorocarbon tippet. These trout aren’t line shy!
The spring will bring a pretty significant midge bite, and this can be an exciting time of the season, especially considering that such large trout will go for such a small midge (well, relative to their large size!) Personally, I have caught my largest LCT’s on midge patterns and let me tell you it is quite a rush fighting a 15-20# trout on such a tiny fly!
So much more to tell about this magical lake, so as the season approaches in the fall we will include more information on this lake, but in the meantime we are booking trips for the 22/23 season, and believe it or not slots are filling up quick to this world renowned trophy trout destination!
~Written by Nico Sunseri for Mystic Outdoors. Nico is a Mystic Fly Rod Pro Staff guide, reseller, and dealer rep in Nevada and Northern California. Reach out to Nico at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775.622.2970