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Pyramid Lake in April? P&Y Convention
Just wondering how the fishing would be around the time of the P&Y Convention, if anyone knows… Might come out the weekend before and see if the cutts are in the mood…
April is spawning season and it can be spectacular one day then the next it’s as if the fish have lock jaw. Fish are cruising the shore most days in schools from 2 to 20 fish it’s just a matter of if they want to bite what you’re offering. I’ve had really good days in April and some poor days, pretty much like fishing anywhere but it can be frustrating when yo seeing school after school swimming by and you can’t get them to hit.
Attached links has a few reports you can review. If I had the time and hadn’t fished Pyramid before I’d definitely set aside some time.
Here’s another with some fishing reports and information on flies. Page 3 and 4 of the reviews have some information from last April and there are probably a couple more years available if you scroll through all 24 pages.
Thanks, Scott! I will be over there for P&Y and was just thinking it might be cool to just come over the weekend before and see if we could hook up on a few…
Tavis, give me a call. I've spent many weeks there at that time, fly fishing from a ladder or shore. And Tilzbow knows his stuff. I may be going there that weekend to do the same.
Sounds good Lou! Will do!
Hunt, come on down… I got extra rods…
When you hit it on the right day
Should be good that early April weekend. There’s always a chance at a 20# fish as long as the season is open. I think Jaq knows more about the midge techniques and other newer things guys are trying and that link from the Reno Fly Shop has a lot of good information about the newer flies guys are using.
When I fly fish I go old school with a 7 weight Sage and strip a fast sinking shooting head, tie up leaders with 8# Maxima and a dropper via 10# stub off a blood knot taper the leader to the fly line to 25# and use black, olive and purple woolly buggers with short tails (1/4”) tied on a size 6 - 10 hook (size 8 Mustad 3906 being my favorite). I always fish two flies and always have an olive fly tied on. Sometimes the bite on white, pink and pearl can be off the charts (especially in the spring) so I always have some of those lighter colors. I can’t say I seen the guys with the fancy flies out fish the old school set up very often but there are days when the new school stuff is off the charts. Since 2014 I’ve been mostly fishing out of my boat and have learned more about the fish, their habits and how they get big the past 9 years than I did the previous 35 years of standing on the shore waiting for fish to swim by. That said, there’s nothing like hooking a big one with a fly rod and thinking you just set the hook on a 500# log when your line stops mid strip and you raise the rod, then the big trout rolls over, shakes his head and heads for deep water! Woohoo, fish on!!!
A big school of 4# to 8# cutthroats moving in on some bait.
A big school of 4# to 8# cutthroats moving in on some bait.
Some pictures from last October showing the massive schools of Tui Chub. These are what make the fish so big.
We were mostly vertical jigging the days the pictures above were taken in October 2022 but spent some time casting flies from the boat with good success. For the most part we used the electronics to present the jigs in front of the fish and had several double and triple hook ups so it was hard to get away from that technique. I’ve seen similar action with big bait balls and feeding frenzies in April (off shore and close to shore) on occasion but it’s most common early and late in the season in October, November and May. I suspect the fish are feeding like this from April through November and that’s when they stack on the lbs. In December through February they go into their cold water winter patterns and this is when guys can do real well with midges under indicators. Not as many fish are caught in winter but they’re normally bigger fish.
Talk about some MONSTER cuttys. Looks like a blast!
I still like the double bugger stripping method, dark on the end and light (white, pink-white, chartreuse) 6 feet above that, with a 9.5' 8 wt and a sinking shooting head. But I have had some awesome experiences hanging a midge or balance leech off a bobber at the depth they are cruising.
One day back before bobber fishing became popular, those huge schools were swimming past our ladders about 5' down. Nobody was getting hits on the double bugger or stripped beetle rigs and people were getting frustrated. I decided to hang a red midge in front of them at most height, and it was ridiculous. Firat cast, three fish raced to hit it. Guys from Reno and CA were asking me what I was using so I gave some midges and bobbers away. Funny thing was that some of the purists refused to stop stripping, and one guy even said, as he was dragging his ladder back, "I guess they aren't going to hit this afternoon". This was after I had landed more than 20 right in front of him.
The next year I went back and a bunch of people were hanging midges. Now I bet bobber fishing is about 50-50, maybe more, with a mix of midges and Midnight Fire balance leeches (basically what I use at home for big rainbows unless a hatch is happening).
Now, Lou, you know the proper term is “strike indicator” not “bobber”. ;-)
I love to mess with elitist fly fishermen! Especially pointing out to them that fishing with an "indicator" and a "nymph" is no different than bait fishing, so shut the hell up. ;-)
I bet you call your fly rod a “pole” too. ;-)
Ah, no, I respect the rod. Just not many of the know-it-all tools holding the rod! I will only go into a fly shop anymore (I tie all my own) if I absolutely have to because I can't stand the 20-something man-bunners who always want to have a big dick contest. I swear, fly fishermen are worse than traditional archers on the arrogance scale.
I hear you, Lou. I think many of them have never fished any other way. The snobby attitude gets old. I love asking if they sell any worms or powerbait when I go to a fly shop. I tie all my own flies too, especially for what the shops charge for them these days.
I apply in Nevada every year, might as well actually hunt/fish there because they won’t ever hit my card in the draws.
The conservation story of the Lahontan Cutthroat is so cool. I have a very monumental birthday this spring and one of my best friends and I are big trout bums. Is there any action at the end of March?
Unfortunately your Nevada license you have to buy to apply for big game tags won’t do any good at Pyramid Lake…. It’s a reservation and the tribe only sells daily and three day permits online. Cost is $24 per day which is a bargain given the quality and quantity of the fish.
We’d get along great! When the fish are cruising in the spring I’ve been known to pull into the shallows, away from the shore fisherman, in my sparkly Ranger 621FS multi-species boat, put the Talon shallow water anchor down, hang a bobber with a midge on one rod while casting a swim bait with a level wind bass rod on another or just sit, relax, BS and watch the bobber. I’m sure it makes the elitist fly guys cringe. I really like to catch fish and will use any method I need to out there depending on what the fish are doing.
This thread brings back good memories. I was assigned to the Naval Air Station Fallon NV back in 1985 and used to go out to the lake as often as I could. Definitely found another use for my ladder.
Scott, you sound like me…. I will use whatever works to catch a fish whether that means stink bait on a cane pole, a 2 weight with size 22 dries, casting spinners with a spinning rod, spey casting big NW rivers, bait casting with plastics, or sight fishing the saltwater flats…. I just love catching fish!
I've seen many elitist fly fisherman suddenly abandon their fly rods for spinning rods and live bait while tarpon fishing in Florida. In fact, it's a running joke we have with several of the local guides we know down there. Whenever they book a hardcore fly fisherman, we place bets on how long it will take before they switch to the method that actually catches fish. Sometimes there's no substitute for a live bait fish, or crab, hanging from a bobber...unless you are Andy Mills, of course. ;-)