Outdoors with Don Q: Trout fishing at Pyramid Lake in November | Carson City Nevada News — Carson Now

22 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Outdoors with Don Q: Trout fishing at Pyramid Lake in November

By Don Quilici

If you are a trout fisherman, you might want to consider taking a fishing trip (or more than one) to Pyramid Lake this month to fish for Lahontan Cutthroat trout that can run up to double digits in weight.

Old timers told me, many years ago, that the two months of November and March are the best times of the year to fish at that large desert lake, north of Reno-Sparks. And, through the years, I have found that to be true, even though I have fished at Pyramid many other months of the year.

I personally favor November as the weather has not yet gotten that cold, because in March, it can be brutally windy and cold.

Elaine and I like to spincast with lures, while standing in the water in our chest waders, and our favorite fishing locations are all located on the northwest side of the lake at places like Pelican Point, Spider Point, Warrior Point, Windless Bay and Monument Rocks.

Our best success, ever, was on a November day, some years ago, when we were spincasting at Monument Rocks and quit fishing when we reached a count of 50 Cutts caught and released on red/white, striped lures.

We like to find areas with sandy bottoms, cast our lures out as far as we can, let them sink to the bottom, and retrieve them with a slow jerking motion. More often than not, the fish will strike the lure just a few feet in front of where you are standing in the water. Do I have your interest now?

Well if I do, here is some info about fishing at Pyramid Lake:

From Carson City, you can reach the lake by three different ways:

01. Take I-580/U.S. 395 north to the “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange in Reno. Take I-80 east to Sparks. Get off I-80 at the Pyramid Way Exit in Sparks. Then, take a combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Highway (S.R. 445) north for about 30 miles until you reach the lake.

02. Take I-580/U.S. 395 north to the McCarran Interchange, take McCarran Boulevard east to Pyramid Way, and then take the combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Highway to the lake.

03. Or, do as I do: Take I-580/U.S. 395 north to the Mt. Rose/Virginia City exit. Take S.R. 431 to Virginia Street and go north to Longley Lane. Turn right onto Longley Lane and drive to McCarran Boulevard. Turn right onto McCarran Boulevard and travel all the way around to Pyramid Way in Sparks. Turn right onto Pyramid Way and then take the combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Highway to the lake.

Then when it is time to return home, just reverse this process.

By taking this route, you avoid all of the high-speed traffic and insane madness of the “Loony Tune Drivers” on the U.S. 395 freeway in Reno.

Pyramid Lake:

The lake is the terminus of the Truckee River which begins at Lake Tahoe.

It is one of the most valuable assets of the Paiute Tribe and is entirely enclosed within the boundaries of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Indian Reservation, which contains 475,000 acres or 742.2 square miles, and out of that acreage, approximately 112,000 acres cover the surface of the lake. Pyramid Lake is approximately 15 miles long, 11 miles wide and measures about 350-400 feet deep at its deepest point. That is a lot of fishable water!

Tribal Permits:

You will be on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Indian Reservation and will need a tribal fishing permit (and a boat permit if you’re fishing from a boat) which can be obtained at a number of different locations.

You do not need a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Trout Stamp.

Tribal permit fees:

A one day fishing permit is $10. An annual fishing permit is $75.

A one day boating permit is $10. An annual boating permit is $75.

Current fishing rules and regulations:

You must fish with artificial flies or lures only. Barbless hooks only (Fishermen can crimp their barbs back to comply with the regulations).

Lahontan cutthroat trout:

The limit is two per day: Two fish 17-20 inches in length or one fish 17-20 inches in length and one fish over 24 inches in length.

The length is measured from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.

Cutthroat trout that are less than 17 inches in length or between 20-24 inches must be released unharmed. These are known as “Shakers.” Cutthroat 17-20 inches in length or over 24 inches are known as “Keepers.”

Sacramento Perch:

It is a lake sucker found only in Pyramid Lake and nowhere else in the world. You are not permitted to keep any Cui-ui that you catch. They must be released, unharmed, back into the water immediately.

Benetti 85 Legend boat

Commercial Fishing Charters:

Cutthroat Charters at (775) 476-0555.

Eagle Eye Charters at (775) 358-5431.

Fishing information:

Call either of the two above fishing charters or Crosby’s Lodge at Sutcliffe at (775) 476-0400 or Pyramid Lake Marina and RV Park at (775) 476-1156.

Special note for boaters:

If your boat is large enough, and ONLY if it is large enough, you can travel across the lake to fish at such locations as “Hell’s Kitchen,” Anderson Bay, the Pyramid, Anahoe Island, etc.

However, be prepared to return to the boat launch IMMEDIATELY if the wind begins to blow. Pyramid Lake is extremely dangerous and life-threatening for boaters when the wind is blowing. Watch the “Pinnacles” at the far north end of the lake, and if you see dust beginning to fly, head for the dock ASAP. Do not delay!

An interesting sight:

Pyramid Lake is where you can see all kinds of fishermen (fly guys and spincasters) sitting on stepladders out in the water while they are fishing.


The more popular areas for the ladders are at the beach near the Pelican Point Boat Ramp and at The Nets, just south of Sutcliffe. If you go to see them, be sure to take a camera. It’s quite a sight.

If you do go trout fishing at Pyramid Lake during November, good luck to you, whether you fish from shore, from chest waders, from a float tube, from a canoe or from a boat.

And, if you do catch a very nice “Cutt” be sure to take photos and submit them to www.carsonnow.org for the Outdoors section.

Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you about the largest Lahontan Cutthroat trout ever caught at Pyramid Lake.

If he grins and says, “It weighed an astonishing 41 pounds, it was caught way back in 1925 and it is not only the Pyramid Lake record but also the current world record for a Lahontan Cutthroat Trout,” he could have been reading the list of Record Fish of Nevada.

— Don Quilici is the Outdoor editor of Carson Now. He can be reached at donquilici@hotmail.com

Benetti 85 Legend boat
Benetti 85 Legend boat
Benetti 85 Legend boat
Trader 445 boat
Trader 445 boat

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