Pyramid Lake opened about a month ago for the 1999-2000 Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing season. That season will close on June 30.
Historically, the two months of November and March are rated as the best two months of the entire season.
So if you are interested in fishing that huge desert lake but have never done so, here's some basic information on what to do:
- How to reach the lake:
Take U.S. 395 north from Carson City to I-80 in Reno. Then, take I-80 east to the Pyramid Way Exit in Sparks. Take a combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Lake Highway north for about 30 miles to the lake.
Once there, you can fish from shore, with chest waders, a float tube or from a boat.
If you fish from shore, try areas like Monument Rocks, Warrior Point, Spider Point or Pelican Point, all on the northwest side.
- Where to fish:
If you fish with chest waders, try any of the above locations, plus the fly fishermen's favorite: "The Nets," just south of Sutcliffe.
If you fish from a float tube, try the same locations as those recommended for the chest waders.
If you fish from a boat: Troll the area in front of Pelican Point, the area between Pelican Point and Warrior Point or the area between Warrior Point and Monument Rocks. If your boat is large enough, you can travel to the north end to the "Needles" or all the way across the lake to the east side to troll at places such as Hell's Kitchen, Anderson Bay, the Pyramid, Anahoe Island, etc.
- How to fish:
If you fly fish, use large, black or brown-colored Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm flies.
If you jig, use large, black or purple-colored Maribou jigs.
If you spincast, use rainbow, Chartreuse/black dot or yellow/black dot-colored No. 2 TOR-P-DO lures.
If you troll, use the same colored TOR-P-DO lures as above, but in size No. 3, or troll with large frog-colored Flatfish or Kwikfish lures.
You'll catch Lahontan cutthroat trout, up to about 15-18 pounds. However, the majority of the trout will be under 16 inches in length or between 19 and 24 inches in length. These trout are known as "Shakers," and they must be release unharmed.
- Special regulations: You must fish with artificial flies or lures only, and there is a two-trout possession limit.
You can keep two trout which are 16-19 inches in length or you can keep one trout 16-19 inches plus one trout over 24 inches. These are known as "Keepers."
- Special note: You will be fishing on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation and you will need to have a special Pyramid Lake fishing permit.
The cost per person is $6 for a one-day permit or $32 for an annual fishing permit. You do NOT need a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Trout Stamp.
Those tribal permits can be purchased at the Sierra Fly Shoppe in Carson City, at the small store just after you enter the Reservation on the Pyramid Lake Highway or at the Pyramid Lake Marina at Sutcliffe on the west side of the lake.
- Advisory: If you are fishing from a boat, watch the far north end of the lake. If you see dust beginning to fly, immediately return to your launch area and get off the lake. Pyramid Lake is extremely dangerous and life-threatening for boaters when the wind is blowing.
- For information, call the Sierra Fly Shoppe at 841-FISH or Lex Moser of the Pyramid-Tahoe Fishing Charters at 852-FISH.