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Old 03-27-2011, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Ant, the first time you go, you feel like a horses arse standing on a ladder.
Then you see a fish like the one above, following your fly right to the rod tip.
Silly feelings fade, and concentration returns. You don't even notice the ice water and 30 mph winds.
When you get it bad, you strip a streamer till your fingers bleed, then you tape them and fish some more!
Or you can stare at a bobber till you go blind. Don't look away!
I should add, once in a great while they rise to dries.
There's a windfall of ladybugs for a few days every Spring.
Red foam, peacock body, magic marker black dots.
Don't leave home without them!

By the by, a switch rod works well for fishing an indicator/midge setup.
Water anchored casts work well in the wind.
I fish an 8wt for streamers, and a 5/6wt for dries.


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Last edited by Bigfly; 03-27-2011 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Jim, the first time I saw a pic of those, I thought they were a joke, until I saw another pic of 2 dozen guys sitting on them around the lake.

I'd never use one around here, but when in Rome....
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

There is a cult of older gentlemen that spend all of their free time and retirement at the nets. Perched atop custom made Pyramid chairs complete with cup and rod holders and other personalized touches. Some very elaborate. They set up their campers and travel trailers, in many cases right on the beach, and only leave their padded custom made fishing perches when they have run out of sandwiches, beverages and Slim Jims. Only hunger and thirst will drive them to abandon their favorite spot in the water. When they do come in their eyes rarely leave the water. Looking to see if some one has hooked up. You see if some one on the far end hooks one, then the cultist must make a mad dash back into the water to his perch and get his fly in the water before the, (possible), school of legendary Lahontans pass by his perch. Most of these fellows are very nice quiet men and not all are beer swilling rednecks and uneducated as one might think. I think it is the same phenomena you see in the other desert places where people are drawn to a place by a simple common longing and they share an eccentricity that seems curious to outsiders. They are a hardy bunch, weathering snow storms, freezing rain, high winds and waves that will, on occasion, tip their custom perch over and sweep away all the Slim Jims. DISASTER! Some of these cultists were very helpful to this pilgrim when he first started fishing for large dark shadows in the water.

Pyramid Lake has a strange, eerie allure that, for me, is hard to discribe. Perhaps it's the desertscape and Paiute spirits combinded with the largest cuttroat trout on the continent. It is not my first choice of a fishing destination, but is an experience that everyone should do at least once if for no other reason than to be able to say," I have fished for every kind of cuttroat there is!" No cutt slam is complete without a Lahonton. The Lahontons are special for who they are and where they live and their history..........Not to mention the fact that they are the nuclear submarines of Cuttthroat trout!

Pray for days like this........
Click the image to open in full size.

......and not like this.......
Click the image to open in full size.
(notice the bent rod)

Last edited by goldentrout; 03-27-2011 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Off the Hook Fly Shop's current newsletter has some pretty good advice on fishing Pyrramid Lake:
Now is the time to grab your step ladder and head out to Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Yes, I said step ladder. Pyramid Lake is known for two things: very large Lahontan cutthroat trout and rows and rows of people fishing on step ladders. The first time anyone goes to Pyramid Lake, they are usually amazed at the site of people standing on ladders casting away at the extremely large cutthroat trout.

The reason for the peculiar way of fishing is the shelf that runs offshore. The fish move along this shelf looking for food. The ladder helps anglers reach the shelf because the water is just too deep and unsafe to wade out that far. The ladder also helps anglers avoid the freezing temperatures in the water.

There are two main ways of fishing Pyramid with a fly rod and they are completely different. The most popular way right now is with a midge setup. This approach requires a floating line, an indicator such as the "Thingamabobber," and a chironomid fly such as the favorite here at the shop--the snow cone. Simply tie on the fly and then place the indicator on your leader just like you would a bobber, kind of like when you were a little kid fishing for bluegill. You will have to adjust the depth of the indicator until you find the magic depth. That is the beauty of the Thingamabobber: It slides easily up and down the leader. There is no need to retie the indicator. Once you have the proper depth dialed in, just cast out the midge setup and let the wave action move the fly up and down. This is usually all that is needed to start catching fish.

The second most popular way for fishing Pyramid Lake is using the leech and popcorn beetle setup. In my opinion, this technique is a little more fun because it requires lots of casting. Use a very fast sink-tip line, such as the Teeny T-200 or Teeny T-300 line. The T-200 is better for 5- through 7-weight lines and the T-300 is better suited for 8 weight and larger rods. Run a typical 9-foot, 2X or 3X leader and tie on a large brightly colored, heavily weighted wooly bugger. Next, on the bend in the hook of the wooly bugger, use about 18 inches of tippet to tie on a fly called the popcorn beetle. The popcorn beetle is made of foam and wants to float, but the sink-tip line won't let it and it will suspend in the water. The wooly bugger is dragging the bottom stirring up dirt and attracting fish.

The midge setup and leech and popcorn beetle setup are very productive ways to catch the large cutthroats of Pyramid Lake, so grab some snow cones and some popcorn beetles and catch some fish. Oh, and don't bring a wooden ladder.
Here is the Popcorn Beetle:
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the Snow Cone:
Click the image to open in full size.

Off the Hool Fly Shop sells both of those fly patterns if your interested.

Larry
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Great post mcnerney!

When I first started fishing Pyramid I used a Cortland shooting head tied off to a 100' running line. MAN! I couldn't get used to that knot banging it's way through my rod guides. I picked up a T-300 for my Sage RPL 9.5', 8wt. MUCH BETTER!! Who says everything about the old days was good? Thank you Jim Teeny!

The beetles I have were tied by a guy I know and are a little different. I could be mistaken but I think he ties the original beetle. It is without a tail. He also does his own intrerpretation of the bug by tying off the front of the foam and folding it back over the body and tying off again to form a head. Then he trims the body into a more full sort of ladybug shape. We like dots or wiggle lines on the back too. I'm sure his version impresses people more than fish, but I like it. I see, for sale, mostly white foam and chartreuse online. I have never seen the tail until recenly. Perhaps I need to catch up! My personal favorite is chartreuse foam and peacock without a tail. But the color white does rule the water sometimes on the lake.

BTW, has anyone mentioned that one should not forget to rinse and wipe off their gear after fishing. The alkaline water will do a number on your rod finish. Some guys, like the cultist, use Medalist Rim Control reels that don't see regular cleaning. The water eats the paint right off the Phlueger reels. Not good for line coatings and the guts, (drags) of any reel.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldentrout View Post
Great post mcnerney!

When I first started fishing Pyramid I used a Cortland shooting head tied off to a 100' running line. MAN! I couldn't get used to that knot banging it's way through my rod guides. I picked up a T-300 for my Sage RPL 9.5', 8wt. MUCH BETTER!! Who says everything about the old days was good? Thank you Jim Teeny!

The beetles I have were tied by a guy I know and are a little different. I could be mistaken but I think he ties the original beetle. It is without a tail. He also does his own intrerpretation of the bug by tying off the front of the foam and folding it back over the body and tying off again to form a head. Then he trims the body into a more full sort of ladybug shape. We like dots or wiggle lines on the back too. I'm sure his version impresses people more than fish, but I like it. I see, for sale, mostly white foam and chartreuse online. I have never seen the tail until recenly. Perhaps I need to catch up! My personal favorite is chartreuse foam and peacock without a tail. But the color white does rule the water sometimes on the lake.

BTW, has anyone mentioned that one should not forget to rinse and wipe off their gear after fishing. The alkaline water will do a number on your rod finish. Some guys, like the cultist, use Medalist Rim Control reels that don't see regular cleaning. The water eats the paint right off the Phlueger reels. Not good for line coatings the guts of any reel.
Goldentrout: That is interesting what you say about the tail on the beetle pattern as that is exactly what I was thinking when I read the article, but I guess if it works. That tail would sure would give some good movement in the water and maybe that is why it works.

Last summer I picked up one of Kelly Galloup's 250 gr sink tips for my 7 wt Sage Z-Axis for throwing articulated streamers and really like how it works. I know Lambster also uses the Jim Teeny sink tip, but if I recall correctly he shortens the shooting head a little.

Larry
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

That beetle looks like Jack Gartside's Gurgler, which has been good fly for Strawberry and Henry's Lake.
http://www.jackgartside.com/flies_fresh_list.php
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

I may be thinkiing old school or something when it comes to Pyramid. There are alot of write ups about the nymph and Popcorn beetle rigs. Here is a piece of an article from Fly Fisherman that is more what I'm used to.

Size #4-#8 Egg-sucking Leeches, Articulated Leeches, Woolly Buggers--anything buggy, sinuous, fast-sinking, and large--are the most commonly used flies. Clouser Minnows and even flies stolen from striper and bluefish fly boxes can be effective imitations of the lake's forage fish. Many anglers use a #10 foam beetle as a dropper behind their streamer. The Pyramid Lake store on Route 445 just inside the Paiute reservation boundary always has a selection of brightly colored flies, and the man who knows what works ties at a table just inside the door. I catch more fish at Pyramid on black marabou streamers than I do with all the other flies in my box.
Pyramid Lake | Rare trophy cutthroat just 40 miles north of Reno, Nevada.| 1

But it sounds like there is a different school of thought that is working out there now and I'm behind the learning curve.
Maybe I just got stuck in an 'attractor' rut and didn't give any thought to experimenting with natural imitations.
When looking in my Pyramid box, it does look like I'm in a rut. It's all leech patterns and beetles in different colors. Mostly black, purple, charteuse, white and rust. Some with sparkle, some plain.

What you said about snipping some of the head off the Teeny might be a good idea for mine. The T-300 is a tad heavy for my rod.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
That beetle looks like Jack Gartside's Gurgler, which has been good fly for Strawberry and Henry's Lake.
Jack Gartside's Freshwater Fly Patterns
Mojo: Good point, I thought I had recognized that fly, it sure does look like a copy of Jack's famous Gurgler.

Larry
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Pyramid Lake advice

Sincerely appreciate all the thoughts and advice. I'll hopefully have a good report and some pictures to share when we get back!

Any other thoughts, I'm still all ears!
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