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Nevada Freshwater

Sutcliffe: Pyramid Lake cutthroat waking up

BY JD RICHEY/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 11, 2019

SUTCLIFFE, Nev. — The cutthroat trout bite at Pyramid Lake was on and off last week due to a series of winter storms, but folks who braved the weather found some nice fish. Storms always bring the cutthroat closer to shore here.

happinessisHAPPINESS IS CATCHING a double-digit trout, and especially a colorful cutthroat from Pyramid Lake in Nevada. William Rolfe, 13 years old, of Sparks, Nev., caught and released this 16-pound, 8-ounce cutt’ using a black marabou jig fished from shore on a ladder. It was a 15-minute fight on Nov. 24, according to his dad, Adam Garcia, who sent in the photo.

“We are getting into the winter pattern here,” said Glenn Lemon of Pilot Peak Guide Service on Sunday. “Which means the fish are coming in shallow more now.” He said that the Lahontans are making runs on bait schools in the shallows at first light and then they will back off and hang out in 20 to 40 feet of water midday. As the afternoon wears on, the fish work back inside and feed shallow again.


Fly anglers do best when targeting those times when the fish are in close. Lemon said that the top producing patterns have been Popcorn Beetles, dark Woolly Buggers, midnight cowboys and balanced leeches in black.


Trollers working out a little deeper can reach those middle-of-the-day trout with U20 FlatFish in frog patterns fished on downriggers.


“Right now, the fish are kinda all over the lake, with not one spot out-producing the next,” he said. “Fishing should really start picking up in the not too distant future, as we always seem to be slow in December and into early January.”


Lemon said that both fly and conventional anglers are seeing some big fish to well over 10 pounds.


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