Northern CA Freshwater

Sutclifffe: Pyramid Lake cutthroat ‘Prime Time’ coming up

BY CLARA RICABAL/WON Staff Writer Published: Nov 06, 2019

SUTCLIFFE — November at Pyramid Lake means it’s “big fish” time, and head guide of Pyramid Fly Company, Casey Anderson, said, “This month historically pumps out some of the heaviest fish of the year, since the fish in October and November are generally a little fatter and weigh more than they do in the spring time.”

warriorcutthroatWARRIOR CUTTHROAT — Steve Hammond of Denver, Colo., caught his 13.8-pound cutthroat trout while using a white beadhead woolly bugger at Warrior Point at Pyramid Lake.

The big trout gorge themselves on the bait fish all summer, and they can gain a ton of weight while staying at a comfortable temperature in the deeper thermocline. As the water temperatures near the shoreline cool down, the cutthroat begin to move into shallower water. So, if you are looking for something heavy, November is your time.

“More 20-plus pound fish get caught during this time than most any other time of year,” Anderson said. “If you are a real trophy trout hunter, November is the month for you. For fly fishermen, a stripping technique has brought in more of our larger fish this year, and you have to vary both your retrieves and flies depending on water and light conditions. The always reliable Popcorn Beetle is a great go-to and hard for fish to resist and Boobies are also good.

“Top colors for the midges or balanced leeches are still red, black and wine,” Anderson said, “fished behind a sink line or under a bobber.”

Adam Birdwell was on the lake on Sunday with Nick Tennant, and he said, “The bite is sporadic across all depths, as the surface temperature ranges between 52 and 54 degrees. The best offerings for us have been the Lyman lure in brown trout or red dot frog along with the 3/4-ounce Sierra Spoon and Jay Fair’s Fly’s Tui Chub pattern. The largest fish have been deep, but there have been quality fish taken in the top 25 feet of the water column. We found the Pilot Peak cutthroats close to 20 pounds today.”

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