Plan to visit this Pyramid |

Plan to visit this Pyramid

One of the most attractive things about living in the Sierra foothills and being an avid angler is the variety of opportunities available to us.

We are within a reasonable drive of good fishing in any season, and the variety of catch cannot be matched anywhere else in the country.

During the winter, one of our better options is Pyramid Lake in Nevada. It is located about an hour north of Reno on the Paiute Indian Reservation. No Nevada fishing license is required, only a daily permit from the tribe.

Pyramid Lake is the terminus of the Truckee River. It is the most famous lake for catching large cutthroat trout. The lake is open to trout fishing October 1 until June 1 to protect the cutthroats during the warm water season when catch and release can be fatal.

This fishing season has been one of the best in recent memory. The Tui Chub minnows have been prolific and I have read reports of schools hundreds of feet long and tens of feet thick. The trout have been feasting on these and have put on weight.

One of the big fishing events of the year – and continues this weekend – at Pyramid is the Crosby Lodge Fishing Derby that has been going on for the last 17 years. The winning fish in 2002 was 11-plus pounds. It took a fish more than 13 pounds to win in 2003 and on the first day of the derby this past weekend a fish over 16 pounds was checked in.

The derby ends Sunday. For more information and current fishing reports, you can look on the web at

The lake can be fished from shore or by boat. Boaters usually troll Apex lures, trolling flies or other minnow imitations. The shore-based spinning anglers use heavy “Torpedo Spoons” that can be cast long distances to cover lots of water. The fly fishers use sinking lines to fish a “bugger & beetle” combinations close to the bottom.

The “bugger & beetle” is a two fly set up with a wooly bugger (minnow) imitation followed by a floating foam beetle fly. The sinking line takes this combo to the bottom and as the rig is retrieved, both flies scratch the sandy bottom; when the retrieve is paused, the buoyant beetle floats up off the bottom and is quite attractive to the trout. An 11-plus pound cutthroat was landed Dec. 31 using this method.

As the water begins to warm in March, more and more fish will move into the shallows and shore anglers will begin to outfish the trollers. April and May will see lots more fish caught as the water temps rise into the mid 50s. For those of us who chase smaller trout regularly, Pyramid Lake is a unique opportunity to pursue trophy-sized fish.

In last week’s column, I was incorrect about the speaker at the Gold Country Bassmasters meeting this Thursday at Mi Comida’s restaurant.

The speaker will be R.J. Bennett, a local professional angler competing on the Bassmasters Tour. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and anyone interested in bass fishing should plan to come.

The Gold Country Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the Helling Library near the county government center at 7:30 p.m., all are welcome to see what the club is about.

Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. He may be reached via e-mail at

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