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Ethan and I got in a long weekend at Pyramid Lake, prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. We again stayed at Crosby’s, in Sutcliffe, which is about as convenient as it gets, the lodge being located only a few minutes away from the South Nets beach!
We could not resist starting the day at South Nets, where, on our prior trip, I caught my biggest fish yet – about 10 lbs.
I caught all my fish on either “woolies”, or foam beetles trailed behind the woolie. A woolie is a Wooly Worm, tied very bushy. The classic pattern is black, with a short red tail, tied on a 3x streamer hook, in sizes around 6 to 8. I leave the fly unweighted, since I use an Orvis Depth Charge line to get it down. Wooly Buggers, weighted or unweighted, also work well. I use a stripping basket, but most other fishermen don’t.
The wind drove us off the lake in mid-afternoon. Back to Crosby’s.
We returned to Monument the following day. It was colder than the day before.
The wind came up again in the afternoon, and we went in search of more-protected shorelines. We went first to Warrior Point, which was calm for awhile, and caught one fish there. Then we continued south to the appropriately named Windless Bay, and caught another fish there.
Then the sun set, and it was back to Crosby’s. It being Saturday night, Crosby’s served a very nice Tri-tip dinner, followed by a DJ playing country tunes. As we left, the crowd of locals were having a good ole time line dancing. Folks were dressed up western-style, of course, and it was quite a scene – and of the sort I rarely get that close to. But, being sufficiently liquored-up (see below photo), I enjoyed it a whole lot.
Pyramid Lake saved the best for last. We returned to South Nets for our final half-day of fishing. The weather was still unsettled, making for nice atmospherics.
And then it happened! I got a hard pull and immediately felt the weight and power of the fish as he started to empty the spool. But I was using 16 lb fluorocarbon tippet, and could put sufficient pressure on the fish to turn him back. He took a black woolie that I had tied for this trip.
Wanting to return this magnificent creature to the water sooner rather than later, I decided to forgo the rigamarole of trying to weigh and measure the fish, and, after taking these photos, was gratified to see him swim away. So how big was he? I’ll never know for sure, and your guess is as good as mine. Somewhere between 15 – 20 lbs, I’d guess.
It goes without saying that the chance to connect with a wild trout of this size is what keeps fishermen coming back to Pyramid Lake. Beyond that is the sheer beauty of this natural lake and the hospitality of the Paiute Tribe and the local merchants. Though we were obliged to drive through a snowstorm on Donner summit, Ethan and I were back in Berkeley in 3 hrs and 45 minutes.
Finally, all but 2 of the photos seen here were taken by Ethan, with his new double-lens iPhone.
Here are links to my prior posts on fishing at Pyramid Lake.