BY DAVE HURLEY
SUTCLIFFE, NV – It’s easy to get carried away with hyperbole in the world of fishing with descriptions of ‘red hot,’ ‘on fire,’ or even ‘WFO,’ and in the case of the Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat trout bite in October, the action actually matches the buildup.
Captain Robert Hagerty of the Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Company harkens back to the movie ‘Stepbrothers,’ saying “‘Boats and HOGS, that’s what I have to say about this past week.”
Captain J.D. Richey of Richey Sport Fishing said, “Let’s just say the fishing is excellent with multiple 10-pound cutthroat with a number of 13’s, 14’s, 15’s, and 16’s. The largest we landed this week was 18 pounds, but we lost a few quite a bit larger. Jigging with 1-ounce P-Line’s Laser Minnows or Krippled Herrring in 10 to 60 feet of water around the bait schools is the key.
The bio mass is amazing, and the fish are almost salmon-sized. However, not everyone is getting the numbers and size that the certified guides have been finding as I talked to a couple of boats at the ramp on Sunday, and they landed three one day and only one the following day. I see this a lot as people read about the fishing here and show up to expect the fish to jump in the boat, but it is a giant body of water with lots of secrets. Don’t expect necessarily to just show up and crush them.”
Hagerty added, “If you have a boat or a personal watercraft with electronics you should be at Pyramid as the cutts are fired up and 100% keyed in on the tui chub bait balls. Find the bait, find the fish. There are areas around the lake that the bait balls were 40 feet thick. On a few occasions it looked like you could walk on top of the bait balls, they were that stacked.”
“The east side around Hells’ Kitchen and Anderson Bay has been the best areas for boaters who can make the run over there. We had one of our supporters, Wade Cutchins, ask where to go so I sent him to some west-side spots and in 3 days they caught approximately 250 fish; 5 over 20 pounds, and they literally lost count of 10- to 17-pound fish as well as very few fish under 8. “So incredible,” as stated by Wade.
The east side has a lot of fish but, one of our clients, Peter Arian of San Francisco, landed the biggest fish of the season so far from the west side. Peter had quite a fight on his hands and pushed his flyrod to the limit.
Have you ever tried to weigh a fired-up 25-27-pound fish in a personal watercraft? PFC Guide Trevor Herring from Placerville did his best under the wavy windy conditions and couldn’t get a solid weight. If it was anyone else or any other guide you could call the fish 27/28 and not get any flack.
We could’ve gone back to shore for a better weight and photos like most would have done but Peter Arian and the PFC team didn’t want to harm this incredible monster. This monster’s health was way more important than a picture. We called 25 pounds-plus. One heck of a trophy regardless of the weight.
The full bright moon had some impact on the numbers caught the last couple of days. Imagine you being a trout and looking up and seeing tons of bait through the moonlit sky. The fish have been crushing bait all night. Now that the moon is waning (disappearing) the fish will bite better during the day.
Shore anglers have had some luck, but with the fish being just out of casting distance it’s made it tough. The key is being on a boat or watercraft for the next 2 weeks unless we get some cold fronts that will drop the water temps and push the bait and fish closer to shore. It’s going to be a fun season. I suspect a 30 pounder will be caught this year.”