I finally made my first trip out to Pyramid for the 2013 season after hearing stories of large numbers of 16-20 pound cutthroat trout being caught from shore. Since October 1st I have been working out of town 4 days a week, replaced a leaking water main, thrown a raging haloween party, and taken care of a sick pregnant wife.Normally I would have about 5 trips to the lake under my belt but I just haven't found time to get out. So, you can imagine I was giddy like a school girl this morning when I dropped my chair in the water and heaved out some big nasty flies. It was about 28 degrees with a little bit of chop and some thick cloud cover so I knew it had the potential to be productive. I started out in my go-to spot I default to when I haven't been out in a while only to find that after 2 hours the fish weren't there. I bumped into the old timer that made my chair and he said he hadn't seen a fish all day and that he thought that the fish might be in deeper water looking for the thermocline. So, I headed south to try some of the beaches with big drop offs and deep water. After resetting at an undisclosed beach I cast the sink tip out and let it sink until the line was submerged up to the rod tip. I picked up the rod, stripped it twice, and that unmistakable line stop instantly forced me to set the hook like Bill Dance. You know, the one where you set the hook so hard you almost fall of your ladder. I knew in an instant it was a large animal by the head shake. Out at Pyramid a when a smaller fish is on, the head shakes are rapid and managable, if it's a big fish the head shakes are slow and almost uncontrolable. The head shake on today's first fish was the latter. He fought for about 5 minutes and found his way into the net. If you have seen my Pyramid posts in the past, you might notice that my pictures are self shots taken by a camera mounted on my chair. There is a timer on my camera that forces me, and the fish, to stand still for 10 seconds while the picture to snaps. After weighing the fish and setting the timer on my camera I attempted to hoist the fish up out of the water and assume the position. The fish had other ideas and presumed to death roll until he was back in the lake and off into the abyss. I know not getting a picture of a fish shouldn't take away from the experience of catching it but this one stung a bit. The first fish of the season was a 12 pound Pilot Peak male that wont be seen on this blog. But then again, with all of the 18-20 pounders landed out there already, maybe I'll get a shot at his bigger brother.
Had a chance to get out a fish a while today. The flows are way down, pretty close to winter flows in town here. Today might have been one of the last days on the river this year for me, unless I get out and drift. Its time to dust off the Pyramid gear and chase down a toad.
Working out of town has seriously cut into my fishing. I used to be able to sneak off after work or sneak out before. I did get out for a bit today and had a great time. I wasn't expecting too much because the water temps are down and the local reports are slow. I didn't see a lot of brown activity like there has been in the past months but the bo's have quite the voracious appetite right now.
It was 30 degrees when I rolled out of bed this morning before the sun came up. I fished the last 2 nights in a row and the water temps have dropped quite a bit. The fish aren't in the same places they have been for the last 2 months but when you hook one there's a good chance it might show you your backing. One from last night.
Had a little to much to drink last night and almost didn't fish today. It was cloudy, cold, and raining all day which is a big change from how things have been. The cold weather got the fish moving and they are definitely bulking up for winter. I was finally able to get this brown in the net after snapping off and pulling the hook out of three others that were all bigger than this one.
Snuck out this morning before the sun came up and stuck some nice fish. I hooked the fish below and had to go in after him because he ran down stream and slipped under a cut bank. I filled up the waders twice and busted my lip on the net, now I know how a fish feels.
In the age of digital pictures it is easy to forget about where you came from. So, after an hour or so of looking through my old timey polaroids and a couple IPA's, I picked out some of my favorites. Enjoy...
My gramps killin' it at Pishkin Res in Montana
I was out before it even got light out this morning and saw some huge fish. I crossed the river in the dark and started to head up stream when about 10 feet in front of me the water exploded. My first thought was that I spooked a beaver, but then I saw the shadow and the wake of a brown trout that possibly eats beavers. It was one of those fish you hear about but never see, most likely in the 10-12 pound range. Never the less I scared the crap out of him but it was pretty cool to see. The first hour of the day I had lots of interest in the streamer but only managed to land 1 rainbow. The indicator was kind to me today, but no browns.
I spent the last 7 days down in San Diego and had a chance to do a little surf fishing. It took a couple of days to get the technique figured out, and after visiting the local tackle shop, I finally found the fish. The locals down there like to use sand crabs that you can dig up right on the beach. After 3 days of throwing out sand crabs we only managed to catch surf perch. If and when I dunk bait I like to use the stuff that stinks to call the fish in. We picked up some frozen squid and some crazy lug worm creatures that smelled like bigfoot's nuts. The technique was to have a size 3 pyramid weight down at the bottom with two hooks above that all tied to a swivel. I liked to run the lug worm on top and the squid on the bottom. On the 4th day the conditions were perfect and we managed to find a little ocean sea life diversity. Two times that day I had double hook ups. The first was a yellow fin corbina and a surf perch and the second was two sting rays. The two sting rays were different species and I didn't see the stinger on the big one so I wasn't careful with the smaller and he stabbed me in the hand.
This is what some other fisherman was calling a guitar fish, it looked like a cross between a shark and a ray.
This was the fish that the guys from shore were after, it's the yellow fin corbina.
These were the cool leopard sharks that I was after, they were all about this size like they had just hatched not long ago. I saw a guy land one of these 8 years back that was almost 6 feet long.
These are the little surf perch we caught by the dozens.
Here's my wife with a nice little shark.
Not much action to report this weekend. It was 100 degrees in town which means you have to fish early in the morning or after the sun has gone behind the mountain. I decided to beat the heat and head up to the high sierras to see if I could catch a fish or two, turned out to be just a fish. The river was a little slow this morning as well, however I did manage to land a bunch of small ones
Snuck out after work today and fished with buddy of mine I have been trying to hit the water with for almost 2 years now. He's one of those guys that knows how to catch trout you want to get out with to see how he's been doing it all these years. Turns out he runs a rig I have never thought of trying before, and he catches a lot of big fish doing it. No matter how much you think you know about fishing a particular system there's always someone who can teach you something. One that fell for an indo rig today...
Had a short day at work so I snuck out to the big river to see if any fish were looking up, turns out they were. The dry dropper rig was throwing me off so I went with a solo dry and had some success. Fish were taking dries as long as the sun was on the water, but it didn't stay out for long. After a while the indicator was the ticket, it was nice to have some top water action while it lasted.
I took one last trip out to Pyramid for the season to try out my platform chair, I don't know why I fished from a ladder for so long. The weather was calling for partly cloudy skies with some descent wind so I thought there might be some good fishing. When I pulled up to the lake there wasn't a single fisherman around. Apparently I didn't get the memo that all the other fishermen did, saying that there were no fish near shore. I only managed to run across 4 or 5 guys on the whole west side of the lake and didn't see a cruiser amongst 5 beaches, the poor pelicans couldn't even turn up a fish. I seem to remember 4 or 5 years ago when the spawn would start in April and last into June before the cruisers headed back into deep water, it's like any more the spawn lasts about 3 weeks. I'm beginning to wonder if the Pilot Peak strain they starting putting in the lake back in 2006 don't have different mannerisms than their Summit strain counterparts. I have noticed a lot more fish breaking the surface this year than years past. One from yesterday....
The rest of the waterways in the Sierras opened today and they were calling when I woke up. I had a choice today, climb back up on my roof and keep laying comp or go catch some trout. I'm glad I didn't go up on the roof.
Decided to head over to the Little Truckee on Saturday for some combat fishing. That poor river never gets a break and should go back to being closed until the season opener. Any how, I wanted to try go after any browns that might be in sucking up rainbow eggs. I have had pretty good luck this time of year getting some nice browns to move but I didn't see any yesterday. I was lucky enough to get 2 nice bows amongst the 15 other guys I ran across.
My buddy Nick came up today to get a little redemption for the trip we had 3 weeks ago when there was a full moon. The weather forecast was calling for wind, clouds, and some light snow showers and we had all of it. The morning bite didn't produce like I thought it would so we switched beaches around 10am, and it paid off. We each landed around 7 fish today before we split at 2 after the bite turned off. Pretty good day in the end but I really thought we were going to do better. Just when you start to think you have the weather patterns figured out relative to the bite, Pyramid puts you back in your place.
Headed out to Pyramid today after I woke up this morning and it was raining in town. The plan was to go fish the Truckee today, but I didn't want to get down to the water and find it murked up from the rain. I made it out to the lake today around 6:30 and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. That usually isn't a good sign but with the wind kicking up some decent waves I knew the lake would produce. From 6:30-8:30 there was more action than I have had in my last 3 trips out combined. I wouldn't really say the spawn is in full swing, I just think you have to catch the right conditions. I got all my fish stripping today, however there were quite a few guys sticking fish on the indicator. The fish were 1 to 2 today, for every 1 fish I landed I missed or pulled out of 2, it could have easily been a 30 fish day. I fished next to an old timer today named Brian who fishes out there 4 days a week. I told him I liked his chair and he gave me the number to the guy who makes them. I guess its time to channel my inner old man and buy one.
I called up a local fisherman buddy of mine and asked him if he was going to the fly fishing film festival yesterday. What could be better than watching fish porn at night? Fishing earlier that morning of course. After meeting his buddy from Orvis for some fresh flies we hit the big truck for some perfect weather. I started the day pitching streamers but had very little luck moving fish in the low water temps. After watching Z land one and miss another 3 or 4 I put the dry line on and sunk some baetis. Maybe 10 fish between us all day and another 15 lost but man was it hot. The fly fishing film tour was a good time, lots of great footage from all over the world, especially the wild steel head video to end the night
Got out to the lake around 11am today and the wind was howlin'. The waves were so big I had a hard time making it out to the ledge, I even got knocked off the ladder a few times. Today was the best day fishing I can remember out at Pyramid in 2 years. I landed 12 fish and missed another 6 or so. One fish grabbed the fly and ran out into the middle of the lake into my backing and threw the fly, I would have liked to have seen that one. I was out there last sunday and it looked like the spawn was in full swing, there must have been 40 guys in the water at the net. I think we saw 3 or 4 fish landed that day. The water was glass and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, just the opposite of today.
I went to cabelas yesterday and picked up the new Konic 7-8wt reel from Lamson. I have an old Reddington 8wt reel I have been using out there for the last 2 years but the drag is failing and it was a tank. I was impressed with the older version Lamson I have in the 5wt variety with streamer tip loaded on it. The new ones are lighter and range between $139-$159 depending on the wt you choose.