Pyramid Lake

Southwest January February 2020 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my EXPOSURE on fly fishing for Pyramid Lake's Lahontans in the January/February 2020 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing.


Rebuilding the Beast

Revive Fly Fishing JournalLook for my photo essay appearing in the Summer 2016 issue of Revive


Directions to Pyramid Lake

From Reno

From Reno/Sparks follow the Pyramid Lake Highway (State Route 445) north approximately 37 miles. Travel time is about 45 minutes to reach Sutcliffe. The bulk of the fishing access is found along the westside of the lake.


Fly Fishing Pyramid Lake

Fisherman holding Trophy Pilot Peak Strain Lahontan Cutthroat from Pyramid Lake.

From Sessions Wheeler's The Desert Lake: "Fish growth in the lake is remarkably rapid. The late Dr. Ira LaRivers, of the University of Nevada, summmed up his studies of the lake's food conditions by saying, 'Pyramid is literally a culture medium for all organisms in the food chain - temperatures are warm, nutrients are plentiful, and fish growth rapid - and so is capable of producing the maximum yields of game fish that could possibly be expected anywhere.'"

Michael Carl prepares to fly fish Pyramid Lake for cutthroat trout.

Lahontan cutthroat typically cruise near shore during the open fishing season allowing fishing from shore to be successful. Popular beaches on the west side of the lake as one travels north on Highway 445 include Popcorn, Sandhole, Rawhide Lookout, Blockhouse, Wino, Indianhead, South Nets, North Nets, Separator, Pelican, Windless, Spider Pt., Shotdog, Warrior, Nine-mile, the Willows and Monument Rock. On the south end of the lake, the popular fishing beaches include Howard Bay, east of Marble Bluff and Dago Bay. The common feature of most of these locations is a smooth sandy bottom.

Effective Fly Pattern for Pyramid Lake

When fishing bait patterns such as the Tui Chub (photographed above) or Midnight Cowboy, it is important to fish as close to the bottom as possible. Cruising trout are in this zone as they travel and search for food. Many of these sites have a drop-off a short distance from the shore which provide travel lanes for moving trout. At shallow beaches, such as Howard Bay, Dago Bay or the South Nets the drop-offs can be more than 200 feet off shore. This is where ladders are a must have to extend casts out to the target area.

Fly Fishing from the shore of Pyramid Lake produces big Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Lahontan Cutthroats

Besides the outstanding high desert scenery, Pyramid offers the angler the chance to catch a trophy size Lahontan cutthroat.

Fly Fishing Pyramid Lake offers trophy size Lahontan Cutthroat trout.