Three of us took my advice from last week's column and it resulted in a rather unusual day for us. In that column, I suggested that March is one of the two best times of the year (the other being November) to fish for cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake.
Last Thursday's forecast was for a record high temperature, so Don Hettrick of Carson City, Rich Bachle of Fernley and I decided to fish there in Don H's boat.
That was not one of our better decisions in the fishing world.
Don H picked me up at 6:15 a.m. and away we went for a day of fun in the Great Outdoors (we were scheduled to meet Rich at the Pelican Point boat ramp at 8:30 a.m.).
As we drove toward Pyramid Lake, the two of us were laughing and busy plotting about how we were going to harass Rich that day.
We stopped in at the Pyramid Lake Store to buy our one-day fishing and boat permits and I was mildly surprised at the number of people in the store at that hour of the day on a Thursday.
Unfortunately for us, it was an omen of what was waiting for us.
We came around the corner of the highway where you can see Pyramid Lake for the first time and two things caught my eye: The lake was absolutely flat (a great day for boat fishing), and there was an unusual number of people in the water at "The Nets," which is where the fly fishermen sit on stepladders while casting flies.
I told Don H, "Geez, I didn't know there were that many other people interested in fishing on a Thursday morning at Pyramid."
He replied, "Maybe, there are a lot of other retirees just like us."
We continued driving and as we passed Sutcliffe, I looked down at the RV area and remarked to Don H, "What in the heck is going on? That RV park is jam-packed with all kinds of trailers and motor homes."
Don H said, "I don't know, maybe there is a derby this weekend."
As it turned out, he was dead on. We had blundered into the huge Model Dairy annual fishing derby.
When we arrived at Pelican Point, it was crowded with all kinds of vehicles, trailers, fifth-wheelers, camper pickups and tents.
There were hordes of fishermen everywhere: On the shore, in chest waters, on stepladders, float tubes, life rafts, pontoon boats, little medium and big boats and even fishing off the two docks where we needed to launch our boat.
When we launched, the dummies on the dock were upset we were interfering with their fishing.
Once in the water, we had to weave our way through float tubes and anchored boats all around the dock. It was chaos!
We finally reached open water, looked at one another, said, "Let's get the heck out of this circus," and roared away toward Spider Point.
For the day, we fished at Spider Point, Warrior Point, Monument Rocks, back at Pelican Point and then south toward Sutcliffe.
I was on one of the downriggers and trolled my lures on the surface, 5-10-15-25-30-40 and 50 feet deep. I used TOR-P-DO lures, plus I also tried Flatfish, Kwikfish, imitation minnows and Roostertail lures.
All with very same results: Nada, nil, zero, zip, nothing.
At the same time, Don H and Rich were both experiencing the same lack of luck. Geez, it was like the three of us were jinxed!
Then about 1 p.m., Rich got the only strike of the day and as he was reeling in his puny 21-incher (a "Shaker" that had to be released), the two Dons were offering all kinds of snide comments:
"I wonder if that poor whimpy thing foul-hooked itself."
"Even a blind hog finds an acorn, once in the while."
"I think it committed suicide."
"Stop hotdogging and reel it in."
"Don't yank so hard on your pole, while you're reeling."
"Keep your pole tip up high."
"Tighten down on your drag."
"Watch out, keep that minnow away from the motor."
"Do you really want us to take a photo of you and this dinky fish?"
At 2:30, we quit for the day, worked our way back to the dock, and as we tried to pull the boat out of the water, the same dummies on the dock were upset we were interfering with their fishing! Geez!
We were done for the day. However, by a close 2-1 vote, it was decided the three of us had actually each caught one fish as a result of all the advice we gave Rich when he caught his fish. Yahoo! None of us got skunked. Life is good.
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you what colors of TOR-P-DO lures I used that day.
If he grins and says, "Don used black/white dot, black/red dot, Chartreuse/black dot, Fire Tiger, German Brown, orange/black dot, rainbow, red/white striped, white/black dot, white/red dot and yellow/black dot," his name could be Rich or Don H.
Wanna guess what the hot color was that day? Yep, it was green, the one color that I did not try. Sigh!
-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.