A couple of suggestions to get your mind off our wintery weather
It’s the middle of March and according to the calendar, we are only about a week away from the official start of the Spring season. Yeah, right! That first day of Spring (March 20 is the Vernal Equinox) officially means the end of Winter, but that is not necessarily correct in this country.
Unfortunately, in Western Nevada, Winter can begin as soon as early September and last well into the month of May.
In fact, some of our big snowstorms can occur in the months of April and May! Heck, many years ago, I got chased out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Sonora Pass by a fierce snowstorm while I was on a backpack trip over the Fourth of July weekend.
So there is still more than enough time for more snow, frost, ice and cold weather. If you don’t think so, I dare you to plant your tomato plants…you’ll be sorry!
Just remember the “Sucker” bet that I like to make with some unsuspecting poor soul, which I win about 8 out of every 10 years.
It is diabolical but simple and a money-maker: I bet that it will snow in Carson City the week of my birthday. My birthday is May 8.
If you’re one of many people who don’t like winter and all that it represents, you have probably had more than your fill of being cooped up by bad weather.
Well, no one can do anything about the weather (except complain about it!), and you can bet the ranch that we are going to get even more snow, frost, ice and cold in the weeks ahead.
However, I can offer a couple of suggestions on how to make the waiting for Spring weather a little bit more palatable:
1. Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing at Pyramid Lake:
The month of March is one of two months (the other being October) when fishing is rated as excellent for the Lahontan cutthroat trout found at that huge desert lake, north of Reno/Sparks.
March is when the larger “Cutts” move in from deeper water to cruise closer to the shoreline. Cutthroat in the 8-10+ pound class are not that uncommon at this time.
If you’re lucky, you could catch one of those trophies that go well over 15 pounds! That would make a great photo on the Outdoors page in the Nevada Appeal and a great mount on your wall.
You do not need to have a Nevada fishing license nor a Nevada Trout Stamp. You will need a Pyramid Lake tribal permit to fish and to use a boat. A one-day fishing permit is $7, a one-day boating permit is also $7.
The cutthroat season began way back on Oct. 1 and it runs through the end of June. There is a “Slot Limit” and very strict size and possession limits at Pyramid Lake, so carefully read and know the rules and regulations before fishing.
You can fish from shore, in chest waders, a float tube or from a boat. You can spincast, fly fish, jig or troll. Just remember you cannot use bait of any kind. Bait is a big “No-No” at this lake, so don’t be tempted or it will cost you a ton of money when you get cited by one of their tribal wardens.
2. Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing at Walker Lake:
March is also one of two months (the other also being November) when fishing is rated as very good for the Lahontan cutthroat trout found there. Unlike Pyramid Lake, the Walker Lake fishing season is open year-round with a limit of five trout and no size restrictions.
However, once the weather turns hot, fishing success at this lake drops way off and stays that way until the cooler weather arrives, again, in the fall months.
At Walker Lake, you will need a valid Nevada fishing license and a Nevada Trout Stamp.
Like at Pyramid Lake, you can fish from shore, in chest waders, a float tube or from a boat. You can spincast, fly fish, jig or troll.
The biggest difference is you can use bait at Walker Lake, with Power Bait being the most popular.
Some of the best fishing in March can be found at spots like 20-mile Beach or in front of Sand Point or at Sportsman’s Beach or at the bottom of “The Cliffs” or along the south end or way over on the east side of the lake.
Give either lake or both a try during the rest of March and our winter weather may not seem so bad, after all. Heck, think positive!
Be thankful that you live in the Carson City area. You could live in some remote place like Barrow, Alaska, Resolute Bay, Canada or Old Crow, Yukon, where winter seems to last forever. And, often does! That should cheer you up!
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you what I am going to be doing for the rest of March.
If he grins and say, “Don’s plans include ice fishing at Red Lake in California, spincasting in his chest waders at Walker Lake and trolling from a boat at Pyramid Lake,” he could be one of my regular fishing partners.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.