A suggestion for having fun in March in the fishing world
Wow! How about this summer-like weather we are experiencing in the middle of March? It is totally unreal!
Heck, last Sunday I mowed my front lawn, which is the earliest that I ever have done that chore.
Unfortunately, you can bet the ranch that Old Man Winter has not forgotten us and he will return one of these days with a vengeance. If you don’t think so, I dare you to plant anything that can get nailed by frost or snow. You’ll be sorry!
However, as long as the weather is awesome, how about a Don Q suggestion for having fun in March in the fishing world?
The month of March is one of two months (the other being October) when fishing is very good for Lahontan cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, north of Reno/Sparks.
March is when the larger-sized “Cutts” move in from deeper water to cruise closer to the shoreline.
Cutthroat in the 8-9-10+ pound class are not that uncommon at this time of the year.
Are you interested? Well if you are, here is some useful info:
HOW TO GET THERE
Take U.S. 395 north from Carson City to the I-80 ‘Spaghetti Bowl” Interchange in Reno. From there, take I-80 east toward Sparks. Get off I-80 at the Pyramid Way Exit in Sparks. Then, take a combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Lake Highway north for about 30 miles to the lake.
Where to fish
1. From shore: Try Monument Rocks, Warrior Point, Spider Point or Pelican Point, all on the northwest side of the lake.
2. With chest waders: At any of the above locations, plus at “The Nets,” just south of Sutcliffe. Just make sure your waders don’t leak!
Note: The Nets is where you can watch or join fly fishermen, who are casting while seated on aluminum ladders in the water.
It’s true! Fly fishing from a stepladder! I don’t know of anywhere else that they use that method for fishing. It is unusual but it works!
3. From a float tube: Basically the same locations as with chest waders. Just be sure not to venture too far out in the lake. If the wind comes up, it could be a serious problem for returning to shore.
4. From a boat: Try trolling the area in front of Pelican Point for best results. Also try either south or north of Pelican Point. My favorite trolling location is north of that point.
If your boat is large enough, travel across the lake to troll the deeper waters at places such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” Anderson Bay, the Pyramid or Anahoe Island.
However, be prepared to return to the boat launch area, immediately, if the wind begins to blow. Pyramid Lake is extremely dangerous and life-threatening for boaters when the wind is blowing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
HOW TO FISH
If you fly fish, try large, black or brown-colored Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm flies. Take the time to watch the fly fishermen at The Nets to see how they do it.
If you jig, use a fish finder to locate a school of Cutthroat and then jig with large, black or purple-colored Maribou jigs.
If you spincast, use red/white, rainbow, green/black dot, orange/black dot or yellow/black dot-colored lures, such as No. 2 TOR-P-DO’s. My favorite is the No. 2 orange/black dot.
If you troll, use the same TOR-P-DO lures as above, but in size No. 3, or with large Apex, Flatfish or Kwikfish lures. Our best success has been at a depth of 40-50 feet in 80-100 feet of water.
You must fish with artificial flies or lures only. That means no bait!
There is a two-trout possession limit: Cutthroat trout that are under 16 inches in length or between 19 and 24 inches in length must be released unharmed (these are known as “Shakers”). You can keep two trout which are 16-19 inches in length or you can keep one trout 16-19 inches plus one trout over 24 inches.
You must measure from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.
Pyramid fishing permit
You will be on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, which requires a special Pyramid Lake fishing permit. The bad news is the cost is $10 for a one-day permit for either fishing or boating. The good news is you do not need a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Trout Stamp.
Call Crosby’s Lodge at Sutcliffe at (775) 476-0400 or the Pyramid Lake Store on the Pyramid Lake Highway at (775) 4766-0555 or the Gilly Sporting Goods Store in Sparks at 358-6113.
If you’re lucky, you could catch one of those trophy cutthroat trout in the 10-15 pound class. It would make a great photo on the Outdoors page in the Nevada Appeal.
If you do catch a really nice fish, be sure to take it to the Crosby Lodge to have your photo taken.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you my favorite method of fishing at Pyramid Lake.
If he grins and says, “Don loves to stand in the water in his chest waders and spincast with a No. 2 TOR-P-DO lure,” he is probably one of my fishing partners.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.