Pyramid Lake opens for Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing on Oct. 1 |

Pyramid Lake opens for Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing on Oct. 1

Don Quilici

If you are interested in the chance to catch an eye-popping trout, Pyramid Lake opens its 2007-2008 Lahontan cutthroat fishing season on Monday, Oct. 1, and will remain open until next June 30.

Here is some information:


Pyramid is a large desert lake that has roughly about the same surface size as Lake Tahoe, 20 miles long by 12 miles wide.

Pyramid Lake is one of two remnants (Walker Lake being the other) of a vast pre-historic lake, once known as Lake Lahontan. That monster-sized lake stretched from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all the way east to the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah.


Take U.S. 395 north from Carson City to the I-80 “Spaghetti Bowl” Interchange in Reno. Then, take I-80 east toward Sparks. Get off I-80 at the Pyramid Way Exit in Sparks. Take a combination of Pyramid Way and the Pyramid Lake Highway north for about 30 miles.


From shore or in chest waders or from a float tube or troll, stillfish or jig from a canoe or boat.

Where to fish:

From shore: At this time of the year, try Monument Rocks, Warrior Point, Spider Point or Pelican Point, all on the northwest side of the lake.

In chest waders: At any of the above locations, plus Windless Bay or “The Nets,” south of Sutcliffe.

The Nets is where you can see fly fishermen casting, while seated on aluminum ladders in the water.

From a float tube: The same locations as with chest waders.

From a boat: Troll either in front or north or south of Pelican Point for best results.

If your boat is large enough, travel across the lake to places such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” Anderson Bay, the Pyramid, Anahoe Island, etc.

However, be prepared to return to the boat launch, IMMEDIATELY, if the wind begins to blow. Pyramid Lake is extremely dangerous and life-threatening for boaters when the wind is blowing.


If you fly fish, use large, black or brown-colored Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm flies.

If you jig, use large, black or purple-colored Marabou jigs.

If you spincast, use rainbow, Chartreuse/black dot or yellow/black dot-colored No. 2 TOR-P-DO type lures.

If you troll, use No. 3 TOR-P-DO type lures or large Apex, Flatfish, Kwikfish or Rapala lures.


Lahontan cutthroat trout, which can run up to 20 pounds or more!


You must fish with artificial flies or lures only. No bait!

Barbless hooks only (Fishermen can crimp their barbs to comply).

The area from the Sutcliffe Marina to the end of the South Nets is closed from March 15 to May 16 (the time of trout spawning).

Fishing within 500 feet of all docks is prohibited.

All boats using Pyramid Lake must have proof of current registration. Hull numbers cannot be less than 4″ in height.


A two-trout possession limit.

Cutthroat trout under 16 inches in length or between 19 and 24 inches must be release 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 (These are known as “Keepers”).


You will be on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, and will need a special tribal fishing permit and a special tribal boating permit.

The 2007-2008 cost is $10 for a one-day permit for either fishing or boating. The 2007-2008 cost is $75 for an annual permit for either fishing or boating.

You do not need a Nevada fishing license or Trout Stamp.


Chris and Jeri Grellman of Hog Charters (775) 358-5199.

Just Rite Fishing at (775) 575-7850.

George Molino of Cutthroat Charters at (775) 476-0555.


Crosby’s Lodge at Sutcliffe at (775) 476-0400.

Gilly Sporting Goods Store in Sparks at 358-6113.

Chris and Jeri Grellman of Hog Charters at 358-5199.

Just Rite Fishing at (775) 575-7850.

Tim Wilson of the Pyramid Lake Marina and RV Park at (775) 476-1156.

George or Carla Molino at the Pyramid Lake Store on the Pyramid Lake Highway at (775) 476-0555.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you about the largest cutthroat I have ever caught at Pyramid Lake.

If he grins and says, “It was many years ago, and it was a 12-pound Cutt caught on 6-pound test line with a red/white striped, No. 2 TOR-P-DO lure while fishing in chest waders near the mouth of the Truckee River,” he might have been the person who helped me land that big trout.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.