Fifth Pyramid Lake cutthroat fishing derby |

Fifth Pyramid Lake cutthroat fishing derby

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

By Don Quilici

Outdoors editor

Are you a fisherman or fisher woman interested in fishing for a large Lahontan cutthroat trout?

Would you also like the opportunity to pick up some extra spending money to use to buy Christmas presents?

Are you interested in the chance to win up to $1,500 for having fun?

If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, and Geez, who wouldn’t, here is some information for you to ponder:


The Fifth Annual Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Cutthroat Trout Tournament will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6.


At Pyramid Lake, located about 30 miles north of Reno/Sparks.

Registration Fee:

The Derby registration fee is $40 per person, which includes a Derby T-shirt and coffee mug.


Pre-Registration mail-ins must be postmarked by no later than Friday, Nov. 28. Mail your Derby entries to: Pyramid Lake Fisheries, Star Route, Sutcliffe, Nevada 89510.

Early Registration Sign-up Locations:

I-80 Smoke Shop: (5 a.m. -10 p.m.).

Pyramid Lake Fisheries at Pyramid Lake: Weekdays (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

Pyramid Lake Store on the Pyramid Lake Highway: (Daily 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.).

Nixon Store in Nixon: Weekdays: (Monday-Sunday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.).

Mark, Fore & Strike in Reno: (ONLY on Nov. 22 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.).

Crosby’s Lodge at Pyramid Lake: (Open weekends at 6:30 a.m. and weekdays at 7 a.m.).

Early registration deadline is Monday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.

Late Registration:

Pyramid Lake Marina at Sutcliffe only on Dec. 6, 5-7 a.m.

There will be a $10 late fee.

If you’re one of those folks who wait to the last minute to do anything, it will cost you extra for that privilege.

Tournament Prizes:

The Derby offers the following prizes for the 10 heaviest weights:

First Place (The total weight of one or two legal keepers per angler): $1,500 plus a jacket.

Note: That $1,500 will buy lots and lots of Christmas presents!

Second: $800 plus a jacket.

Third: $500 plus a jacket.

Fourth: $400.

Fifth: $300.

Sixth: $200.

Seventh: $100.

Eighth: $50.

Ninth: Annual Permit.

Tenth: Hooded Sweatshirt.

A 1099 tax form must be signed before prize money is received by a winner.

There will also be other prizes for “Surprise-Weigh Matches.”

In addition, the first 100 contestants who weigh in a legal Adipose-clipped cutthroat will receive a tournament cap.

Fishing Restrictions for Lahontan cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake:

A “Keeper” is defined as a Lahontan cutthroat trout, which is 16-19 inches in length or over 24 inches.

That length is measured from the tip of the trout’s nose to the extreme tip of the fish’s tail, with the lobes of the caudal fin spread naturally.

The Pyramid Lake ‘Keeper” limit is two trout 16-19 inches, or one trout 16-19 inches plus one over 24 inches in length.

All other trout (“Shakers”) must be released unharmed.

You must have a Pyramid Lake fishing permit to fish and a Pyramid lake boating permit to use your boat.

A daily fishing or boating permit is $7 and an annual permit is $50.

Special Note: You do not need a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Trout Stamp to fish at Pyramid Lake.

This year’s rules:

All fish are to be taken by artificial fly or lure only. No bait is allowed.

All participants must check in at the Pyramid Lake Marina from 5 a.m. through 9 a.m. on Dec. 6.

Any person accompanying a tournament participant, either on a boat or on shore, must also be a registered participant in the Derby.

Absolutely no tournament fishing before the official start flare which will be launched at 7 a.m. by the tribal patrol to signify the official start of the Derby.

Official weigh-ins will be held at the Pyramid Lake Marina, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending promptly at 4 p.m.

Only Lahontan cutthroat trout caught in Pyramid Lake are eligible for weigh-in.

When an angler has two fish in possession, (i.e. on a stringer or in a live well), they must stop fishing.

Award presentations will begin at 5 p.m. at the Pyramid Lake Marina.

All watercraft must be in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard standards for equipment and safety.

In case of a mechanical breakdown of a boat, fish can not be transferred from one boat to another.

Tournament will not be canceled or rescheduled due to weather conditions.

No refunds will be allowed.

Fishing guides or charters are not allowed to participate in the tournament.

Any person conducting himself or herself in a disorderly or intoxicated manner or violating Pyramid Lake regulations may be expelled from the tournament and denied re-entry to future tournaments.

Failure to comply with any of the rules may result in disqualification.

The tournament official’s decisions are final. Tournament officials are ineligible to participate in the Derby.

Current fishing report:

The largest cutthroat last week was a 9-pounder taken from a boat between Pelican Point and “The Nets.”

Fishing success is generally slower now that the weather is colder.

The boat fishing is rated as average.

The shore fishermen are picking up some larger-sized fish in deeper water.

Where to fish and what to use:

Fly Fishermen: At Warrior Point or the Nets. Black or black/red tail Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm flies.

Spincasters: Along the entire west shoreline. Chartreuse/black dot, orange/black dot TOR-P-DO lures.

Trollers: At Pelican Point, Windlass Bay, Spider Point or Warrior Point. Various colored Flatfish, Kwikfish, Rapala, Rebel or Apex lures.

Jig Fishing: At Windlass Bay. 1/2 ounce black or purple Maribou jigs.


This Derby will probably be one of your last opportunities to win some big money to buy Christmas presents for those people on your gift list.

For only a $40 investment, someone is going to take home $1,500, $800, $500, $400, $300, etc. That’s not too shabby!

It could be you.

If it is, that cash will buy some very nice Christmas presents for everyone on your gift list. And, don’t forget to add Little Donnie Q to that gift list for his suggestion for you to enter this Derby.

Give it a try on December 6 and good luck to you. You could be a winner.

For Derby information, call the Pyramid Lake Fisheries Office at (775) 476-0500 or the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe at (775) 574-1000.

For current Pyramid Lake fishing information, call the Gilly Sporting Goods Store in Sparks at 358-6113 or the Pyramid Lake Store (George or Carla Molino) at (775) 476-0555 or the Pyramid Lake Fisheries Office at (775) 476-0500 or Crosby’s Lodge at Sutcliffe at (775) 476-0400.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you about my best day at Pyramid Lake.

If he grins and says, “That’s easy. It was in October, earlier this year, when Don and Elaine caught and released a total of 54 cutthroat in six hours, while spincasting in their chest waders, just north of Warrior Point,” he must have read my column about that success.