Fly Fishing From A Ladder – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Fly Fishing From A Ladder

We finally decided to make the 700 mile plus trip to Pyramid Lake in Nevada in pursuit of the giant Lahontan Cutthroats. It was an easy call this year, a different location to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and take our truck camper out for its first 2016 trip. The lake seemed to be very conducive to truck camping and our black lab, which it was.

I decided not to pull the 16’ Lund on this trip although I did load up a 6’ Home Depot ladder. I called my friend that lives in Carson City, NV who met up with us once we found the right “beach” to camp on. All of the camping and most of the fishing is on the west side of the lake. There are close to 15 different camping/fishing spots that have different characteristic shallows, ledges and drop-offs, deep drop-offs, points and rocks. You can go for solitude or company. We opted for solitude since we had our dog with us and camped at Warrior Point. We did not have anyone camping near us but numerous fishermen were in the area which was good to find out how to fish the lake.

Lots of fishermen just walked out from the beach to about waist deep and started “tugging buggers”. A couple of the fly fishermen were using a shooting head line system with a stripping basket for line control. The idea was to cast it as far as you can, let it sink to the bottom and strip it back in, although indictor fishing with a size 12 chronomid was one of the other techniques. The beach we were fishing at was all sand except for the rocky point which was very typical of the Pyramid Lake shoreline. It is like fishing the salt water flats except you are blind fishing most of the time.

After wading the beach and getting an idea of the drop-off/ledge location, I decided to drag my 6’ PVC ladder out to give it a try. After setting it in place, it seemed to be pretty stable so I started climbing and casting. I made it to the third step, however I did drop down a step during the wind. I caught two cutthroats, both in the 2’ range, and had another one on all off the ladder. I did see a big boy cruise by my ladder that had to be in the ten pound class range which the lake is famous for. It was nice fishing for a couple of hours before heading back to the camper to check on Kathy, let the dog go for a swim, and bullsh-t with my friend about the good old times.

During our stay a fly fisherman dragged a ladder out to the ledge that had a seat mounted on it. He climbed up his ladder and then sat on his chair and indicator fished. He looked like he was fishing from his porch.

Although the fishing was slow which I attributed to it being a full moon, it was a neat experience that I could talk myself into doing again.