LTFF Level 3 - Pyramid Lake Fishout

  • 24 Mar 2024
  • 5:00 AM
  • 25 Mar 2024
  • 4:00 PM
  • Pyramid Lake, NV
  • 0


  • Pyramid Lake Fishout

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Location & Guides:

Pyramid Lake is a desert lake on the Paiute Tribe Reservation, approximately 35 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. We will be using Salty Cutthroat Outfitters (SCO) Guide Service

Fishing Technique & Suggested Gear:

You will be fishing from platform stepladders set up in the lake to allow you to cast out over the drop-offs and to stay as much out of the water as possible (that lake water is cold!) The guides provide these ladders. This fishing is great fun since it is very social, and these fish can get big; some may go as much as 5-10 lbs or more!

For the best experience, we recommend that you come prepared to both indicator nymph fish and retrieve beetles and buggers since one may be more productive than the other at any particular time.

For Nymphing: we recommend a 6-8 wt single-handed fly rod with floating lines. Large, buoyant indicators (such as Thing-a-ma-bobbers or Air-Locks) and some heavy split shot if you are not using tungsten bead head flies. Flies used include large (up to size 12) chironomids (midge larvae) in reddish patterns or with balanced leeches. 

For Retrieving Beetles and Buggers: 7-8 wt single-handed fly rods with shooting heads of a fast or extra fast sink rate (Type 6 or T-14, to sink 6-7 ips). Two-handed switch rods that can be easily overhead-casted only will do (no Spey casts!) but are not particularly popular with our guides (there is little room between the ladder spacing for maneuvering the long rods). A stripping basket may be handy if you have an intermediate running line rather than a floating running line. Retrieved flies are unique wooly bugger patterns and foam beetle patterns fished on a 2-fly rig.

We strongly encourage all students to sign up for the shooting head/sinking line clinic on February 4th, 2024, hosted by GGACC's talented casting instructors.

Leaders: Long 2X-3X tapered leaders for nymphing or just straight tippet in 10-15 lb. works fine, especially for stripping/retrieving; 12 lb. fluorocarbon tippet may be best.

Flies: Our guide will provide flies specifically for Pyramid Lake.

Gear: Bring your wading boots, chest waders, warm socks, long underwear (that lake water is cold!), fleeces, rain jacket, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, buff, and hat (bring a beanie, in addition to a billed or brimmed hat). Layering is the key as the temperature can range from very cold (in the 20s during our trip last year) to warm.

Fish-out Expenses: Registration for the fish-out is $500, which covers the following:

- Two days of guided fishing

- Flies: The guides will be providing recommended flies for this trip.

- Meals at the lake: The guides will provide a light breakfast and a big lunch each day at the lake, as well as an assortment of beverages (no alcohol allowed! Tribal rules.) 

- "No Frills" Group lasagna dinner at the group Airbnb on Sunday night

Additional Expenses: The additional expenses that the student will need to cover for themselves include the following:

- Permits for two daysRefer to SCO's website (at the top of the site under "About – FAQ" to buy and print out a tribal fishing license before leaving home. Don't forget this! (And no, a Nevada fishing license is NOT required for fishing on the Indian reservation.) 

- Transportation: We recommend 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles or carpooling with those that do to avoid getting stuck in the soft sandy lakefront. 

- All food not mentioned above.

- Lodging: Students will be responsible for lodging on Saturday and Sunday nights. The fish-out leader will share recommended options with the trip registrants, including a group AirBnb that can accommodate a portion of the group.

- Guide gratuities

Other Logistics: We will start early each morning (5 AM). You will drive/carpool to the lake; the trip takes about 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your lodging location. We will meet up with the guides, who will want us on the ladders by the first hint of daylight since this can be when the bite is often the best.

After fishing, we recommend rinsing your fishing gear thoroughly since this lake is very alkaline and not much different than saltwater. Rinse your waders and boots thoroughly as soon as you get home for the same reason (and the fact that you always clean and dry them well before putting them away). 

Fish-out Leader:

Mike Nelson will lead this fish-out. He is a graduate of the LTFF Program. Mike is familiar with Pyramid Lake and has fished with some of our guides at Pyramid Lake and Montana. He will be your contact for planning, logistics, and any questions you might have about the trip. Mike will conduct a Zoom meeting with the registrants to share more about the lake and the trip's logistics. All Level 3 students will receive an invitation to this meeting so you can learn about Pyramid Lake whether you are attending the fishout or not.

Sign up for this opportunity now! EVERYONE has to try this at least once -- but beware; you might get hooked since these might be the biggest trout you'll ever catch. Fishing Pyramid Lake is truly a unique experience, unlike anything you'll do anywhere else, and these big fish are really FUN! 

Contacts for further info:

Fish-out Leader: Mike Nelson (

LTFF Program Leader: Bruce Greenwood (

Cancellation Policy:  There are no refunds. If a student cannot attend for any reason, he/she may resell his slot (rod) to another LTFF member (by first pulling from the waitlist, if one exists). It is the sole responsibility of the student to manage this transaction.

Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

General Information:

Learn To Fly Fish Program:

Our Mailing Address:  Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club  ·  P.O. Box 591476  ·  San Francisco, CA 94159

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