The huge cutthroat trout of Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Thanks to Casey Ryan for sending us these pictures, which were taken during a recent trip chasing huge cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. For those of you who’ve never heard of this venue, it’s one of the top stillwater fly fishing destinations in the USA and one to which anglers travel from all over the world. It’s actually one of the biggest natural lakes in Nevada and the largest single remnant of ancient ‘Lake Lahontan‘ – the huge inland sea that once covered more than 8500 square miles around the state.

Pyramid Lake has a reputation for being home to the world’s largest cutthroat trout, often referred to as ‘Lahontan Cutthroats’ for obvious reasons. Fish in the 10 – 15lb class are plentiful and fish to over 20lbs are more than possible. The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi), so named because of its distinctive red slashes below the gill openings, is over 2 million years old. Fish as big as 80lbs have been reported and, in 1925, Johnny Skimmerhorn caught one officially weighing 41 pounds.

Typically anglers fish by wading out into the shallows, fishing ledges and drop offs. Also and uniquely, as far as I know, there are ladders placed intermittently around the lake, giving anglers a steady platform from which to cast.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

As for Casey, he fished a number of different beaches with Pyramid guide, Rob Anderson. Many of the fishing spots were empty, which came as a pleasant surprise (Pyramid Lake is sometimes known to attract crowds), and Casey said Rob taught him a number of tricks he hadn’t seen previously. On the day, 5 fish over 10lbs were caught, including Casey’s own personal best of 11lbs 14oz. A fairly productive trip, to say the least! The weighing was done very carefully before the fish were released unharmed.

Well done Casey and thanks for sending us your story. If you have a similar catch you’d like to share with our readers, please drop us a line through our contact page.

Read more from Casey on his blog.

James Green About James Green

James Green loves nothing more than casting a fly in pursuit of salmon, seatrout or, when the opportunity arises, a tailing bonefish, tarpon or permit.