Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pyramid Lake - Thanksgiving Morning

For sometime now Thanksgiving has meant more than turkey, stuffing, family, or booze, its meant hunting. I have always enjoyed getting out in the outdoors on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, its a good way to center yourself before sitting around with family for hours rehashing the same old stuff over and over. Not that I dont appreciate or love them, but it always seems the same. How is work? How is life? Have a girlfriend? The answer to the last is almost always an inevitable NO.

You see, having a girlfriend would really put a stranglehold on my ability to participate in outdoor activities, at least it has on everyone else I know, so until I meet a nice fly fisherwoman or a chukar with human breasts and a vagina I think I will stick to my current way of life which is to spend every free day on the lake, in the river, or hunting some variety of wild game (This was for you old man, you will get your grandchildren eventually).

Moving on... This years Thanksgiving outdoor adventure was influenced by our good friend Steve who was visiting from D.C. and was in deperate need for some outdoor love. Steve is not a fly fisherman so some fish were caught on spoons, please dont judge him.

Thursday morning started off cold and windy as is usually the case in November and December in this region. The nice thing about Thursday's weather was that timed bouts of dead calm would sweep through every 20 minutes making the wind very bearable. We started off at the same old beach we always go to and found that even with an earlier than desired wake up call we weren't the first guys there. "Our spot" was already taken so we moved inside the bay to another good ledge and started tossing flies. The bite seemed slow at first as the guys on the point were struggling to get a bite. Steve struck first with a nice hen cutthroat of average size (18-19").


Next Dan hooks and lands the second fish of the day, a nice trout with a head that seemed disproportionately large compared to the rest of his body.


I scored the last 2fish of the day but seemed like I had gotten the short end of the stick in the size category (story of my life).


At the end of the day we had 4 fish come to shore. No monsters today, but the tug at the end of your line combined with one hell of a view made for a nice start to the Thanksgiving holiday. We'll see you out there Christmas morning too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cold Sunday Afternoon

As most of you know, it was cold this weekend. Damn cold. Snow flurries and light winds added to the chill in the air, but I decided that I would make the trek out to the lake to get a little time on the water. I packed up the wife's car with the minimum amount of gear and headed out around noon. I figured this would be a great time to break in the new waders, and make sure they were leak free.

PRO TIP: If you've ever seen the prices on Patagonia Waders, you've probably thought, "Holy crap! That's ridiculous! Are they made with Panda?" I had been suffering through the spring and fall with a nice pair of Sportsman's Warehouse specials that I paid $75 for a few years back. They were leaking at the boot though, which makes for miserable fishing. Patagonia just happens to have an outlet store attached to their warehouse near Mayberry Park, and it just so happens that in November they have a ridiculous sale where they knock off 60% from the lowest marked price. I managed to pick up a nice set of $425 waders for a little over $100. They're amazing BTW...

I got on the water around 1 pm, and it was cold. Gloves and Winter jacket cold. There was a steady wind coming in from the North at around 8 - 10 mph, which can really mess up your casting technique, and possibly cause a winged ear here and there. I noticed a couple of lead tossers fishing the point, so I moved down from them but wasn't catching anything. They moved on around an hour in, so I moved into their spot. I noticed they left with 3 small cutts so I figured there had to be fish there. On my second cast, I managed to hook this 21 inch cutt, great color, and a fairly aggressive fish for the cold water temps. He put up a good fight.

I managed to lose a few more fish before I landed this 19 inch cutt about 45 minutes later

All in all, I had 4 fish on. Not bad for about 2 hours of fishing. Be sure to pack your cold weather gear when heading out. These fish were caught on an Olive Crystal Bugger and a Midnight Cowboy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pyramid Lake - A day in the Wind

Saturday evening found us drinking a little too much to make it out duck hunting at 3am so we decided our Sunday would be best spent tossing a few streamers around at the lake. The forecast for Sunday was calling for light and variable winds out of the north, this being right on the backside of a storm front called for overcast skies and the promise of a decent day. Upon arrival at one of our usual beaches we noticed that the winds were anything but light, and the term variable didnt apply to a steady 10-15mph north wind. Thank fully we fish a beach facing south, so our casting wasnt too troubled by it. About 15 minutes in Dan had a nice hit but lost the fish, and not too shortly after that he hooked up and landed (not very gracefully i might add) a nice 22" LCT which would prove to be the only fish of the day. The day went on without much more than 2 bites between the 2 of us.


Although the bite was slow for us we didnt actually get on water until about 2 hours after fishing light (6:00am). In the time we were setting up we watched a couple guys on the point bring in 4 fish and said that they had gotten 4 earlier as well so the bite seemed to be better in the morning and was drawing to a close just as we were arriving. Between the 6 guys that were fishing this beach with us we only saw 2 fish caught after 8:30.

Despite low temperatures across the area the lake has yet to cool off and settle into its normal winter pattern. The fish still seem to be chasing flies stripped at a moderate speed and the lure guys are still catching them while burning their spoons into shore. I have been seeing a good average for the start of the year so we should be in for a good winter and spring out there. Good luck and see you out there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pyramid - Opening Weekend Pictures

Well guys, I'm an ass. I have had some pictures from our opener at Pyramid along with some video and I have just not posted whether due to time, hunting, or just plain laziness. After a summer of pretty much sitting around thinking about fly fishing we finally got out of our chairs and hit the water.

The lake produced a mixed bag for a lot of folks that weekend. Fortunately for us our opening day spot did not dissapoint. We hooked into multiple fish, landed some and lost some. As it so happens the 2 biggest fish of the trip (hardest fighting at least) popped off mid fight. We were able to take a few fish over the 20" mark and saw a few over the 24" mark taken as well by spin fishermen.

As noted by a previous post the name of the game was bait... if you found a bait ball then keep your casts short and your strips very fast. The quick strip seemed to entice the bite far better than a medium paced strip (as I noticed while comparing techniques to a friend on saturday). It was a given that everytime I saw that bait there would be a hookup. It was an exciting couple of days and a great feeling to get back out to Pyramid where everything started for us. Enjoy the fish porn below.





Sunday, October 9, 2011

A beautiful afternoon on the lake

I was going to attempt a trip out to Pyramid Sunday morning, but went to the home opener of the Wolfpack Saturday night, and was a bit slow out the door this morning. After a few errands and breakfast with the fam, I managed to sneak out for an afternoon trip, which was definitely worth it.

I packed my fishing buddy Ollie into the rig, and got out on the lake around 2 pm. I went to our default beach, and noticed a few gents posted up on the point chucking a variety of hardware and flies. I chatted with them for a few and discovered that they had a very good day. They had around 5 fish on the stringer, and had tossed back quite a few more.

I immediately posted up on the Bay side of the point and tied on a Chartreuse bugger trailed by an Olive Crystal bugger. Within 15 minutes I had my first fish on, a decent 15 inch cutt. This caused one of the guys on the point to grab his fly rod and give it a whirl. He hooked into a nice 20 inch cutt and landed it quickly.

I fished the bay for another hour or so without much activity. I did notice mass quantities of bait swimming around, and could see a few flashes in close to the shore. Most of the guys on the point packed up so I moved out to the point and tied on a tan bugger. Within 30 minutes I landed my second fish, a nice 20 inch cutt that put up a pretty good fight.

20 inch cutthroat

I caught my final fish of the day after everyone had cleared out. I noticed a swarm of bait swimming in the shallows to the left of the Point, and started casting over the cloud. I immediately hooked a 22 inch cut that was obviously trolling the swarms for stragglers.

I fished for a few more minutes, without any luck. All in all, 3 fish in 3 hours, and some really fantastic weather. Winds were calm and the water was clear. Here are a few pics:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pyramid Lake - Opening Day

So I made it out on opening day, and of course I forgot the camera... The fishing was slow going for the first hour, but I didn't get on the lake until 12:30, so I expected a slow day. Some hardware tossers just up from me seemed to have decent success, and I waited until they left before I moved into the spot their were fishing.

Within a few minutes of shifting positions to the point at Indian Head, I managed to hook a nice 22 -23 inch female cutthroat. She was a very healthy fish and actually hit my flies as I was pulling a knot out of my line and my flies were drifting within 15 feet of me. Within 2 casts I had another fish on of ok size, but soon realized it was not the fish I should be fishing for and got it in and released it immediately.

In total I landed 2 fish and managed to get a few hits here and there. The bite seemed to pick up during the windiest parts of the day. I did see a cloud of bait fish swim by in the shallows, but didn't notice any takers. The fish were close to shore though, and each fish was caught on a natural colored bugger.

Looks like pyramid might be a good bet early this year. The fish are active right now, and the temps are fantastic. Get out there before it gets too cold

The rest of us hit the lake at sun up @ indian head beach. The bite was pretty steady up to about 11am when the wind shifted in to our face and we called it a morning. Brandon will post some pics of the fish we caught but it was pretty much the same story as Tom. We were catching fish right in close just where the shelf drops off in to deeper water. The bait clouds were big and thick. We did see some slot fish burning through the clouds like sharks out in the ocean, it was a pretty cool thing to see. The consistant color was Solid chartreuse bugger pattern. We hooked up on midnight cowboy as well as purple/black as well as olive buggers. Indian head was pretty busy on the point all the way in to the bay and everyone was catching fish. Porn to follow as soon as Brandon gets the pics of Dans camera.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A twinkle of activity in the dormant BRFC collective

Hi all,

We've been real scarce as of late due to busy work / family schedules and general laziness. The big game season is over so we put the bows away for a few months and focus on autumn on the truckee river and pyramid lake. We hope to get back in to our groove and provide updates on the local waters and activity. We added another fly to our flies page with steps on tying. Check it out, the birds nest just got hip hop.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuckee River - August 19

The stars finally aligned, and Kellen, Bob and I were able to get out on the river for some afternoon fishing finally. We met up around 4:30 East of town, and chatted for awhile with another local fly fisherman before hitting the river. With the flows sitting right around 500 CFS east of town, the fishing conditions were fantastic.

We started downstream from the rigs, and I immediately hooked into a fish that spit my flies. I haven't had much luck landing fish over the last few weeks, and this evening was no different. We ended up fishing the same hole for around an hour without any luck. Bob took to investigating the hole with a snorkel. It was quite a site seeing some guy floating down the river in boxers and wading boots face down in the water. That must have been some kind of party...

We grabbed our gear and moved upstream a few hundred yards to fish a nice tailout. The water was warm and moving fairly quickly, but we came up empty handed. Kellen managed to hook one in this hole, but he apparently suffers from the same disorder I do right now. It's called the "One that got away disorder".

We moved up another few hundred yards, and found a nice deep run facing a rock cliff. Shortly before dark I moved up above Bob and Kellen to a slower pool and managed to hook 2 more losing both of them. The last fish took my trailing flies with him, and put up a pretty good fight. The flies of the evening were a leading stonefly with a Prince #16 and Red Copper John #18 trailing. I'm not certain what Bob and Kellen were throwing, but our stacks were fairly similar.

All in all, we lost 4 fish in 3 - 4 hours. We did notice a decent caddis hatch around 7:30 or 7:45 (just before dark), but not too much surface feeding. Be sure to keep a drag free drift when fishing your runs. The fish are fairly picky, and won't hit if your flies are dragging.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Truckee River - August 14

Man it's been awhile since any of us has bothered updating. We've all been buried with the responsibilities that life brings, and haven't had much time to fish. Combine that with the fact that we have more water than we no what to do with, and you've got poor fishing conditions.

I finally made it out to the river this weekend for a few hours, and can tell you that it was very pleasant. Great weather combined with excellent flows equals very good fishing conditions. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pics on the phone, and didn't bring the camera along, so you'll just have to take my word for it this time.

I decided not to venture too far from home, so I hit a nice spot in Verdi that we had success with in the wee months of winter. I haven't really been researching the hatches, so I went with a traditional #6 Golden Stonefly nymph trailed by a #16 Prince nymph and a #18 caddis (brown). Apparently it's been so long since I've been out that my fingers forgot how to tie proper knots, so it took me awhile to rig up.

I got on the water around 7 am and fished 1 deep run for about 2 hours. I noticed some sporadic surface action, but couldn't really see any major hatch on the surface. I figured it must be emergers that the fish were keyed into. I managed to hook one decent sized rainbow, but due to my poor tying technique, the bugger made off with my entire stack. The hooks were barbless, so I'm hoping he shook them. I managed to get a few more hits in the same spot, but decided to try my luck elsewhere as the fish weren't staying on the hook. I moved downstream a few hundred yards and hooked another small rainbow in a clear pool, but he spit my flies back at me immediately. I continued fishing this spot for another hour or so, but it started warming up and I decided to pack it in.

All in all, I had 2 lost, and another 10 or 12 hits in 4 hours. Not bad for not having fished the Truckee in at least 6 months. The flows right now are fantastic, and the fish are biting. From here on out, I'm hoping I can make it out at least 1 day per weekend, so expect frequent updates! Be sure to pack hoppers. The Grass Hoppers are out in full force, and I will post a hopper-dropper pattern on the blog this week that should help you get started.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pyramid Lake - June 10th 2011

Cut of out of work at 3 today and took my wife and daughter to pyramid for a an afternoon in the wind and let the noobie feel lake water for the first time. After tossin the kid around and setting up the shade I launched the toon boat and did a few passes on shot dog. No joy in the bay but managed to hook up and lose one when drifting the south side of the point. If I had to guess I'd say i was in about 20 to 30 feet of water and drifting right in the middle of the column. At the time I was throwing a white wind whistle (see our flys page if your not familiar with it) with a midnight bugger behind on the shooting head. The tube is a must right now. If you're familiar with shotdog point, the north side of it has some tufa rocks about 3 feet out from shore that stick out of the water by a couple of feet. Those rocks are about 2 to 3 feet under water right now. Casting past the shelf is tough and that water level is only going to up. River flows are at about 2500 at Reno right now with plenty of snow to keep feeding that til the end of the Pyramid season.
All reports are pointing to the standard Pyramid Lake strategy; hit the mornings, hit the evenings, streamers behind a shooting head and Nymphs under an indicator.
Be advised, that water is still cold enough to make shorts and no waders a chilly idea, even on a pontoon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pyramid Lake - June 7th

Took a quick trip out to Pyramid after work last night (June 7th). Got on my ladder around 6 and fished til about 7:30. Throwing olive / midnight cowboy buggers didn't produce anything on the shooting head and no luck soaking nymphs under an indicator. The water is way up and I did see fish in cruising the shallows along with some surface action but the bulk of it was a ways off shore. With the water being up as high as it is, casting from your ladder makes getting out past the shelf kind of tough. As the high pressure and nice temps set in the fish should get consistent but I recommend bringing the tube or pontoon boat out due to that previous mention of long casts to get beyond the shelf.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Florida - I got left behind.

Well everyone I guess we can start this one out with an apology. We here at BRFC have had our hands full lately. Some with children, some with home projects, and then there is me, a man without a good excuse. With warm weather combined with high flows, bass fishing tournaments and a lacking desire to spend anytime with the masses out at pyramid lake there has just been nothing to discuss. Although I am sure the fishing anywhere you can get will be good, weather dependent of course. We might venture up to the LT this weekend or perhaps hang out for a few hours tossing shooting line to some LCTs. In the meantime here is a fishing report from my father about Florida. This past week my folks had the opportunity to visit a good friend of ours who lives in Stuart, FL. Unfortunately their house is right on the water so these poor guys had to fish every day. Rough. Sadly i wasnt able to join them on this adventure. Although it was a bummer to listen to the stories I dont have a lot of room to complain after fishing for trevally and Bonefish in Hawaii for a week. So until we can get some more trout porn up for you enjoy a little saltwater action in the words of my old man.

Old Man:

Just got back from 3 days of fishing out of Stuart Florida with my buddy Patrick. We were out for a day in on the ocean one day hunting for Pompano and 1 day of estuary and bridge fishing. The good news is that we caught fish every day even off of his dock and out of the Hobie kayaks.


The first day we took the Boston Whaler out and eventhough the seas were running 4' with short period waves the ride and trolling were not bad in the 32 footer. We started out trolling frozen ballyhoo and soon hooked up on a bonito and had a good fun fight. As we were dealing with the little tuna a nice King Mackeral hit the slow moving ballyhoo and we ended up landing him too. We kept trolling out heading for 100' deep water in hopes of some Dolphin but the rolling seas were taking a toll on us. We had picked up some live bait so we started a drift with the live bait and in no time we had a school of Amberjack all around the boat. We lost one missed a couple of more and landed one. A couple of more passes turned up no more fish so headed back on a troll with the ballyhoo. Another nice King soon was landed. The Kings ened up in the smoker that afternoon and it made a great smoked King dip that evening.

Patrick with a nice pair

The next day we headed out for Pompano. It was a little late in the season but we heard that there were still a few around. The first cast landed a nice 16" fighter on a feather jig. With our hopes up we put in another 3 hours without a nibble. We tried fly fishing some streamers and shrimp patterns with no luck.


The next day we picked up some live shrimp and tried a couple of more spots for Pompano but gave up after fishing a nice outgoing tide without a hit. We had to head in early so we decided to try the shrimp under a bridge on the way in. That was a good call as we started getting hits on nearly every cast. We finally boated a nice Drum. That evening we took the Hobie kayaks out to a small estuary that was loaded with bait. Lots of hits later and we managed to land a small unidentified fish and get some nice wildlife photos.

Tree Herons???

The coolest thing about the ocean and estuary fishing is that you never know what you will find on the end of your line. We caught 7 or 8 different species on the boats and off of the docks and a couple of them went back in the water unidentified. Lots of fun and something that I plan on doing again.

My favorite pic of this trip

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pyramid Lake - A Few hours, A Few fish

With winds nearing the 30mph mark on Saturday it was the perfect time to open a few beers around noon and think about getting a line wet on Sunday. Sunday was forecasted to be a beautiful day after a hard north wind and dropping barometer the day before. In general fishing right after the low can spell disaster with little to no wind, bright blue skies and confused trout. Occasionally you break the mold and at first today didnt seem like one of those days. Arriving to the lake around 9 i noticed Tom had the point at Indian Head with room for me to squeeze in. Right away I noticed the guys just on the south side of the point catching all the fish with guys to the south and north getting 1 or 2. At this point the wind was still coming out of the north around 10 mph but had enough current that the fish seemed to be staying out of it. Tom lost one at Indian Head and we made an adjustment, Windless. Well, my $.02 about Windless is that if you are dragging streamers stay on the south side of the bay because after losing 2 stacks to rocks it was time to make yet another adjustment. Shot Dog. Shot dog is a great place for those fish who havent quite commited to the shallows yet as the whole bay is very near deep water access but allows a short commute to the shallow sandy bottoms of the beaches directly north and south(this is my "professional" opinion).

Within 10 minutes of being at Shot Dog Tom pulled this.

On the very next cast he caught this, our largest fish today going about 25"
Release shot

Then we had a double, here is the larger of the double. Unfortunately while setting up for the pic of our only male he flopped... but at least we have some proof.

The last fish to hand for the day. All in all 5 fish in 45mins with a few more lost and a couple missed hits.

Tom did lose a pig on this day and thats all I will say about that.

FYI - Your favorite Black Rock Fly Casters(myself and Bob) will be entertaining folks on the East Walker next weekend so bring your whoopi cushions and favorite spinny hats and get ready for a good ass time.


Thursday, March 31, 2011


I stopped by the Truckee River at lunch today to check conditions. USGS charts are showing the flows starting to rise and the river is getting dirty.
Here's a shot of the Truckee in town near rock park.

Soupy Green - March 31st 2011 @ Edison way
Truckee River thaw

High temps are starting the spring thaw and the river flows / color will vary over the next few months. Focus on tail outs and slower riffle. Flashy streamers are a good idea when visibility is low

Monday, March 28, 2011

Get while the gettin's gettable

I wont say the gettin is going to be good but I would venture to say there some gettin to be got! The Truckee river flows have dropped down to near normal around 600cfs in town (I guess for this time of year anything between 300cfs and 2300cfs is normal) and visibility is something on the order of 3 to 4 feet through greenish water. I stopped by the normal spot off spice island to check things out on my way home and noticed a fair midge hatch along with plenty of brown and green caddis larvae hanging out under rocks with the standard olive baetis buddies hangin out with em. While I haven't had the opportunity to hit the river since the flows "Stabilized", term used loosely, I would shoot for slower riffle and tail outs. Throw a tripple stack to gauge the menu with a skwala stone, hairs ear and a red midge. while the caddis larvae are getting more numerous they dont tend to become the abundant food source until late spring into summer, favoring the summer months.
This week is going to bring some spring thaw our way with valley temps near and into the 70s. The flows out of prossor res have dropped way down and boca has been corked with flows out the dam at nothing. This will slow the flows but the water color is majorily contingent on the dirty thaw water. Flows below derby dam are always pretty constant compared to the rest of the river but that far down stream the water gets dirty early with the quick thaw from the Pah Rah and Virginia ranges.
This is also a great time to hit the Little Truckee if the either the road is doable or you have the gumption (spelling?) to make the walk. The roads are not plowed beyond the dam at Boca and last I heard (not that you'll need to cross it) traffic was not allowed across because of super heavy outflow. Since there isnt any water coming out of the dam now, that probably isnt the case.
Flows on the east walker are getting down to normal again but are still high. Currently they are running just above 220, I've never fished it higher than 120cfs so I have no valuable input and unfortunately Ken's sport hasnt updated the report since november. I will send them an email in the next few days and make sure they arent burried under an avalanche.
With rising temps, Pyramid will likely be the most comfortable option. Early mornings and evenings are always a good bet but lately it has been producing through out the day as well. Both nymphing under an indicator with midges and throwing streamers has been working. I try to get fancy with some new streamer patterns but the standard midnight cowboy and olive wooly buggers are keeping the rod bent.
With some luck, I'll get out to the lake on Sunday and have a report.
See you out there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A blustery winter day out at Pyramid

As Bob mentioned in his post on Friday, we were all planning on heading out to Pyramid this weekend for some early "Spring" fishing. That's right. The first day of Spring was Saturday, but you couldn't have guessed that with the snow flurries we've been getting over the last 2 days.

I got out to the lake around 9 am, and decided to hit Indian Head since we've had some decent success there over the last few months. Brandon notified me that gusts were supposed to be up to 50 mph, and that watercraft were not advised. A ladder is far from watercraft though, so I wasn't too worried.

I quickly realized that I had the whole beach to myself, so I setup shop right at the point and began my day. It was cold, and drizzling, with sustained winds around 5 MPH, and early on the swells were between 2 and 3 feet. Perfect fishing weather! Good thing I packed the heavy jacket and gloves.

On my first cast, I hooked into this little guy:

I thought it was an absolute monster, but as I got him closer to shore I realized that I foul hooked him on the belly, and was bringing him in sideways.

About 10 minutes later I hooked this one:

A little bit larger than the first, and much more aggressive. This one took a Pyramid Beetle with a red estaz underbody.

Over the next three hours, I managed to land 2 more fish and lose another 3. Bob showed up around noon, and managed to lose one on a nymph shortly after he got there. I tried to run out and net it, but it spit the hook before I got there.

We decided to hit Shotdog around 2, where we both managed to lose a few more fish. On my last cast of the day, I did land another 18 - 19 incher, and decided to call it quits. Bob stuck around for a bit longer, and will post his updates later.

All in all, we had 5 fish to hand, and another 5 or 6 that gave us the fisherman's release. Most of my success came on an Olive Bugger with a Black and Red Pyramid Beetle. I also had hits on a Chartreuse Cactus Leech, Black Bugger, Midnight Cowboy, and a White and Chartreuse Beetle. Bob will update you with what he was throwing. Here are a few more fish that I managed to snap some shots of:

*Bob's Update*
Well, Tom left me out at shot dog and for the next hour and a half I tried to hit the shallower side of the point. I ended up just getting snagged on up rocks and foul hooking myself. When Tom left he took the manageable winds with him so the end of my day was more an exercise in dodging small arms fire / streamers than fishing. That said, the more subtle side of shot dog has allot of rock and makes for more amiable nymphing conditions, but I was trying out some of my new big ugly streamers and getting my hopes up when my strip stopped dead on rocks. Be careful on that side of the point, an intermittent clay bottom will help you find your ass in a heart beat, that's a cold walk back to the rig.
I spent the day trying out a couple different things. For one, the Bellyache minnow that I posted in our previous update. The two fish I hooked up with on streamer took that minnow (Black / Gold) with a Chartreuse/silver crystal bugger. There was some chop on the water when I got out around noon and my hands started numbing up so I took these as my que to soak a nymph stack while I pocketed my hands for a few minutes. Due to general laziness I left my nymph stack on from the last time I hit the Truckee. Skwala stone with a no name midge pattern I've been playing with did the trick. It was a good fish but I got hit with irritable knot syndrome and lost bowels.. fish..

Here's that little midge, click the picture for a better description.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stuck in a rut

None of us have been very active over the past month with the weather variations and other obligations. when you can't fish, tie! I haven't even been doing much of that lately but we are hitting Pyramid this Sunday so I've started tying a few patterns. The Bellyache Minnow is one of those minnow patterns that I think is simply amazing but doesn't get much press. This time of year big flashy patterns pay off when the Truckee transforms itself in split pea soup, or chocolate milk, depending on your favorite simile. We've fished some flows on the Truckee that seemed hopeless and had luck on the swing with some big shiny streamers. Now is the time to put your patterns to the test. I dropped by the river on the way home from work yesterday to have a look at conditions. Near Rock park the river was flowing quick with maybe a foot of cloudy brown visibility. Current conditions show the flows at Vista around 1300cfs, about 800cfs above normal.

Here's the Bellyache Minnow, I like to epoxy the head when I'm finished, mixing a little glitter in for hip hop appeal.
Bellyache Minnow

Here's a good video on the tie
"Bellyache Minnow"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Difference a Week can Make

The last two weeks on Pyramid were on fire for just about everyone, but all good things must come to an end. The fishing last weekend slowed down just in time for the onslaught of yahoos that are the Presidents Day Fishing Derby crowd. For 2 weekends in February every shoreline and trollable piece of water is covered with folks trying to nab a winning fish. These fishing tournaments have always disappiointed me because its basically a fish kill for anything over 7lbs that hit the net. I understand people keep fish and that it is part of the sport, but so many beautiful fish are taken and killed during these derbys at Pyramid. I do want to say that not everyone that is weighing in fish is killing them as I witnessed a fly fisherman Sunday run a still kicking 10lb fish to the scales, drop him back in a large cooler full of water and then quickly drove down to the nets to release it. That made me pretty stoked to see.

Back to "report". Saturday was a pretty slow day. Bob, Dan and myself headed out for what we hoped would be another awesome weekend. We showed up to our favorite little beach around 10 to an already packeed point. We moved into the bay and fished for an hour with no takers. Jumped in the rigs and headed to Monument and Shot Dog for nothing. Empty handed we decided to call it quits since Bob, being a new father(congratulations darling), had to get home to a wife and child.

Sunday eneded up being a little better for us. We were able to bring 4 to shore in a few hours and actually saw other catching fish as well. The bite seemed to get a little better as the wind picked up. Here are some of the fish we were able to get on Sunday.
Finally no iPhone pictures

they were all this size


Hopefully this nasty front moving through the area this week will stir things up out there and get those fish active again. If not, the size 16 BWOs are starting to come off on the river so get down there and soak a stack.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pyramid Lake - Fish Porn

If I had to choose a single word to describe the winter fishing that Pyramid Lake is experiencing right now it would be stupendous.

Day 1 Saturday morning I was up at 8 tying up some flies in preperation to meet up with Tom for some for some double-haul practice out at Pyramid. By the time I had the truck loaded Tom had already been fishing for an hour or so near Shotdog and Seperator with no luck. We decided to meet at Indian Head with hopes of the light crowds we had experienced last weekend... no such luck. There must have been 6 or so rigs parked on the beach when we arrived. All the choice spots on the point had been taken and Tom had snagged a position in the middle of the bay. Immediately we noticed the guys on the point catching fish after fish. Some of the guys were throwing flies, some throwing jigs and more yet throwing a Carolina Rig(more commonly used for bass fishing) with a beetle or tadpole as the bait. Finally it was our turn as I hoooked into our first fish of the day which i lost maneuvering for a beach landing. We went on to catch 13 fish(fish porn to come) for the 3 of us in 5 hours with about as many fish lost. There is something to be said about a 60 degree day at Pyramid Lake in the beginning of February and the fish thought so too. We fished a variety of flies today with the best producers being anything in brown or olive. Tom got a few to take a white beetle and I landed one on an oilcan beetle with a sparkle purple chenile. Here is some of the promised fish porn:
My first fish
One of Dans many fish
Some McMillan love

Brandon 020511
And this was the big fish of the day. No tape measure unfortunately.

Of the 13 fish we were able to land that day the average size was right about 20-21" with a couple smaller and a couple bigger thrown in.

Day 2 Got on the water Sunday morning about an hour earlier than the day before and we were the only guys on the point. My first cast in this spot rewarded me with a nice 21" cutt. We proceeded to catch 6 between the three of us with the biggest being 22". The flavor today was anything in brown or olive.. the beetles got no love. More fish porn:


We talked with a couple folks on Sunday who said the entire week out there has been on fire. With 2 weeks of warm weather and another week of great conditions coming up there is no excuse not to get out there and get a few. The reports from all over the lake are coming back as excellent. Most fish are between 18-22" with an occasional kicker over 24". The spinning guys are tossing brightly colored charteruese jigs and beetles and the fly guys are getting them on various colored beetles and natural colored buggers.

See you out there Saturday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pyramid Lake - More of the Usual

A friend of ours, Dan, was able to pull himself off the couch long enough to hit Pyramid Lake before heading to work. He started at Popcorn around 9am throwing a standard purple and black wooly bugger stack. After an hour or so he moved to hip-hop beach(Blockhouse) and hooked up immediately with a cute little 18" cut. No other fish to the beach that day but 1 is all you need to keep you coming back. He said there were 6 guys fishing Blockhouse and it was a wednesday in February. If you have never fished Pyramid Lake and plan on coming and if you are looking for solitude do not go to Blockhouse.

pyramid lake cutt

Seems all of our fish and the fish we have been seeing others catch this winter have been right about this size. If the weather stays like this and spring is as early as the groundhog predicted then we should be getting a full push of fish moving shallow in no time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Escape the weather, head to Pyramid Lake

The weather man said it was going to be rainy and snowy in town today so the decision was made to hit Pyramid for a couple hours. Its funny how a break in the clouds, no moving air and some sun can make you want to do nothing more than stand around tossing a shooting head into open water for hours. Thats how it was for us Sunday. We got to the Sandhole about 10am and were greeted by a completely glassy Pyramid Lake. The crowds were light for sandhole so jumped in and started making some casts. We saw 2 guys down the beach land 2 smaller fish. After some Rambo eavesdropping i found out they had caught there 2 on chartreuse beetles. Another guy had gotten into them the day before fishing midges under an idicator so dont forget your floating line! We forgot our floating line so it was dragging buggers on the bottom for us. Once sandhole got all hip-hop on us we jammed over to Indian Head were there wasnt a soul for a mile or more. Once again in about 20 minutes we were surrounded by ladder fishermen and spincasters having bud light lime for breakfast. We landed one here before heading to Crosbys for a couple beers and a new fishing spot. NOTE: Crosby's makes a mean chili dog. After making a fool of myself at Crosbys by dumpnig and entire tray of fries all over the floor and my pants it was off to Windless. These temps have definitely pushed the fish up shallower but dont expect it to last to terribly long with the cold front moving through. I hooked another fish here but lost it at my feet. All in all not a bad way to spend a winter day.. had to get away from the fly tying desk.

Pyramid Lake cutthroat
Our one fish to hand for the day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Truckee River - Spring?

Its not spring yet but it sure felt like it this weekend on the river. We fished for a small period of time on Saturday mostly searching for new winter holes in town that we can hit for a quick session here or there. With nothing to show after a couple hours and enjoying the unseasonably warm sun it was time to head back home for a couple beers and to tie a few flies in preparation for tomorrows trip.

Sunday morning came and we were riggng up to hit a new spot just west of town. It had a good quick run tailing out into about a 4-6ft deep hole. We fished it for an hour throwing a variety of midge and small baetis patterns for nothing. Another guy who I now know was a co-worker came down to that spot about 30 minutes before we left. He hooked a small whitefish while we were there and landed 2 after we left. After that we decided to hit an old in town spot that NDOW likes to drop planters, Mayberry. Fished a couple deep runs near the park and was able to pull one nice little rainbow. Like Tom has said in a previous report these fish are fighting hard for the winter. The fish came on a hotwire prince nymph, embarrassingly enough I’ll admit that the one fish I lost that day came on a bad knot. It hit a size 16 Hunchback Infrequen(HBI) and my knot came unraveled. Im a loser.
truckee fish
cute little average town rainbow

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hawaii - Part 2

We arrived in Maui Saturday afternoon armed with some information from Clay on where we might be able to score some deep water Bonefish and Trevally. Sunday morning we got to the water right about first light after walking roads for a couple miles trying to find beach access down to some rocks we had scoped out the night before. We were trying to stay away from the main beach so we ended up Rambo fishing a small cove of a set of condos. About 20 minutes in we hooked our first fish, a Moana, also known as the Manybar Goatfish. At the time we were unaware of this little fact but we later found out that the locals here love to use these as bait for the Giant Trevally. Bummer. We caught one more fish that morning called a Lizard fish, these ugly little bastards will hit anything, unfortunately he came off right as I was landing him so no picture.
Manybar Goatfish

That afternoon we made our way to one of 2 tackle shops on the island and talked to the owner about fishing the island. These Hawaiians are silly folk who use funny words to describe fishing. Fly casting or lure chucking is called whipping whereas soaking a worm would be called dunking. Anyway he informed us that the folks of this island generally use the dunking technique for the Trevally with anywhere from a 1/0 to a 16/0 hook and from 2 to 10oz of lead to keep it on the bottom. The rig is a pretty simple one that is similar to what some folks use in fresh water called a Christmas Tree rig, only slightly different in that the Christmas tree rig uses wire to keep the line from tangling and this rig just uses stiff mono tied off a three-way swivel. Well after seeing some pictures of the Trevally they catch dunking, upwards of 130lbs, we were convinced that this was our new method. We quickly got back to the beach and started throwing a single hook dunking rig. Its amazing how far you can throw three ounces of lead with an 8ft rod. Whats even crazier is the local guys use 13ft rods 100lb mono main line and 300lb mono leader and we were using 10lb Berkley Big game and 30lb Maxima leader.
one of our dunking spots

Another dunking spot

Started fishing the next morning at a nearby beach casting to the inside of a small reef breakwall. Almost immediately I hooked up a Bluefin Trevally. He wasn’t the largest specimen but it was one of our target species nonetheless. The rest of the morning gave us an unidentifiable reef fish and the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You really have to get creative with names in this state since their local language only contains 12 letters and an apostrophe apparently, they are everywhere.
Oceanic Sunfish

A couple days into the trip we were looking for new water. With some tips from one of the bait shops we found some good local holes where guys have come in and cemented pole holders into the rocks, much better than using sand or wedged between rocks(o r tules like Kellen can attest to when he lost a rod to a big carp/catfish on a pond over by rattlesnake mountain). These spots were very cool old lava flows that were incredibly sharp and uneven and we came out with some battle scars to show for it. In one of these spots we caught an Eel and a Puffer fish. No eel picture, those things have massive teeth and he cut the main line as we attempted to land him.

The next day we were fishing a spot called Kaanapali Point where they have landed Bonefish and Trevally along with anything else that feels like biting. We didn’t catch either of those however we did catch a nasty case of crabs… I had a very large hit on my rod which ended up coming back with a clean cut just above the hook. We were told that the large Barracuda will come in to this area occasionally so that’s what we are going with on that one. Large Barracuda.
Crabs :(

Fly fishing from the place we were staying gave us the largest(in length) fish of the trip. They might be ugly as shit but they fight well.

We broke off a lot of tackle on this adventure but finally found a couple good spots where we would be able to cast to a sand channel and not get busted off. This is when the unthinkable happened. All of a sudden chris’s rod was doubled over and his line was moving extremely quickly from right to left. I yelled at Chris and after the sketchy walk to his rod he set the hook and it was on. Not sure of what was on the line at this point I climbed down the cliff to get in position to land the beast. As it started ripping drag we assumed it was a good sized Trevally however as Chris gained ground on it we realized he has a big Bonefish on. Drama. I was screaming at Chris, Chris was screaming at the rocks and both of us were screaming at the fish. Keep in mind that at this point we are about as excited as you can get in any moment of fishing, catching a Bonefish on Maui isn’t unheard of just extremely rare so for us this was HUGE. Once all the yelling was over and I had thrown the fish to Chris we took some quick shots and sent him back to be caught again. We caught one big Eel the next day but that was it.. That Bonefish and Trevally were 2 of the 3 species we wanted to catch and we did, and in our eyes the trip couldn’t have been more of a success. It’s a great feeling to go somewhere you have never been and have it all come together for you without having to hire a guide. With that I would like to thank Clay from Nervous Water Hawaii again.. Clay has the pictures of the Bone and the Trevally and plans to include them in his blog as well so give that a look if you have a moment. www.nervouswaterhawaii.com And if you ever plan a trip to Oahu then contact Clay and that man will put you on fish!

Not sure if I will ever see Hawaii again but I know if I do I will be paying a visit to a couple special locations that are now burned into my memory.