While bites have been somewhat scarce, the size and quality of Lahontan Cutthroat has been outstanding

Pyramid Lake - Sutcliffe, NV (Washoe County)

by Reno Fly Shop

Fly fishing in the first half of December has been rewarding for those willing to put in their time. While bites have been somewhat scarce, the size and quality of Lahontan Cutthroat has been outstanding. This is the time of year where it is seemingly harder to catch a smaller fish than a big fish (but catching any fish can be difficult). 

Lahontan Cutthroat have already begun eating midge patterns under the indicator. Holo Midges and Micro Midges are a great choice on calm days when waves aren’t too big. Midges are most effective when fished near the bottom – we typically aim to put the midge with six inches to a foot off the lake bottom. As waves increase in size, try fishing larger profile flies like the Balanced Leech or Mini Jig Leech. Baitfish patterns have not been as effective recently so try the Balanced Leech and Mini Jig Leech in darker colors such as Sizzurp or Midnight Cowboy.

The strip bite has slowed a bit, but is still finding a few fish. With cooler water temperatures, trout tend to slow down and may not move as quickly or chase feed. Stripping flies has been best towards the warmest part of the day as water temperatures rise and again when the sun leaves the water towards the late afternoon. Fish are staged up at a depth of 8-12 feet. Deeper drop offs and ledges will fish best. 

When stripping flies, look for a beach with a sandy bottom. The lake bottom in these zones is smooth and soft. In rocky areas, the lake bottom is jagged and snaggy. If you’re stripping flies along the bottom of a rocky beach, it won’t be long before you donate a few flies. Try stripping flies like the Pyramid Lake Beetle in Dark Lord or the Pyramid Lake Bugger in Northern Lights. Flies with some flash are good since it may help entice a chase or strike from fish.

Flies We Suggest: Holo Midge, Micro Midge, Pyramid Lake Beetle, Booby, Pyramid Lake Bugger, Balanced Leech

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