*All of these techniques are covered thoroughly in our Pyramid Clinics – see “CLINICS” page for more info
The first technique for fly fishing from shore with “Shooting Heads”was a lead core shooting head with “Amnesia” monofilament as a shooting line. This allowed the flies to sink to the sandy bottom where they could be retrieved to coax these giant cutthroat to grab. As time passed the fly line technology improved. Jim Teeny developed the first “Integrated” type of shooting head. His original design was and still is a one piece fly line that is not “welded”. These lines come in several weights that are measured in grains. The most popular and useful lines at Pyramid Lake are the Teeny T-200 through the T-400. Many anglers prefer the TS- 250 and TS-350, which have a longer sinking head.
It is very beneficial to vary the retrieves throughout the day. There are definitely certain retrieves for the different situations that occur at Pyramid. The direction of the cast can be critical along with rod position, speed, and tempo of the retrieve. All of these retrieves are covered in our Pyramid Lake Clinics (see Clinics page). Remember to think of it as “retrieving” not “stripping”.
One of the most common fly patterns is a black wooly worm with a red tail however, the use of different colored wooly buggers like purple & black, white, and chartreuse are also effective . Perhaps the best producing fly for this shooting head technique is the original white/chartreuse Popcorn Beetle. Because Tui Chubs are the base food source of these monster Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, Tui Chub patterns are an excellent choice. Some great Tui Chub patterns are the “Stanley Streamer”, and the “Clouser Minnow”.
* In the examples below, the top set up is straight 15 lb. Seaguar Fluorocarbon, the bottom set up is 15 lb. Seaguar Fluorocarbon to the first fly, and 12 lb. Seaguar Fluorocarbon to the second fly (yellow label).
True “Intermediate” lines or “Hover” lines as they are called today can be a very effective way to fish nymphs and pupa at Pyramid Lake. There are times when the fish are in the top of the water column or in 4 to 6 ft.of water. Along with this when the waves get big the intermediate line cuts the waves a bit and becomes a great choice of lines. It is important to keep good line control (tight line). We have been using the old school intermediate lines at Pyramid Lake since the late 1970’s and they are still very effective today.
“Floater no Cator”©
The “Floater no Cator”© technique is very productive. It allows the angler to have a very sensitive sense of line control along with the feel of the fish actually taking the fly! It does take a much higher skill level skill to be consistent with this method. Again the retrieves should be varied according to the conditions. This is a great way to cover more water. This method is usually not done from a ladder. The leader construction is determined by the depth of the water and the wind/water currents. For more information on this outstanding technique see John Barr’s book “BARR FLIES” pages 6, 7, & 8.
Some of the best patterns for this technique are Red Copper Johns, Zebra Copper Johns , 49ers, and Tigers. See the “Flies Page”. In the “Gallery” you will notice that these flies are in the noses of some of these giants!
In the example below the leader is straight 12 lb. Seaguar Fluorocarbon (yellow label).
This method is very effective and poplar at the lake. It allows the fly to hold at a measured depth for an extended amount of time. With the fly in the “zone” longer it gives the angler a great opportunity for success. When using an indicator (Depth Control Apparatus) DCA, it is usually best to give it some action, especially when the water surface is calm. When the waves come up they will give the “cork” some beneficial action. One good thing about the use of an indicator is when it is set up right, a first time or inexperience angler can be very productive. When da bobba go down- SET !
The use of ladders at Pyramid Lake has become very popular over the years. The first attempt at this was done with milk crates however, because they stuck in the sand were quickly prohibited. Today at Pyramid you can see some very extravagant ladders with swivel chairs and wheels. The ladders with chairs give you much needed back support and make it very comfortable for anglers to fish for long periods of time. They will help keep you above the big waves when they develop. I recommend not to use a standard ladder because they are very uncomfortable and can fatigue your lower back ruining your day on the water. At Pyramid Lake Guide Service we provide the best chair ladders available.
“No Ladder Wading”
Fishing without a ladder can be extremely effective because when angling from your feet you can get great line control .
The use of “no ladder” wading has unfortunately been overshadow by the use of ladder fishing. “No ladder” fishing has some advantages such as, line control, hook setting, and a low profile when casting a shadow. Shadows Spook Fish !
* ALL ARTWORK AND TEXT ARE COPYRIGHTED ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2015 Doug Ouellette
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