The time has finally come. Time to chase down some monster cutties. For all those fly fishing fiends out there, Pyramid is the holy grail of lake fishing. People coming from all over at a chance to wrangle in one of these prehistoric beasts. Well folks, I'd say this year is shaping up to be one of the lakes best seasons yet. Many fish being caught and more fish of size than years prior. With all of the water that has been flowing in from the Truckee River, raising the lake a wopping 10 feet, it seems as though the whole layout of the lake has changed. Plan on refamiliarizing yourself with the beaches.
As for this 18 lb Pyramid Lake Cutthroat, well he was no easy fish to land. Prepare for a hell of a fight if you get a chance to tango with one of these whaleruses.
I spent all day chucking streamers of all different sizes and colors. Even stripping methods. We had tried different beaches and finally landed ourselves down south. I ended up running into a buddy of mine that told me he had landed a few on the indo, but nothing huge. And while I had been planning on using this setup, that just solidified my decision. I figured, " Ahh what the hell. I'll give it a go." Luckily, I already had my other rod setup in the car. I ran up, got my rod, and was back at it. The wind was ruthless, punching passed it on my 5 weight was no easy task. After numerous casts, I managed to land a smaller cutty. Continuing on as the wind started to die down, I was able to manage an extra 15-20 feet on my cast. "One more cast" I told my buddy Jacob, as it was time to get going. One more led to a few more. "Hey I have to get going", Jacob said, persistent as ever. "Alright, alright, last cast." I told him, as I too had grown tired. Forward, back, forward, back, forward, release. A perfect cast. A couple minutes into my drift, then I saw it. Without warning or a nudge, Boom! My indicator had disappeared, plunging straight into the abyss. Seconds had passed and somehow I was already into my backing. The reel screamed, line surging through the waves. Running left, then right. The whole beach watching, eyes piercing me from both sides. The pressure was on. My time had come, after countless days and hours put into fishing this lake, I thought "This is it, don't let all the hard work go to waste." Run after run, not giving an inch. My arm was now in critical condition. Leaning back, reeling as I leaned forward, the butt of my rod in my chest. Finally after working the fly line in and out of my reel, I had managed to regain most of my fly line. When finally out of the depths, emerged my indicator, following was the largest cutty I had ever laid eyes on. My buddy and I had the same involuntary reaction, "Ohhhhhhhh it's a whale!!". Both of our faces went from stoked to serious in an instant. Excitement turned to focus. By now, everyone had gathered around as I worked him toward shore. Unease. Pure anticipation for the leviathan that was headed my way. 10 feet out, 5 feet, 2, 1, and after all of that, I finally had him in my hands. Time stood still as I scanned the beach, then the lake, taking in all that I could, observant as ever. I wanted to be able to remember that moment for the rest of my life. Everyone's look in their eyes, the water reflecting off the scales of the fish, the smell of the air and water splashing on my face ( so crisp ). They say that there are certain moments in your life where time will slow, things become clear, calm.. I had the honor of experiencing one of these moments. Truly unforgettable. Only to snap back to reality in an instant. Time to capture this moment not only in my mind, but what I like to call backup, aka photos. Trying to grasp him was unreal. It felt like I was trying to lift a bag of concrete up for the camera.
After a short photoshoot (as such a fish deserves), and a few minutes reviving him, he was on his way. Back to his carnivorous ways to become bigger and badder. We can only hope to see him grow to surpass his ancestors. Only time will tell.
What a way to end the day. I am glad I had my good friend and future business partner with me to experience and celebrate in such a spectacular battle. Even if you have places to be, sometimes it is worth taking the time for that last cast.
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