Matt will share his approach and methods of tying fly patterns for Pyramid Lake. This will include material selection, preparation and tying through the finished fly. You will have the chance to tie along with Matt and will go away with a few flies to fish Pyramid Lake that work the entire season.
Cost is $50 and includes all materials and the use of shop vises/tools (if needed). The class fee will be discounted off the purchase of a premium tying vise from the Reno Fly Shop during the night of the class.
This class is best suited for beginner tyers just starting out or intermediate tyers looking to sharpen their skills. Limited to 6 Students. Registration is on a first come basis.
We wrapped up the 2022 Summer League last weekend. The competitors logged their results over 6 weeks of varied conditions. The weather and water conditions varied greatly week to week. The overall results were slightly lower versus previous season and it is felt that this was a direct result of difficulty (windy) weather conditions seemingly every week.
That being said the anglers made the best of it and just about every one of them at some point put up some good numbers.
And the on to the winners of the 2022 Reno Fly Summer League
Total Inches through 6 Weeks
The big fish isn’t actually part of the league but as anglers it is a statistic we all keep. Here are the top three fish caught during the six weeks.
We want to thank all of the competitors that came out. We truly hope you had as much fun as we did to put it on. We will announce our Fall League towards the end of summer so please keep an eye out to get involved.
Until then have a great summer and we look forward to seeing past and new competitors this Fall.
Fish handling is a critical element of catch and release angling. While trout are hardy and robust, the act of being hooked, fought, landed and released can cause significant stress and the possibility of harm. We have prepared a list of five tips for fish handling in an effort to share what we have found to be some best handling practices. The following tips follow a loose sequence in the process of landing and releasing a fish.
Editor’s Note: The following tips are suggestions on how to catch and release fish with minimized impact. Admittedly we are not experts. We share this content in the hope it is informational and slightly educational. We did draw on some very experienced biologists in preparation of this article. To make it best we could. Also, you will see pictures in support of the copy. The photos that we chose are good examples of the tips we share. It will be very easy to point out pictures that we have shared in the past that don’t have these same qualities. We recognized and own these situations. We hope to be better and do better everyday we go out. Have fun and let’s respect the resources we all enjoy so much!
Carry a Net and Use it
When practicing catch and release, a landing net is important to protect the fish during this critical stage. Not all nets are created equal. A net with either a rubber basket or a rubber-coated mesh is ideal for protecting the outer slime coat on a fish. In protecting the slime coat, fish can be released back into their environment with a reduced risk of infection. According to Travis Hawks, Senior Biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, “coated nets are preferable for catch and release, especially when increased stress occurs from summer water temperatures”. Additionally, Travis shares that the outer slime coating (glycoprotein) is excreted more rapidly when a fish endures stress. If this slime coat is removed, the fish stands an increased risk for infection. Overall, a net with proper bag material means more fish will survive catch and release angling. The nets we offer in the shop all have rubber or coated nylon bags for the expressed purpose of reducing stress on our landed fish.
Keep the Fish Submerged as Much as Possible
After the fish has been landed, you can allow the fish to recover in the net by keeping its gills submerged in water. By keeping the trout in clean, moving water, they can recover more quickly.
During the warm summer months, there is less dissolved oxygen in the river due to increased water temperature. This can make it more difficult for the trout to recover and it might need more time to be able to swim away strongly. These practices become more crucial in the summer when fish are at an increased stress level even before being hooked.
Wet Your Hands & Use the Right Tools
After landing a fish, proper handling is critical. By wetting your hands prior to touching the fish, you reduce your risk of removing the slime coat. This is not any more involved than dipping your hand in the water of which the fish just came from.
Bonus Pro Tip: If you are on a boat or even a ladder and the water isn’t “right there”. It is easy to wet your hand by simply touching the bottom of the net bag the fish is in to dampen your hand before reaching in and touching the fish.
Travis suggested not using tailing gloves when handling fish. He believes these can penetrate and/or remove the slime coat on a fish, increasing risk of infection.
Beyond wetting hands, proper tools for catch and release also improve trout survival. Single barbless hooks are a great way to limit your impact. You can either crimp down a barb on a barbed hook or use hooks manufactured without a barb. Travis shared that “single barbless hooks will cause the least physical harm”.
The right hook removal tool can also quicken the act of hook removal. There can be a lot of options available. Pliers, hemostats, mitten clamps, and even “catch-’em” tools are great options. Small blunt points are helpful when removing hooks from smaller trout.
Bonus Pro Tip: Purpose built tools for fly fishing can serve multiple functions. Flat tipped (non-serrated) tools for mashing hook barbs, rubberized grips for firm contact in your hand, scissors for trimming leader/tippet and lockable grips to attach to tags and clothing when not in use.
Photographing Your Catch
While protecting the fish is important to catch and release angling, taking a photo of a trophy or unique fish is something to be cherished. By taking and sharing photographs of fish, we highlight the wonderful resource and passively advocate for its health and protection. Taking photographs of fish in the water is the least impactful way to document your catch. Often it is possible to photograph fish fully submerged and end up with a unique image.
If removing the fish from the water for a photograph, there are a few things to keep in mind. Travis offered this advice: “when handling a fish, keep the fish in its natural position…cradle it, don’t squeeze it”. Mr. Hawks also noted that it is important not to turn or twist the Caudal Peduncle (for non-biologists this is the wrist, or thin area, just in front of the tail). Unnatural positioning can cause structural damage to the fish.
There are critical organs on the underside of the fish just behind its head. It is best to use one hand to cradle the fish loosely near its pectoral fins with fingers extending along the bottom up towards its head/gills.
When ready to lift a fish for a picture, use one hand to cradle the fish near its pectoral fins with support underneath towards its head and your other hand to circle the wrist (just in front of the tail). One securely holding the fish. Have the photographer ready before lifting the fish.
Hold the gills above water for no more than 10 seconds and then return the fish to the water. It is best to lift and return the fish to the safety of the net. This will allow you to determine when the fish is revived and ready to release.
Revive and Release
The final step to successful catch and release is reviving and releasing the fish back to its habitat. If the previous tips were followed, the fish should be ready to swim back and resume its normal activities of eating bugs and growing big. While many anglers attempt to release the fish into fast water where more dissolved oxygen is found, Travis suggested releasing the fish into water with a moderate velocity and depth available close by. This allows the fish to acclimate and get back into its rhythm. Travis also noted that “if a fish is released into heavy current or riffle structure, the fish must work harder [to hold its position]”.
By utilizing these fish handling tips, we can limit our own impact and reduce post-catch mortality.
Excited to announce registration has opened for our 2022 Summer Fly Fishing League!
This will be our 7th edition of the league and it continues to grow with new and returning anglers. The most consistent feedback we get from competitors is how surprised they are with the amount of fun and community that the they experience. Not to mention having the chance to improve your skills and meet new anglers each and every week!
Competition starts May 7th and runs for 6 consecutive Saturdays until June 11th. We anticipate some periods of high water during this season. We will run the comp unless it is deemed unsafe and or compromising to the angler.
Summer League will meet Saturday mornings at the Reno Fly Shop at 8:00 am. Angler pairings will be selected at random each week, the pairings will then be assigned randomized beats by drawing. We found this approach makes each week a new and exciting experience.
If you are unfamiliar with the League. We assemble up to 20 anglers on Saturday mornings. Randomly draw pairings then randomly assign beats to those pairings. From there the anglers will find their beats determine who goes first and second. Each angler will have 1 hour to catch as many trout as they can and record the length of each fish over 8 inches. Total number of inches caught will go to that anglers weekly total. While one angler is fishing the second angler is there to assist in measuring fish and record length of fish caught. 15 minutes is allowed between heats to allow the second angler the chance to get rigged and ready. Following the two 1 hour heats the pairing returns to the Reno Fly Shop to record results.
The Summer league will have 10 beats with available spots for 20 anglers. Pre-registration fee is $50, which will give you priority access to all 6 Saturdays. If you can’t commit to all of the days, no sweat, drop-ins are accepted on a first-come/first-serve basis and are charged $12/day if you get in. There will be a prize purse for the season’s final podium.
Please call or stop by the shop to pre-register for this season.
Rules are unchanged from previous seasons. Please review these for how things work and what to expect. We will review these each week for new and returning anglers.
Trip Report from Casper Wyoming by RFS staff, Brierley McCubbins
Destination fly fishing often comes with high expectations. We spend hours scrolling through articles, maps and images online. All of the research builds until boarding the plane or loading the car is the last thing you have to do before the fly rod is in your hand.
My trip to the North Platte, guided by the Cowboy Drifters, was no different. As the plane touched down in Casper Wyoming I already had a dream trout in mind and was anxious to get on the water.
The morning of the float from Grey Reef Launch back to the Lusby Access Area, I was nervous, eagerly wanting to begin landing fish. But as the drift boat settled into its place on the glassy wide river, I realized this trip would be about so much more than just putting trout in nets.
Guides can and will make or break trips like these. The ability to connect with your guide on the water will ultimately speak to your overall experience and comfort. That’s why the authentic, rugged and fun heart of the Cowboy Drifters team makes them one of the best outfitters in the Casper area.
Their love for the watershed and its inhabitants was immediately evident. Observing not only fish activity, but also the surrounding natural beauty, the 8 mile drift teamed with life. Bald eagles soared overhead, and quiet deer bedded in the tall grass. Pheasants proudly strolled the riverbanks and muskrat popped up for air.
Not only were the guides genuinely engaged with the environment around them, they were more than ready to do what they needed for that ‘dream’ trout moment.
They tirelessly revisited runs, and identified hotspots, setting you up for trout after trout. Their years of experience and knowledge were passed on as easily as the cold beers from the cooler.
The guide’s relaxed tone dissolved any pressure that can come with lofty trout expectations or the self assigned pressure of fly fishing with a guide. The guides made the day feel like it was ours to be enjoyed and shared with everything around us, and soon enough, trout, smiles and laughter filled the boats.
The fishing itself was hunting for deep pocket water, full of stacked rainbows, or thinner riffles blanketed with bedded browns. Mending line was crucial and the steep canyon walls allowed overhead casts with lots of room. Fish ate the buffet line presented to them, mainly consisting of peach colored beads and small midge.
The North Platte is filled with vibrantly colored wild fish. From golden buttered browns flecked with turquoise and red, to hearty, rich and abundant rainbows these fish prove the west simply does it best.
The guides excitement in landing fish nearly exceeded my own. They are passionate about what they do and the memories they help create. Each fish caught is handled with not only care, but also admiration for it’s life, color and spirit. My obsession with everything about trout was not only shared by the guides but encouraged and fed, allowing me to photograph stunning fish in awe without pressure. It was ensured that each gorgeous fish swam away upright and healthy, to live another day on the great North Platte.
The advice and observations given by the guides allowed room for growth, without being too critical and I truly felt I left the river a better angler.
Our party fished long into dusk, sunlight fading off the canyon walls. As the day came to a close a genuine sadness came over me to leave such a special place.
The guides at Cowboy Drifters helped to create memories I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Fishing the North Platte with my father, brother and uncle reminded me that these moments can’t be bought or sold, but rather they have to be created. I’ll cherish my time on these waters, and with the team at Cowboy Drifters.
I’m leaving Wyoming inspired to live a life brimming with beautiful trout, cold beers, great company and abundant laughter.
To find out more about the Cowboy Drifters Lodge, visit their website at www.wyocowboydrifters.com/
The Reno Fly Shop can coordinate trips both domestically and internationally. If you are interested in a destination or a certain species. We can help you figure out the details. Please swing by or give us a call. Additionally we host international trips several times a year. Christmas Island, Bolivia, Mexico and Mongolia are all options. Let us know if you are interested in learning more info by calling or emailing us here at the shop, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are wrapping up the first two weeks of the Pyramid Lake season and the fishing has been wide open. The conditions are different enough (compared to previous seasons) we thought we would provide a recap and some hints on how we are fishing it and what gear we have found helpful.
We hope you are getting out to the lake and enjoying this fantastic Fall weather. The fishing should get better and better and we hope you find this recap and gear suggestions helpful.
PYRAMID LAKE EARLY SEASON ESSENTIAL GEAR
Gear we like under $50 with free shipping
Early Season Essentials at Pyramid Lake Under $100 with free shipping
Recap of the first two weeks of the Season at Pyramid Lake
The 2021-22 Pyramid Lake season is a few weeks old and we want to provide a quick recap and some suggestions on what gear we have been using at the lake.
This Fall has been a bit different than previous seasons. First off, the surface water temps are in the low to mid 60s. This is the single biggest variable that has adjusted our typical early season approach. Historically surface or near surface temps in early October are in the mid 70s and the trout can be very deep reluctantly coming up to feed and then quickly descending to better conditions. This deep water behavior usually relegates our approach to use float tubes or fish from a boat in very deep water. However with the water temperature in the low to mid 60s we are finding fish shallow and staying up and giving us many more chances from tubes and shore. We have experienced many double digit fish days with quite a few 10 plus pounders mixed in.
We are still predominantly fishing heavy fast sinking lines with stripping flies but have watched quite a few anglers do well on floating lines with balanced leech and chironomids. Enough so that with the recent storms and forecasted cooler temps we will not leave the floating lines at home.
The early season at Pyramid, Oct 1 to Thanksgiving, can provide some of the best fishing conditions throughout the season. Sunny and calm weather allows for boat/ float tube launching to access fish in deeper water . Many of the fish staging in deeper water at this time are putting on weight before the long winter.
This summer is the time to explore the amazing backcountry opportunities we have for fly fishing and adventure. Beat the heat by finding a high alpine lake or stream and cast dry flies, hoppers and balanced leech to hungry eager trout.
If you are looking for suggestions on gear and tactics for some of our regional alpine locations, stay tuned. We have been preparing a bunch of new content that will peel back some of the layers of these high elevation gems that you might not know about.