Big Cutthroat Trout in the Desert

Since writing these original words, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has passed a motion to close the lake to all activities Monday March 23rd, with no scheduled reopen date. Strange and unprecedented times. The good news is that the giant Cutthroat trout will be healthier and less pressured than ever when "the big salt" opens back up. Be sure to hit up our friends at Pyramid Fly Company to arrange a trip for when it is back open.

We recently made the pilgrimage to Pyramid Lake in Nevada to soak in the desert landscape, hang with some friends, and experience the pull of some big Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Having never been, but heard many stories, we were not sure what to expect and we knew that you usually have to put in some pretty solid time on the water to find a larger specimen. With just a few days to get it done, we were excited to just get one of any size in the net! Luckily for us, the weather was good, we got some great tips from friends and we managed to find more than a couple over 10lbs...

The proportions on a the larger "pilot peak" strain of cutthroat out of the lake are something unique to behold in our experience.

- Garrison Doctor

The generally smaller 'summit' strain of Lahontan also get pretty big and the colors on them can be spectacular.

- Corinne Doctor
A woman holds a trout above the water while it is dripping
A person fishes from a ladder in a lake with mountains in the background

It is a strange scene and surreal fishery, not just due to the size of this terminal lake and its fish in the desert, but also the scene of fisherman who flock from all over the country to try their hand. But where else do you have a decent shot on any given day of landing a Cutthroat well over 10lbs?

A woman holds a large trout in the water
Back to blog


Thanks for this email. Looks like it was an awesome trip. Brightened my day.


Beautiful. Thanks.

Martin Frentzek

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.