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Pyramid Lake Cutts tantalize Derby anglers

By Frank Galusha
01/25/13 -- Fishing for Pyramid Lake's enormous cutthroat trout was quiet last weekend from both boat and the shore, according the Valarie Taylor at the Crosby Lodge, but it picked up enough on Tuesday to make upcoming derby anglers salivate.

Robert Black, Pyramid Lake 18 lb. 8 oz. Cutthroat, black fly, North Nets, Crosby Lodge, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Robert Black nailed this 18 lb. 8 oz. beauty on Tuesday, while using a black fly near the North Nets -- total length was 32.75 inches!! Photos courtesy of Crosby Lodge

If fish like the one above aren't enough to shake you out of your winter doldrums, nothing will. But if you are like me, a photo like this gets me moving, which happens to be a good thing since the 26th Annual Crosby Lodge President’s Day Fishing Derby is just two weekends away. If things work out right I may get the chance to go, and it will be a first, so I went looking for tips from anyone who was willing to share.

Taylor says several hundred anglers fish this derby each year, which actually spans two weekends, this year that falls on February 9 and 10 and February 16 and 17. The registration fee is $80 and you can register now by email at the Crosby Lodge website, crosbylodge.net or by calling 775-476-0400.

Dinner will be provided Saturday February 16th from 4-7 p.m. for all registered entrants. There is a $12 donation expected for non-registrants. A Free Derby Hat comes with each registration as well. The deadline for registering is Saturday February 9 at noon and Saturday, February 16 at noon. Final weigh-in is 4 p.m. on Sunday February 17.

The event is sponsored by Sierra Sport & Marine, the Winkel Family Automotive and Marine and Crosby Lodge.

Matt Lyons, 14 lb, 10 oz. Cutthroat, Warrior Point, Pyramid Lake, camo fly, Crosby Lodge, MyOutdoorBuddy.com.
Matt Lyons got this 14 lb, 10 oz. Cutthroat at Warrior Point with a camo fly. This fish measured 32.25 inches but check out that girth!

So how do you fish Pyramid? Well, hundreds of anglers fish it from shore from ladders but a great many also fish it from a boat. That will be my choice as sitting on top of a ladder doesn't appeal to me.

Chris Grellman, former guide at the lake with Hog Charters, gave me a few valuable fishing tips for those who expect to fish from a boat. Of course, much depends on weather conditions, which can change in a heartbeat on Pyramid but right now, Grellman says the bigger fish are being caught off ledges, down about 15 feet in water 20 to 30 feet deep. He says it's not unusual for boaters to catch 10-12 fish in the 22 to 23 1/2 inch range. "And these are tough, hard-fighting fish. They can give a good fight and swim off just as though taking on a hook, line, sinker and everything else we can throw at them is no big deal."

Grellman fished the lake today but only caught six, so he didn't think it was nearly as good as he'd done on other days but those he caught were still very respectable, in the above range and out of the "slot." The slot sizes are a bit unusual so you better have a tape measure handy or one of those fish measuring decals stuck on the boat somewhere. Keepers can be 17 to 20 inches or over 24 inches. All other sizes must be returned to the water. You may keep two of the smaller sizes or one small and one large. I forgot to ask whether or not these cutts are great eating but I imagine they are good if you like trout.

So what else did Grellman recommend if you were planning to fish from a boat this week? He favors medium sized Apex trolled up to 2.2 mph or U20 Flatfish trolled as slow as possible, maybe around 0.5 mph. Most guys use downriggers but Deep Sixes are also popular and so are good old fashioned two-ounce banana weights. Grellman uses a #2 treble hook on his Apex but just remember you have to pinch the barbs down -- in Pyramid they give the fish a fighting chance whether they need it or not. As for line, Grellman prefers 20 lb. Berkeley Fireline with fairly short green or black Maxima leader. Even with 20#, the bigger fish are often lost. That should tell you a lot about their stubbornness and willingness to head toward the bottom. Grellman described it as though the cutts try to glue themselves to the mud.

Pyramid has had a lot of fog lately, which means you better have good electronics in the boat including a GPS and a marine radio. When the wind comes up it comes up fast and the rollers can be just several feet apart. A good check of all equipment including a trial run with the boat on some other water would be a good idea especially if your rig has been stored for a while as mine has. There are some more rules to be obeyed, too...see the Paiute Tribal website and boat permits costing $9 per day per person are required plus a $1 administrative fee. Lodging costs from $60 to $195 per night depending on availability plus tax. Lunch runs around $8 to $12 per person and dinners are in the $13 to $19 range. There is a Verizon tower nearby so if internet access is important, you should be able to communicate, just don't rely on your cell phone while on the lake. That's why they recommend a marine radio. If you want more details, call the above number and ask for Valarie. She seems to be on top of the action and is very helpful.


Fishing Reports

Smaller trout to be planted in 2015
 There will be larger broodstock trout planted, but the majority of trout will be 8 to 10 inches rather than 12-inch fish. Photo courtesy of NorCalFishingNews.com
By Tim Goode, NorCal Fishing News
12/20/14 -- Get that two-pound test line loaded on to your reel, the Department of Fish & Wildlife next year will be planting ¼-pound trout rather than 1/2-pounders. The DFW will raise and plant 1.6 million pounds of trout...Full Story
Lake Oroville up 45; fishing still good
The author with his family, wife Jean, Emily the cat and Mya the dog. Photo courtesy of Oroville Lake Bass Guide Service
By Ron Gandolfi, Oroville Lake Bass Guide
12/20/14 -- It looks like a lot of our wishes are coming true. Lake Oroville has now risen over 45 feet since Thanksgiving and is now just 14 feet below the ramp at Lime Saddle to open. The ramp on the dam is now closed... Full Story
Steelhead are coming ­-- get your gear ready
 Rich Hutcherson of Harbor caught this 14-pound chrome-bright steelhead while plunking a cop car-colored Hot Shot on the Chetco River on Tuesday. Photo by author
On the Water in Oregon by Larry Ellis
12/19/14 -- Last week, with a palette of a coke-bottle green river water painted against a grassy canvas of milky-green hues, the Chetco, with its picture-perfect plunking water beckoned throngs of anglers to cast...Full Story
BDCP Delta Tunnels: Fatal flaws remain
Sacramento River Delta, Restore the Delta, RTD
12/19/14 -- Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels said today the Bay Delta Conservation Plan would still take water from above the Delta, violate the Clean Water Act and doom salmon...Full Story
Steelhead no show on the Smith, Chetco
Kenny Priest author badge for myoutdoorbuddy.com
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
12/18/14 -- Go figure. We’re in the middle of the wettest December we’ve had in three years and the steelhead on the Smith and Chetco Rivers have decided to play a little hide-n-seek. Granted, there hasn’t been a ton of fishing effort... Full Story
Learn to ice fish at Lake of the Woods
Participant’s in the 2013 ice fishing workshop get some pointers on different lures and how to rig them up. ODFW photo
12/17/14 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will show anglers how to make the best of snowy, icy conditions at a Jan. 24, 2015 Family Ice Fishing Workshop on Lake of the Woods near Klamath Falls. According to Mark Newell...Full Story
Trinity and Smith Rivers take center stage
John Pearl with a North Coast steelhead, Dave Jacobs
In-River Fishing News by Dave Jacobs
12/17/14 -- There are a few river fishing options for you to choose from here in the North State with the Trinity and Smith Rivers taking center stage. If you find yourself looking for some fishable water definitely give these two rivers...Full Story
Invasive Loach on the Loose in CV
Invasive 'Loach', photo by USFWS
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO 
12/16/14 -- While invasive species are now commonplace in California, each new introduction of a non-native species can pose unknown threats to an already fragile ecosystem. Wildlife officials are now on alert... Full Story
'Get paid to fish' derby returns to Topaz
Topaz Lodge 2015 Trout Fishing Derby
By Mike Mogler
12/13/14 -- Dave Rossman, manager of Topaz Lake Store, reports the annual “get paid for fishing derby” starts as usual on January 1, 2015, New Year's Day, and will end on April 12, 2015 with a fantastic drawing... Full Story
Yes Virgina, fish bite in the rain
Mark Gasich of Harbor holds a 22-inch rainbow trout that weighed precisely 3-pounds 10 ounces, caught on a tube jig/PowerBait trout worm combo., Photo by Larry Ellis
On the Water in Oregon with Larris Ellis
12/13/14 -- With all of these windy and rainy conditions, it would highly behoove fishermen to take advantage of some of the great trout fishing that local-area lakes have to offer. For instance, in November I spoke about fishing...Full Story
North State fishing takes a break
 Jason Vallotton of Redding. with a chunky Sacramento River rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Mike Gadberry
By Jeff Goodwin
12/12/14 -- This week’s winter storms have left our local Rivers and lakes virtually un-fishable. The much needed rains have caused a rise in water levels unlike we've seen here in the Sacramento River valley for several years...Full Story
Sacramento River next option: Sturgeon
John Rinaldi of Mountain View with a Sacramento River white sturgeon. Photo courtesy of Dave Jacobs Professional Guide Service
In-River Fishing News by Dave Jacobs
12/11/14 -- One of the strongest storms in many years is bearing down on Northern California at the time of this report. With the strong winds and heavy soaking rains, many rivers and lakes are going to be unfishable for a... Full Story
Fishing/hunting licenses make great gifts
2014 Western Oregon elk raffle tag winner.  ODFW photo.
12/10/14 -- Hunting and fishing licenses and tags, parking permits, 2014 Habitat Conservation stamps and more are on sale just in time for holiday gift giving. They are on sale on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wild... Full Story
River restoration highlights on video
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/08/14 -- Sometimes river habitats need a helping hand to alleviate critical bottlenecks that reduce fish survival and limit the size of fish populations. Well-designed habitat restoration projects that draw on research to address the needs... Full Story
San Diego Jam Knot: My Fishing Buddy!
By Frank Galusha
12/04/14 -- It’s frustrating when the fish are biting furiously, time is short and you are in a hurry to tie a hook, swivel or lure to monofilament. I found this to be particularly true when I was fishing on a party boat for albacore. It was not...Full Story
Hyacinth Woes: From a gift to a curse
Invasive weed, Hyacinth, photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/01/14 -- In 1884, the visiting Japanese delegation to the World's Fair in New Orleans handed out a seemingly innocuous gift to fair attendees. This gift, a beautiful flowering aquatic plant native to South America, was brought... Full Story
All Fired Up
Wild trout, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
11/30/14 -- August 17, 2013 the Rim Fire was sparked by a thoughtful bow-hunter using an illegal campfire, which got out of hand, and eventually grew to 257,314 acres, the largest wildfire in the recorded history of the Sierra Nevada...Full Story
Comparing PC’s Commercial Fisheries
Salmon fising boats, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
11/24/14 -- Earlier this year, we reported on the economic contribution of California's salmon fishery in a two-part Fish Report (Putting A Price Tag On Nature, Part 1 and Part 2). Our findings came as a surprise to many of our readers... Full Story
Steelhead at Thermalito Afterbay
Theremolito Afterbay, Bobby Larson, FFF Sporting Goods, Paradise
By Chuck Giles
11/22/14 – I received several reports this week at Fins, Fur and Feather Sports (FFF) of landlocked steelhead being caught on the Wilbur Road section of the Thermalito Afterbay. Shore anglers were drifting nightcrawlers...Full Story
DeSabla Reservoir a viable option By Chuck Giles
11/22/14 – Prior to this welcome rain, several patrons at Fins, Fur and Feather Sports (FFF) in Paradise reported that DeSabla Reservoir was kicking out some brown trout. Right now, with Lake Oroville virtually inaccessible... Full Story
Bottomfish anglers get knuckles rapped
pacific Halibut
Tom Marking GAP Sport Representative
11/20/14 -- We North Coast rockfish anglers are a victim of our own success! 2014 has been an eventful year for many reasons, but there are definitely winners and losers on the horizon. In a nutshell, halibut is a win/lose... Full Story
Ocean primed for more El Niño, experts say
Dr. Jess Carilli samples a Porites coral in Kiribati. Photo by Jess Carilli
11/20/14 -- The ocean is warming steadily and setting up the conditions for stronger El Niño weather events, a new study has shown, according to an article posted at Science Daily. A team of US, Australian, and Canadian researchers... Full Story
Trout still on tap
Mt. Shasta taken from Wagon Creek Arm of Lake Siskiyou. Photo by Scott Caldwell
By Gary Heffley
11/18/14 -- Just because the general trout season for rivers and streams closed a few days ago, it does not mean the North State trout angling is done. To the contrary some of the best fishing of the year is still on tap... Full Story
One thousand bass on Lake Oroville
Howard with one of 1000+ bass taken at Lake Oroville.
By Chuck Giles
11/17/14 – “It was just something to do so I could say I did it.” This is how my friend, Howard, summarized reaching his goal of catching 1,000 bass this year at Lake Oroville. He is not a guide, not a fanatic nor a...Full Story
Another broken fishing rod
Fishing with a broken fishing rod, photo by Sharon Waranius
By Gary Heffley
11/17/14 -- I don’t understand the propensity for the volume of “broken” fishing rods being returned to retailers these days. This issue has become a very popular topic of discussion within the industry, including a great piece in a... Full Story
Shasta Lake spots: You might be surprised
Pictured  is Jared Gadberry of Fortuna, Ca. with a 4+ lb Shasta Lake Spotted Bass.
By Jeff Goodwin
11/15/14 -- Fall is in full swing here in Shasta County, and that means there are many fishing opportunities here on local waters. Now we all know that we are in the midst of severe water shortages, and it shows in our local lakes, rivers, and... Full Story
Congressional action threatens CV fishery By Frank Galusha
11/12/14 -- There has never been a time when our fish have been more threatened than now, according to Water4Fish, organized several years ago to oppose Central Valley water policies that damage the highly valuable Bay...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Fish and Fukushima
Erin Loury, FISHBIO, radiation counts on Tuna fish
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
10/27/14 -- The largest-ever discharge of radionuclides into the ocean from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011 prompted many health concerns. However, as we described in our previous...Full Story
What is a weir? When were they first used?
Willow Creek Weir, October, 2008, Frank Galusha
10/25/14 -- Did you know fishing weirs in several locations are used to capture and monitor adult salmon runs as they migrate upriver in the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Placed across all or part of a river, weirs direct upstream swimming...Full Story
Swimming in a radioactive sea
Photo courtesy of FISHBIO, radiated seas, Erin Laury
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
10/21/14 -- More than three and a half years have passed since a tsunami severely damaged Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in March 2011, but some concern and confusion still persist... Full Story
Best bets for Southern Oregon fishing
Man holding fish, Upper Rogue , Jason Halep
By Jason Haley
10/16/14 -- After a long, dry summer, drought has taken its toll on Southern Oregon fishing destinations. Popular spots like Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie and Emigrant are essentially puddles. I exaggerate, of course,...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
The Myths and Realities of El Niño
Ocean Nino Index - ONI
By Jan Null, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
06/01/14 -- [Posted with permission of the author and Golden Gate Weather Services] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues their El Niño Watch for the possible return of El Niño later this summer or fall...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
First Light
Boats in the harbor alight at night with a soft wake from a departing boat
Article by Matt Goldsworthy
03/04/14 -- Reprinted with permission of HASA (Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers) – Light is one of the most important factors to consider when fishing deep water. Over the years while fishing for Pacific halibut, we have always... Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story
Oregon’s Lost Creek Lake is open all winter
By Cindy Broadwater
01/11/14 – Many outdoor enthusiasts may not be aware that Lost Creek Lake, Marina & Café near Trail, Oregon is open year ‘round. Not only is it the best bet for winter fishing and boating, but it may be the only game in town at times...Full Story
Sturgeon tagging requirements changed
DFW photo Harry Morse
01/01/14 -- California sturgeon anglers will see a small change to sturgeon tags issued beginning today. Sturgeon anglers have been required to tag all retained legal sized sturgeon for many years. In the past, the date, location and length... Full Story
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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