The Novelist Hammond Ines said “He who lets the sea lull him into a sense of security is in very grave danger.”
I believe this statement holds very true to what I consider my home waters of Pyramid Lake. Pyramid is surrounded by land, has no inlet or outlet to the ocean. But the conditions it can throw at you are very much ocean like at times.
Pyramid Lake is 30 miles long, is almost 9 miles wide and has a long standing history of putting those who do not respect it’s power in real danger, life threatening danger.
This post comes just days after 2 fisherman took a water craft onto the lake during what the weatherman called for as 27 mph winds. Now I wasn’t present on this day but from what the news and those who were on site said, 2 helicopters and several rescue vehicles were dispatched due to them capsizing sending one individual who was clinging to the craft more than a mile off shore, while the other gentleman was found treading water a ways from the beach.
These two guys were extremely lucky to leave the lake with their lives. Pyramid isn’t your small high mountain lake or the reservoir you can casually kick around on your float tube. Getting blown across Knott Creek on your float tube means you might have to walk a half a mile back to camp. Being blown across Pyramid means you may never come home to see your family.
I hate to be so negative, but I think this topic needs to be brought up while the season is just heating up. This season has already shown that the amount of fisherman out trying to catch a trophy Lahontan Cutthroat has increased dramatically. What that means is there will undoubtedly be more and more people visiting the lake that do not understand how to read the winds, know to look towards the North for dust and in general know when the hell to get back into shore before it’s too late.
We all do our best to try and educate those we see out there that might not be familiar with the lake. But I’ve already seen several conversations on different social media sites where “out of towner’s” were getting into heated debates about using what most locals would consider “unapproved” water craft on the lake. The visiting teams always mention that they row a drift boat on some gnarly rivers or that they’ve been using float tubes longer than we’ve been alive.
All that is well and good, but even the best rower and float tuber wouldn’t consider using those pieces of equipment out on the open ocean for any given length of time and I feel that is how people have to look at Pyramid Lake. On calm days it’s like glass out there, when the weather turns I’ve have 4 foot waves breaking over my knees while sitting atop my ladder chair.
If you are unfamiliar with the lake I’d highly recommend hiring a guide to help you out. There are a handful of boat guides that will take you out trolling or jigging, but if you are looking to fish from shore and have never done so or it’s been awhile since you’ve been out, here are 3 guides we personally know and recommend. We have all had trips with these guys and they are some of the most knowledgeable and friendly dudes out there. All three also have clinics and classes about how to fish Pyramid Lake if a full blown guide trip isn’t what you are looking for.
Gilligan’s Guide Service
You can also find the links to their sites on our Blogroll.
So I guess this post is basically just a rant about being safe out there. If you see someone who might be about to make a bad decision, give them a friendly heads up. It’s their choice to listen to you or not, but at least you made the effort.
Fishing has really picked up lately. This week we have cooler temps and some rain in the forecast. So hopefully that will mix the lake up a bit and bring the trout closer to shore. But last week was pretty consistent and it’s only going to get better.
So stay safe and keep those lines tight!