“Home means Nevada, Home Means the hills, Home means the sage and the pine. Out by the Truckee, silvery rills, Out where the sun always shines.”
If you went to elementary school here in this great state then you undoubtedly learned our Nevada State Song and to this day know it by heart.
But growing up here has meant so many different things to me over the years. As the song talks about, Nevada is a beautiful open space with forest, desert, lakes and streams. But as a child with parents that recently moved here from New York City, I didn’t grow up enjoying the outdoors like many of my born and bred friends have.
My family moved to Reno when I was only a year old. My grandfather had moved out west from New York to become a cowboy. My mother and aunt didn’t want to be across the country from their father so both headed out west as well.
My aunt went to California and my parents landed in Reno. My grandfather did buy a piece of land, got himself some “farm” animals, a horse, hat and belt buckle and fulfilled his dream of becoming a cowboy.
So obviously this was a big culture change for my parents and they didn’t fully embrace the outdoor activities offered until much later down the road.
Fishing though was always a past time enjoyed by my father and I. But rarely was it done in the freshwater fisheries in the area. Normally it was reserved for vacations when the family would head back to NY and fish off of Long Island or down in Florida.
About 5 years ago or so Jason and Glenn after much ball busting finally got me out of the house and out to Pyramid Lake were on a cold winter morning I landed my first Lahontan Cutthroat on an ultra light setup throwing spoons. To me at the time that fish was the biggest trout I could have ever imagine catching.
I distinctively remember bugging Jason as soon as he got home to upload to photos he took of me holding that fish so I could post it in all it’s glory for my friends in the social media world to see.
Looking back now the best part of that photo is me trying to grow a creepy mustache for Movember holding my fish in a soaking wet sweatshirt and pants, freezing my ass off.
A few days ago I had a day off from work, the kiddo was at the in-laws house and I had no responsibility, a very rare occurrence these days. So I decided to start my day heading out to the big alkaline lake in search of sea monsters.
I got to watch a beautiful sunrise and landed one cutty before calling it a morning. Lately the bite seems best prior to the sun coming up and as the sun is going down. So rather than grind out hours at the lake I wanted to mix it up a bit.
I traveled back down the familiar two lane highway towards my casa to unload the ever growing pile of gear I take with me when fishing Pyramid. It’s a little much honestly. 2 fly rods, reels, countless fly boxes, sling pack, back pack, waders, hoodie, waterproof shell, ladder chair, enormous landing net…But I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, all of my friends are gear junkies. Let’s just hope our wives never realize what we actually pay for this stuff.
So once the fishing wagon was unloaded I re-loaded it with my river gear. Slightly less bulky than my Pyramid gear, but still 1 fly rod, reel, smaller sling pack, several fly boxes, breathable waders and boots…I have a problem.
Fully knowing that I couldn’t spend the next few hours on the river without some good food to hold me over until dinner, I stopped at my #1 favorite local eatery.
I’ve been going to Yellow Sub on Pyramid and Holcomb since I was about 4 years old. That’s 30+ years and it’s as good as it’s ever been. The reason I mention this is because it’s local places like this that people should go to and support. Awesome food, great atmosphere and Michelle has ran/owned this place since I was that 4 year old kid going in there with my parents since we lived across the street. She still remembers me each and every time I walk in. Go there, get the Yellow Sub with everything, thank me later.
So with a full belly and imagines of brown trout prancing in my head I headed to a spot on the upper Truckee I’m very familiar with and love very much. I know the reports from friends say that out East of town is where the action is right now. But it’s been 6 months since the last time i fished the river due to the severe low water we experienced this summer and this spot in particular has been calling to me for some time now.
I spent the next 3 hours hitting all the holes and runs I’ve caught countless fish in before with no luck. There was an awesome hatch going off but I only saw one rising fish and the little guy didn’t have any interest in what I was throwing.
But regardless of not catching anything, it was really nice to get out on the river again for a change of scenery and capping off a great day fishing two world class fisheries.
I got home that night and spent some quality time with my wife and kiddo. But I really started to think about my day and how lucky we are to live here in Nevada.
In one day I got to cast to world record Lahontan Cutthroat Trout while watching a beautiful sunrise, eat at a spot that no one else in the world could be experiencing at the same time I was. Then fishing the Truckee River which in it’s own right is a world class trout river that humbles some of the best fly fisherman I know on a daily basis.
On top of fishing, there is some amazing hunting opportunities that many of my friends get to experience by living here. I have yet to step into that undoubtedly expensive and addicting hobby/lifestyle. But Glenn does his fair share of big game hunting and our good buddy Crazy Uncle Larry over are Red Legged Devils shares some amazing stories of his bird hunting adventure over at his blog.
So I know tonight after a long day sitting behind a computer screen at work and grabbing the kiddo from day care, driving home I’ll take a few moments to enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounds us and be thankful that my grandfather decided he wanted to be a cowboy and that my mom needed to make family a priority.
By my parents leaving behind all their friends and everything they’ve ever known to drive out West has given me a chance to raise my daughter in a place that she doesn’t have to stare at concrete buildings and only know what camping is from watching cartoons.
I may not be Battle Born, but my daughter sure is and she’ll have a great upbringing and appreciation for the outdoors and all it has to offer because of it.
“Home means Nevada to me”