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Written By: Jim Litchfield, Reno Fly Shop

Hefty Pyramid Lake cutthroat like this are the explanation anglers persevered and developed a inventive resolution for difficult situations.
All pictures by Reno Fly Store

I consider utilizing ladders is a enjoyable and distinctive facet of our fishery right here at Pyramid Lake. It began 40 years in the past, when anglers used submerged milk crates marked by floating duck decoys to present them a lift in deeper water, and ultimately advanced right into a full-blown luxurious merchandise with padded seats, additional rod racks, and even cupholders. Though ladders are certainly useful for sure duties, like several software, in addition they might find yourself being a hindrance in some conditions. I hope to interrupt down the explanations for utilizing ladders, and to present some recommendation about when not to make use of them.  

Standing a number of ft above the lake backside generally is a big benefit beneath the precise circumstances.

The Lahontan cutthroat trout that inhabit the lake are likely to feed near shore in shallow water, usually following alongside the sides of sharp drop-offs to deeper, darker water beneath. These drop-offs happen at differing distances from shore. Whereas seashores on the southern a part of the lake may need drop-offs which might be just a few ft from shore, within the center a part of the lake, the drop-offs will be 100 yards from shore, in water that’s 5 ft deep or extra.

This deeper water is the place ladders are really helpful. Winter water temps can shortly steal your warmth when you’re wading, and wind-driven waves can pop up shortly, probably filling your waders and knocking you off your ft. Ladders can assist hold you heat and dry, safely above these difficult situations. However their most essential profit is arguably serving to to extend your casting distance (in comparison with wading as much as your armpits), permitting you to extra persistently attain the drop-offs the place hungry trout are prone to be cruising.

Shallow seashores will not be often well-suited to ladder fishing.

Seashores the place drop-offs are near shore are areas the place ladders must be used sparingly, if in any respect. Being excessive up on a ladder in shallow water could make it extra possible that the fish see you earlier than you see them, pushing the fish away from feeding areas and even spooking them altogether. I’ve seen many situations the place ladders have decreased fishing success, not only for a person, however for a complete part of seashore. If mobility points or sturdy winds make it essential to arrange a ladder within the shallows, strive shifting it as far-off from the drop-off as potential to reduce your visibility.

Jim Litchfield is proprietor of Reno Fly Shop in Reno, NV.

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