Pyramid Lake Nevada is home to some the big cutthroat trout, in it’s alkaline waters swim the Lahontan Cutthroat, the biggest cutthroat in the World. Sixty pounders once swam in the lake; 41 pounds is the record Cutthroat caught in the 20’s and with the original Pilot Peak strain recently re-introduced into the lake, fish could near the size of their historic cousins. Twenty pounders are now fairly common on the fly and the sky could be the limit in coming years. Pyramid Lake is a unique place to spend time as it is very beautiful and enigmatic. If you have never been you’ll know what I’m referring to once you walk out on the beaches.

In a place that has such unique attributes, the gear and techniques have to match to find consistent success out on Pyramid Lake. Wind is a big issue at the lake, so I choose to fish a faster action rod to achieve maximum distance though high line speed. Anything lighter than a 7wt will not get you out far enough and fish can get up into the mid 20 pound range, so you need to be properly gunned. Creating a perfect setup to meet the needs of this unique fishery can be done in a two handed version or a single handed version.

Two Handed Pyramid Lake Set Up


Sage ONE 7116

This rod offers up plenty of distance to cover the water and reach the drop offs that are beyond 80′. The nice part about a switch rod is that by adding your bottom hand to the cast in conjunction with a long rod you have quite a big lever. This combination lets you launch a pair streamers into the wind, with relative ease, every time.


Sage 4210

Perfect balance on the baby spey rod, sealed drag, and plenty of power to control a running cutthroat.


RIO Outbound Short– Type 6 – 280-350 grains.

When doing over head casting the short head loads the rod and the sink rate is perfect for retrieving buggers and streamers.

Single Handed Pyramid Set up


Sage METHOD 7100 – The additional length of the 10′ 7wt will keep your backcast off the water and the fast action of the METHOD maximizes line speed. Another benefit of a longer rod is that you get more spring out of the additional length and that translates into increased distance.


Sage 4280 – Again, its a perfect light weight balance to the rod which helps to reduce fatigue when wading deep and having to hold your arms up.


RIO Outbound Shorts – Type 6 280- 350 grains Ideal for retrieving buggers and streamers

RIO Indicator line for static line nymphing. The short taper of this line is designed to quickly load up a fast action rod, turn over multiple flies, shot, and an indicator. It mends well so that you can maintain contact with your rig as best as possible when wind drifting.

Matt Koles is a member of the Sage Elite Pro Team and has your covered from wade fishing, drift boat fishing, or chasing monster cutties. More information can be found on hiswebsite.