Trip Report Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

VanAllen

www.riverforged.com
#1
A cold spring with lots of runoff late into the season meant we would only be blind casting to the occasional cruising fish. That didn't sound so bad, and despite the obvious disadvantage that we might have over the standard conditions of gin-clear water and abundant moving targets, our goal of catching a single (first ever) Lahontan Cutthroat seemed like a reasonable bet.

My wife and I worked the shoreline with large articulated streamers for most of the morning. I was using a sinking line, poly leader, and eventually a floating line on both the 6wt and 8wt setups we were using. My wife got some good double haul practice with the gusts of wind (we both did for that matter). Eventually we settled on floating lines and were feeling more confident in our presentations. We worked our way down to an area that was a more sheltered sort of bay. Something just felt right, and I was mentioning to Beth that there HAD to be fish moving through right here. On my next cast, I had a fish on. She grabbed the net and in moments, I was holding my first Lahontan Cutthroat. Mission accomplished. The fish was a bright female of about 17". We both went back to our fishing with a sense of purpose and renewed concentration. About 5 minutes later, I look over and Beth has a fish on! She brought it to the net, and we found a smaller, but more colorful fish than the first!

The next fish took some time, but we were happy campers at this point, so the slow fishing wasn't a damper on our spirits in the least. My next fish hit hard and rolled, showing me that it had some size and color. While I know that there are much larger fish around, I was thoroughly impressed by this 21" Male. He had a huge jaw and awesome coloring.

I caught 2 more less note-worthy fish however, the last one that day was a fun exchange. At some point in the afternoon I had adopted a varried retreival; fastfastfast, pause, slow...slow...slow...pause, fastfastfast... etc. Previously, I had noticed a couple of fish follow my fly right up to within 6 feet of the edge of the lake (just on the edge of our visibility) and then flash as they turned away. The next fish that did this actually took a swipe at my fly as it retreated, but missed. I quickly lifted and threw a cast back out. I stripped quickly a couple of times then let is sink just beyond the point where we could see. The moment I began to strip back, the fish hit.

Overall, great trip. Looking forward to giving it another try, hopefully with clear water and if we're lucky, the fish will still be cruising around before summer arrives. @troutpocket @triploidjunkie thanks for the pointers

beths lahontan cutthroat.jpg
bethstrippingstreamers.jpg beth with a fish.jpg releasing.jpg lahontancutthroat male 01.jpg lahontan tail.jpg
 
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#2
Nicely done! I stopped last night. First time back in a couple months. The water is dirtier and higher than I've ever seen it. I started casting out into ten feet of water, but didn't find any fish until I waded out knee deep and cast parallel to shore, even slightly behind me. I was hoping to catch a mayfly hatch, but it was too windy for risers.
 
#6
I'm thinking of doing Omak when I'm at Dry Falls/Lenore this weekend. The weather report frankly looks abysmal, probably wind and freezing cold all weekend. Any advice for Omak, or for that matter Lenore, Dry Falls, Lenice? I'd like to cut down the options if there's no chance of scoring somewhere. Also if anyone is planning on going, it would be great to hear from you or meet up! I fished just about all the lakes in the region in the late 80s (except Omak, I could barely afford a nonresident license and gas on a graduate student stipend) and I'm excited to see what's changed. I hear that Lenore is way down off the glory days and Dry Falls has been spotty lately. Recalling catching those 6-8 pounders at Lenore makes me sad, I heard there are no fish that big left. Also about the a-holes caught gill netting them. Sounds like they probably killed a big chunk of the population :(
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#7
I'm thinking of doing Omak when I'm at Dry Falls/Lenore this weekend. The weather report frankly looks abysmal, probably wind and freezing cold all weekend. Any advice for Omak, or for that matter Lenore, Dry Falls, Lenice? I'd like to cut down the options if there's no chance of scoring somewhere. Also if anyone is planning on going, it would be great to hear from you or meet up! I fished just about all the lakes in the region in the late 80s (except Omak, I could barely afford a nonresident license and gas on a graduate student stipend) and I'm excited to see what's changed. I hear that Lenore is way down off the glory days and Dry Falls has been spotty lately. Recalling catching those 6-8 pounders at Lenore makes me sad, I heard there are no fish that big left. Also about the a-holes caught gill netting them. Sounds like they probably killed a big chunk of the population :(
Maybe your sources for Lenore are more informed than mine or me. There are still some very nice trout in Lenore, unless of course a 30-inch trout isn't that big? :rolleyes: As to overall population, that's something that is also up for discussion. There were a lot of trout in the feeder stream three weeks ago. However, I do share the opinion that the overall population of trout in the lake is down.
A cold spring with lots of runoff late into the season meant we would only be blind casting to the occasional cruising fish. That didn't sound so bad, and despite the obvious disadvantage that we might have over the standard conditions of gin-clear water and abundant moving targets, our goal of catching a single (first ever) Lahontan Cutthroat seemed like a reasonable bet.

My wife and I worked the shoreline with large articulated streamers for most of the morning. I was using a sinking line, poly leader, and eventually a floating line on both the 6wt and 8wt setups we were using. My wife got some good double haul practice with the gusts of wind (we both did for that matter). Eventually we settled on floating lines and were feeling more confident in our presentations. We worked our way down to an area that was a more sheltered sort of bay. Something just felt right, and I was mentioning to Beth that there HAD to be fish moving through right here. On my next cast, I had a fish on. She grabbed the net and in moments, I was holding my first Lahontan Cutthroat. Mission accomplished. The fish was a bright female of about 17". We both went back to our fishing with a sense of purpose and renewed concentration. About 5 minutes later, I look over and Beth has a fish on! She brought it to the net, and we found a smaller, but more colorful fish than the first!

The next fish took some time, but we were happy campers at this point, so the slow fishing wasn't a damper on our spirits in the least. My next fish hit hard and rolled, showing me that it had some size and color. While I know that there are much larger fish around, I was thoroughly impressed by this 21" Male. He had a huge jaw and awesome coloring.

I caught 2 more less note-worthy fish however, the last one that day was a fun exchange. At some point in the afternoon I had adopted a varried retreival; fastfastfast, pause, slow...slow...slow...pause, fastfastfast... etc. Previously, I had noticed a couple of fish follow my fly right up to within 6 feet of the edge of the lake (just on the edge of our visibility) and then flash as they turned away. The next fish that did this actually took a swipe at my fly as it retreated, but missed. I quickly lifted and threw a cast back out. I stripped quickly a couple of times then let is sink just beyond the point where we could see. The moment I began to strip back, the fish hit.

Overall, great trip. Looking forward to giving it another try, hopefully with clear water and if we're lucky, the fish will still be cruising around before summer arrives. @troutpocket @triploidjunkie thanks for the pointers

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Great photos! Glad you had success!
 

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