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Top Destination for GIANT Cutthroat Trout

Learn about Nevada’s Pyramid Lake and world-class fishing for cutthroat trout and about the best trout lures for catching these fish.

Denis Isbister has been chasing Lahontan cutthroat trout on Pyramid Lake for most of his life.

The Fallon, Nevada resident began fishing there with family members in his younger days. While he travels all over North and South America to film his show, Wild Fish, Wild Places, Isbister makes plenty of time to fish Pyramid.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

Lahontan cutthroat troutLahontan cutthroat trout

The Lahontan cutthroat are indigenous to Pyramid Lake, which has a high salinity (1/6 that of saltwater) and is uninhabited by most other species of game fish. The world record cutthroat trout of 41 pounds came from Pyramid Lake and was caught in 1925.

While these special cutthroats were almost wiped out at one time, they have rebounded wonderfully thanks to stocking efforts and current management by the Paiute Indian tribe.

During a recent four-day trip with Isbister, Isbister landed more than 100 Lahontans, including several between 7 and 9 pounds and one over 12. He said it’s not uncommon to catch these special fish over 20 pounds, which makes the Lahontans a prize for cutthroat anglers all over North America.

When asked how many Lahontans he thought swam in this 120,000-acre nature lake, Denis simply said, “Millions.”

Tasmanian Devil Lure

Tasmanian Devil LureTasmanian Devil Lure

The Lahontans appeared very aggressive on this trip. They also looked extremely healthy and fought hard. The lure of choice was the Tasmanian Devil, which is made in Australia and sold in the U.S. on The Tassie Devil features a wide swimming action with a compact design.

“The Tassies have the big range of motion with a finesse profile, which drives those trout crazy,” Isbister said.

Tasmanian Devils feature a “line through” design, which means you thread your fishing line through the lure. You then add a plastic bead and tie a single or treble hook. This design allows for awesome hookups and will not allow the fish to have leverage on the lure, meaning they will rarely throw a Tassie. The plastic bead is important, because it keeps the eye of the hook from digging into the lure.

Isbister likes trolling the Tasmanian Devils, fishing some at 150 feet behind the boat and fishing others on planer boards from 40 to 60 feet behind the boat and around 100 feet wide. While all species of trout are attracted to the action of the Tassies, whether cast or trolled, Isbister prefers trolling for Lahontans to cover lots of water on the massive natural lake. Shoreline drops are natural places for Lahontans to search for food.

Isbister typically uses the 26g and 20g sizes of the Tassie and employs the smaller 13g size at times. These are the three larger sizes of the Tassie Devils. His favorite colors are Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Fire Tiger and Pink Panther. Color selection typically depends on water clarity and light conditions.

Pyramid Lake Fishing

Pyramid Lake Cutthroat TroutPyramid Lake Cutthroat Trout

The best time to utilize Tasmanian Devils on Pyramid is between December and February and May and June.

“They’ll work all year long, but the Tassies really do well in those months,” he said.

When fishing Tasmanian Devils on Pyramid, it’s important to remember to pinch down the barbs. Only barbless lures are allowed on this lake. A Paiute tribal fishing permit is also required.

For more information about Pyramid Lake, click here:

Fab Four

Tasmanian Devil Fab FourTasmanian Devil Fab Four

The Tasmanian Devil Fab Four kit allows you to purchase Isbister’s four favorite Tasmanian Devil colors with one click at a significant savings from purchasing all four separately. This selection provides a good starting arsenal for a range of conditions and for gauging fish’s daily mood.