by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
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My first trip to Eagle Lake would be with my good friend Russ Smith, a fine fisherman and great fishing companion. We have taken in many fishing adventures together before and have been talking about this trip for over a year now. With hearts full of anticipation, we decided to take the challenge and promise of some of the best rainbow fishing Northern California. After a 13 hour drive with boat in tow, we made it to Eagle Lake RV Park at 3am in the morning, and a 5am wakeup call with our guide for the day. We thought since we didn’t know much about the lake we would use a guide, this was not a good idea and will tell you more about that later.

I have heard and been told for many years that I should take a trip to Eagle Lake in Northern California. The stories of monster rainbow trout that never give up fighting even after you’re able to put them into the net seemed to be more myth than legend in my mind until I was able to sample these fish for myself. The days of fish up to 10 pounds might be long gone and in the past, however I am here to tell you that these fish fight harder than any fresh water fish I have ever seen and they do not give up at all. They are the hottest and strongest fish and I can’t wait to go back to Eagle Lake for another shot at these beautiful fish. These fish average at 18” or better and many fish in the 25” range. 4X tippet the norm.
Day one we were greeted by winds over 20mph and waves up to 3 feet high in the middle of the lake. Our guided trip that lasted until 3pm was certainly not what we expected. He moved the boat a total of two times in nine hours of our fishing time and this was not in any way stretch or form in my mind working very hard for your clients. It was the first and the last time I will ever hire a guide and we will leave it at that. We boated a total of 15 fish between the two of use, many over the 18” mark. My friend Russ said that I looked like I needed to be placed on suicide watch because I was very disappointed. Russ ended up with 10 fish to net, I ended up with 5. He taught me a lesson the first day but you can’t keep a good many down for very long. We went to bed at 7pm and looked forward to the next day of fishing.

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My first trip of the year to Pyramid Lake

by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
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There is something about this lake that just tugs at my soul. The last remaining remnants of old Lake Lahontan that has been around for over 80,000 years and still to this day looks very prehistoric to me. It just feels like every single time you visit this lake you are part of its ancient history and this gives me chills throughout my whole body, and of course the fishing is pretty special too.
My trip started by myself leaving Riverside on Wednesday, March 24th and making my 9 hour journey up through the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain range with my destination being just 30 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. This is where the great Pyramid Lake awaits all fly fishermen wanting to catch a 10, 15 or 20 pound trout on the fly. On my scenic drive up the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains I noticed this year we have a great snow pack and this is great news for all of us fly fisherman for the fast approaching opening season coming up in the end of April.
I arrived at 1 a.m. to the greeting of 40 mph winds, which were blowing me all around the road on the way up starting in the Mammoth Lakes area. I quickly set up my bed in the front seat of the passenger’s side of my truck and fell fast asleep. At 4:30 a.m. the outside window knocking awoke me and my friend Ernie Walsh invited me into his trailer to find another great friend, Greg Sano, wiping the sleep from his eyes. The first words out of his mouth were, “you woke me up when you arrived” and for that I apologized and was greeted with a cup of hot coffee and a hot sweet roll. We were about to embark on our journey for the day of fishing Pyramid Lake from ladders.

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