Spring Thaw: Big Fish and Camaraderie

By Charlie Card

One person didn’t found Trout Unlimited. Twelve of them did, with a commitment to work together to preserve a shared passion for fly fishing and a shared commitment to conservation. That same spirit of camaraderie animates TU members today, a point driven home by a recent fishing trip that brought together members and staff representing no less than five TU chapters and four states to savor some of the best and most unique fishing opportunities in the West.

It all started when the High Desert Anglers (a TU Chapter in Vernal, Utah) decided to take their annual “Spring Thaw” fishing trip to Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River. The trip attracted interest from members of the Flaming Gorge/Lower Green River Chapter (Wyoming) and eventually nine anglers made the 11-hour trek west to Reno, Nevada, where they were greeted by members of Reno’s Sagebrush Chapter, who provided friendly suggestions on where to camp and fish at Pyramid Lake and even hosted a pizza party. Other TU members soon joined the fishing extravaganza, including members from the Truckee River and Feather River chapters in California.

All told, the group spent two and half days fishing Pyramid Lake and three and a half days fishing the Truckee River, both of which offer striking desert and mountain scenery and epic fishing. In addition to the chance to mix and mingle with other TU members from across the West, trip highlights included catching and releasing numerous Lahontan cutthroat trout (the legendary “Salmon Trout” in the words of Kit Carson, restored to Pyramid Lake with the assistance of TU members in Utah and Nevada) and rainbow and brown trout in the Truckee River.  The group landed four Lahontans over 10 pounds, including (see photo) this 35-inch, 21-pound monster, as well as a 26-inch brown trout in the Truckee River.

All in all the fishing, the camaraderie, the scenery were all we could have hoped for . . . and more. That’s what TU is all about.

Charlie Card is TU’s Northeastern Utah coordinator for the Sportsmen’s Conservation Project. He lives in Dutch John, Utah.



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