#37: A Gamble in Nevada Pays off
Elko was one of the only towns on the map along the road through northern Nevada, and was the only one with a fly shop. We looked for a spot only after we finished Utah, and were unable to call before they closed that day. We really needed some information on where to go, so we were hoping for some good advice. We had really learned that local advice was the best, and that this most often hadn't found its way online yet.
We woke up the next morning, and were disappointed to find that the fly shop was closed. Not knowing what to do, we tried calling the number listed on Google, and to our pleasant surprise the owner picked up. He said that shop was closed, but after telling him about what we were doing and he was happy to help. He gave us very detailed directions to a small stream two hours north of Elko that held Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, the Nevada State Fish. We headed that way, and although the van barely made it down the rough and unmaintained road, we arrived at the spot that he told us about, and set out fishing a series of pools created by large beaver dams.
Almost immediately, we could see some small trout moving around, and shortly after Daniel hooked one and reeled it in. The landscape around us was burnt and dry due to forest fires, but you would never know it from the fish that live there. Small but brightly colored and intricately patterned, these were some of the most unique looking trout we caught all trip.
We moved down to the next pool and within seconds I had one on the line, and got it into the net. We made our way back to the car, and got there only half an hour after we left. We couldn’t believe our good fortune, after struggling for so long to catch our first Cutthroat in New Mexico, we had managed four states in a four day span. After driving back to Elko, we reached out to Nick Whitesell, a California resident and fly fisherman who had contacted us a few months back and told us he could help us catch Golden Trout, the California State Fish. He told us to drive to Lone Pine California, and we set off via specular Lake Tahoe.