Nevada’s vast mountain ranges provide many opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors. In the summer and fall months most of the ranges are easy accessible by foot. However in the winter heavy snows blanket many of the peaks across the state making another means of access necessary. One very popular way of doing this through the use of snowmobiles. Snowmobiling has been a part of my life since I was a baby, riding around the ranch with my parents. Today I still ride my sled when ever the weather permits.
There are several desirable destinations for snowmobiling in the state. The Sierras in the west, the Jarbidge/ Independence range in the north, and the Rubies in the east that are literally in my back yard. These ranges offer a variety of riding opportunities that will provide riding for all skill levels. Just as the riding opportunities vary so do the snowmobiles that people use to explore these areas. In the past ten years performance has greatly increase in modern sleds. Today factory snowmobiles can have upwards of 180 horsepower and are extremely light weight. With these new advancements people are able to access areas that they were unable to reach years before.
Below is a video I made last season snowmobiling in different areas around Nevada.
The common perception of Nevada is that it is a large, dry, lifeless desert with limited resources. This is understandable and even expected if your exposure to Nevada is passing through on Interstate 80. Venturing away from the main highways and populated areas takes you into Nevada’s best places. One in particular is the Ruby Marshes.
The Ruby Marshes, also know as the Ruby Lake Wildlife refuge is located roughly 5 miles to the south of Wells and is part of a 40,000 acre refuge. Comprised of lush marsh, meadows, and grasslands the refuge is a haven for wildlife of all sorts. Sitting at the foot of the Ruby Mountains, over 200 springs feed the marsh and wetlands providing habitat for fish and waterfowl alike.
Located near the middle of the refuge is the Gallagher State Fish Hatchery. Named after my great grandfather, the hatchery provides fish for the refuge and many surrounding bodies of water. It also serves as a breeding and nesting ground for canvas backs and other migratory waterfowl. The marshes is a outdoors mans paradise offering fishing, hunting, and camping opportunities.
Are there any places off the beaten path that you like to visit?
It has become some what of a family tradition that on Thanksgiving weekend all the men in the family go to Pine Valley and hunt ducks and chukar. This year was no different, Friday morning we loaded up in the truck and headed for Pine Valley. Located 10 miles south of carlin, Pine valley is a ranching community that supports large herds of beef cattle.
Pine Creek runs down the center of the valley and provides stock and irrigation water as well as habitat for migrating ducks and geese. My dad, brother, uncle and I mad a plan for the to split up into pairs, starting at opposite ends of the field we would work the creek till we met in the middle.
Ryan and I started on the north end, sneaking our way from tule patch and open spots looking to jump ducks off the water. We had good luck jumping ducks and when the day was over we had 10 ducks to bring home for dinner.
Do you and your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?
As I said in my last post, I think I need t stick to shooting things. So today I did just that. My friends Preston, JD, Nate, and I woke up at 3 am to head for Stillwater. Well before the sun had risen we arrived at the ramp, threw on the waders, put on the headlamps, and jumped in JD’s john boat. We navigated through the dark, making our way through the scattered tule patches headed for our favorite hole in Tule Lake.
Stillwater Wildlife Refuge is located 14 miles to the northeast of Fallon. It has numerous lakes and caches scattered over a vast area. Some of the bodies of water you are allowed to take boats on, other only walk into, and some are restricted hunt areas. This allows for water fowl to have a sanctuary to feed and rest during their migration to the south for winter.
After scattering the decoys and grassing in the boat we sat and waited for shoot light ( 15 minutes before official sunrise). Once the sun rose we patiently waited for the birds to start moving. Within 10 minutes birds were up and we were able to call some into the decoys. We had a steady hour or so when birds would come in every 10 minutes or so before the movement died down. At around 10 am we decided that there were not enough birds working and not enough hunters to push birds off the water, so we began packing up.
We ended up harvesting 5 birds, far from our limit but they were enough for each of us to get some shooting in and all of us enjoyed the morning hunt.
What activities do you and your friends like to get out and do?
Until next time, get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
My Sierra Nevada fishing escapades continue. After the failed attempt at Pyramid chasing Cutthroat trout we decided to try another fabled water way to the south, the Walker River. We stopped in Fernely for a quick linch and made our way south towards Yerrington.
Since neither of us had ever been there before and being to stubborn to ask for direction we had quite the adventure trying to find the river. We ended up in Schurz, a small indian reservation to the south east of Yerrington. After running all over the areas trying to find the river acces we finally found the dirt road leading to it and made our way toward Weber. Once reaching the river we we slightly let down.
The flow was way down and very little water was coming down. We made our way up river hoping to find more promising water to fish. We found a hole that looked promising and proceeded to fish for about a half hour. After zero bites and no sign of fish we had beer to ease the pain of failure and decided to come home. Sierra Nevada waters have proved to be tough on two Elko boys.
Have you had better luck or have any tips or tricks for these waters?
I think I need to stick to shooting things…….
Early this week my normal fishing buddy Wade and I had come up with the bright idea of driving out to Pyramid Lake early in the morning and trying our luck at some Lahontan Cutthroat. We both have heard the stories and seen the pictures of the massive trout that are taken from the lake but neither of us have ever gone after them before.
So this morning we set out for Pyramid Lake. Our morning got of to a rough start when i got pulled over in Wadsworth for speeding. After getting the ticket we finally made it to the lake and waded into the water with our fly rods and big flys. Traditionionally people fish from ladders that they wade out with to stand on to avoid getting cold. I took a ladder and Wade did not so needless to say I fished much more comfortably.
We tried three separate spots with a menagerie of fly assortments to no avail. None of the other anglers along the shore seemed to be having any luck either. It was a humbling day but a learning experience. I learned some new casting techniques and made friends with a BIA cop. Needless to say we came home bummed out but look to redeem ourselves tomorrow.
Have you ever had great expectations and worked your hardest to fulfill them and it just didn’t pan out? I’ll let ya know how tomorrow goes.
My previous posts have covered a wide variety of topics from fly fishing, to chasing cows. The central idea of my blog has been questioned by some followers so I want to take a chance to clarify the intentions of my blog so that my readers can better appreciate my posts.
Having spent my life growing up in Nevada, I have come to love all that this state has to offer. I love the wide open spaces Nevada has and this blog is dedicated to the ways that I have found to enjoy those spaces and intended to inform others of these opportunities. Here in Nevada we are privileged to have the amount of public land access that we do and we should utilize that access to our fullest advantage.
Whether its hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, or just getting off the couch and going outside, Nevada has something to offer you. In the upcoming posts I will write about our upcoming sheep hunt, more bird hunting, snowmobiling, and much more. If there are any activities you are curious about or would like me to discuss please let me know.