Pronghorn Lake Triploids
November 21, 2011
Triploid trout have their gonads burned out, so, like steers, they grow to large sizes and when hooked fight like salmon. I fished for giant triploids on Pronghorn Lake in southern Oregon with Jim Teeny two years ago. It was a slow fishing day in October (with morning temps in the 20s F.) and our total catch (and release) was four fish (all taken by Jimmy) ranging in the 6- to 8-pound range. But as we can see from these photos, Jimmy and English fly-shop owner, writer, and book author Peter Cockwill hit the mother lode on their trip to Pronghorn on Oct. 30 of this year. (Jimmy notes that several 18-pound trout were taken there this seas0n. ) Jimmy's largest rainbow weighed an estimated 13 pounds and Peter's 'bow about 15 pounds.
The 150-acre man-made Pronghorn Lake sits in a rocky valley on Pronghorn Lake Ranch, about 30 miles east of Klamath Falls. Owner Mike Tyrholm manages the lake for trophy bass and trout fishing, but the introduced triploid rainbows provide the most exciting fishing. The lake is relatively shallow (12 feet depth maximum) with wide shallow margins that produce huge populations of large (#12) chironomids and scuds on which the triploids grow to football proportions. The shallow nature of the lake means that it warms to relatively trout-unfriendly temperature in summer, so Mike provides cooler inflows, piped from a mountain tributary, and closes fishing from July through September. (The lake season opens at ice out in April and runs to the end of June, when it closes until October.) Fishing is from your own float-tubes or pontoon boats and lodging (with heating and housekeeping facilities) is provided in two (sleep-three) cottages at lakeside. Fishing costs $165/person daily, and for groups of six $150/person/day, lodging included. For more information, go to PronghornLakeRanch.com.
Jimmy says the Oct. 30 fish were taken on Teeny 6-weight rods, the 13-pounder on his new Phantom 6-weight clear-tip line, using a Teeny Leech in antique gold color. Peter Cockwill took his 15-pound rainbow using a Teeny Mini-Tip line and a Teeny Black Leech. They fished in Creek Company #420 float tubes.
Teeny reports that he and companion Steve Dorn, had their best day of fishing for trophy trout they have ever had, anywhere, while fishing Pronghorn in May, 2011. In two hours they caught 18 triploid rainbows ranging in size from 5 to 9 pounds. They fished original #8 Teeny nymphs modifed with heads tied with white thread. The Teeny nymphs tied with white heads included Teeny patterns Antique Gold, Insect Green and the Natural. Other modifications included the traditional Teeny Nymph tied with various heads of bright blue, red, yellow, orange, or tan (best successes were with blue, orange, or the white heads). The nymphs were fished with a very slow hand-twist rertrieve in the first two inches of the surface using the Teeny Mini Tip lines.