Adventure Abounds in Reno-Tahoe!

By Quentin Hays

©Credit Reno Tahoe Territory

If you’re an adventurous wildlifer, or just someone who enjoys spending time outdoors in new places, you’re in luck. Beyond an amazing TWS & AFS Joint Annual Conference experience, the Reno-Tahoe area has plenty to offer attendees. Whether you’re toting a fly rod in search of the elusive Lahontan cutthroat trout, bringing your PFD so you can explore the emerald waters of Lake Tahoe on a stand-up paddleboard, or packing your hiking shoes for an early morning stroll on the nearby Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest or along the Truckee River, adventure abounds in Reno-Tahoe this fall!

A ladder is an unlikely accoutrement for the fly angler, but for those in search of one of the largest land-locked salmonids in North America, it might be just the ticket. While the Au Sable River in Michigan or the famed bonefish flats of the Florida Keys might be more recognizable as fly-fishing destinations in the U.S., Pyramid Lake and its famous ladder-based angling for giant Lahontan cutthroat trout are on many bucket lists. At the time of The Wildlife Society’s first Joint Conference with the American Fisheries Society in late September and early October, the fishing for Lahontan cutts at Pyramid Lake will be in full swing, and local fishermen and women will be making the 45-minute trek to Pyramid, just north of Reno. The fishing strategy at this bucket-list destination is to wade far into the lake while carrying a ladder that can be set into the lake bottom. Climbing the ladder provides a sight-fishing vantage for anglers pursuing the huge, piscivorous trout that patrol the lake edge. Luckily for conference-goers, packing a ladder into your checked luggage isn’t necessary, as the Reno Fly Shop can outfit you for a day at the Lake. If you’re a good caster and have a bit of luck, you might be able to land a giant Lahontan cutthroat and an unforgettable fishing experience!

If fishing at Pyramid Lake doesn’t float your boat, then perhaps a day spent exploring the remarkable cliffs, canyons, beaches and bays of Lake Tahoe is a better option. Nowadays, given the popular explosion and relative ubiquity of stand-up paddleboards, there really isn’t a better way to explore the crystal waters of this berylline gem. Stand-up paddleboards, or “SUP’s” for short, are in vogue in outdoor communities across the country, and for good reason. These versatile crafts allow paddlers to stroke quietly across placid lake waters or try their hand at a bit of whitewater. This year, conference-goers happen to be about 45 minutes from one of the largest, deepest, and clearest alpine lakes in the entire world! What better place to practice your paddling skills or try your hand at something new? Luckily, there are many outfitters and rental shops that can set you up for an early autumn day on the Lake, including Adrift Tahoe on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore. And in case you were wondering, the early October sun is still quite warm and the fall foliage around Lake Tahoe is just starting to peak!

Finally, if you’d prefer a beautiful hike or even a short nature stroll to a fishing trip or time on the water, there are many options in and around Reno. One sure bet for a beautiful autumnal experience is the Hunter Creek Trail, located a short hop from the conference hotels and the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. This moderate, six-mile out and back hike ends at a beautiful waterfall, and takes hikers into the foothills of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which at 6.3 million acres is the largest National Forest outside of Alaska. If you’d rather stay in town for a stroll, perhaps with your binoculars around your neck, you’re also in luck, as there are a number of parks and nature trails in and around Reno. Many of these trails are associated with the Truckee River and offer excellent seasonal birdwatching opportunities. Mayberry Park, the Oxbow Nature Study Area, and Wingfield Park can all be found nestled along the banks of the Truckee as it courses through town. There is even an option closer to the conference hotels: the one-mile Virginia Lake walking path, which is just west of the Peppermill Reno. While not a wilderness experience, the Virginia Lake trail offers conference attendees an opportunity to stretch their legs and enjoy the afternoon sunshine just a few short blocks from the Convention Center.

Whether you decide to wet a line, dip a paddle, hike along a stream, or do something else entirely, there are countless opportunities for outdoor recreation available in and around Reno-Tahoe this fall. While planning ahead isn’t a necessity, knowing the outdoor options is important so that you can round up your friends and be sure to pack accordingly. And if you decide to only add your binoculars and some lightweight hiking shoes to your conference kit, you can rest assured that you’ll still enjoy time outside in and around Reno-Tahoe, where adventure abounds!

HayesQuentin Hays is the Local Information, Marketing & Onsite Support Subcommittee Chair for The Wildlife Society's Annual Conferences. Visit afstws2019.org for more information about the conference, or contact membership@wildlife.org with any questions.


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