“Our entire existence has been dedicated to protecting our natural resources for our future generations. Within our lake, the fish are viewed as sacred … They have given us life and we are responsible for their protection.” Autumn Harry, Paiute member and environmental activist
When it comes to leading change, there is no one more fierce than a woman backed by history, tradition, and a passion for a place and people. Autumn Harry is such a woman. Though most anglers know Pyramid Lake only for its trophy trout, there is a Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe that cares for the lake and works behind the scenes to build a stronger conservationist community.
The Pyramid Lake Trout Camp was created after the realization that there was an obvious lapse between the fishermen who came to find fish and understanding of the culture and people who were hosting them. Autumn’s work with this camp has been instrumental in changing the conservation policy and perception of this tribal place.
The intention of the Camp is to do more than teach members of the tribe about fly fishing and fly tying. It strives to create communication between people who care deeply about the lake and the Lahontan Cutthroat who inhabit it. During this year’s camp, the excitement was palpable as kids, and even grandparents, learned to fly fish for the species rooted in their culture, and volunteers learned about the history of the tribe and its values.
Working at the camp showed me how much effort the Paiute Tribe has put into making Pyramid Lake what it is today. I gained a deeper understanding and respect for the tribe, the lake, and the fish, and was reminded that there is more to fishing than the size and species of the fish we are looking for.