Pyramid Lake in western Nevada offers excellent trout fishing. But if you want to access deeper water and more fish, then you need to move away from the shore. Some enterprising sportsmen began setting up ladders into the water. Standing on top of these ladders was more comfortable than standing in the cold water for hours at a time.
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Then some outfitters began modifying ladders to hold fishing gear. And then some mounted chairs on top of the ladders. In the New York Times (paywalled), Chris Santella writes:
Our ladders seemed pedestrian next to the local models — custom contraptions made by a Reno craftsman which included a platform and a padded seat.
“When people first started fishing the lake, they used milk crates,” recalled Joe Contaldi, principal guide with Pyramid Lake Anglers. “This helped them cast far enough to reach the drop-offs where the fish cruise looking for food. And it also helped them get above the cold water.” The crates gave way to conventional ladders and then to chair ladders.