Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring Warm Water Fishing: Lake Powell!

Continuing with our "outdoor places" theme, this week I want to highlight one of the jewels of Southern Utah/Northern Arizona, Lake Powell.  Lake Powell is world-renown for it's matchless beauty, but may not be as renown around the world for it's high quality fishing.  Well, it should be!  Locals know that this lake holds many fish that are worthy of bragging rights, and can provide some of the best warm water fishing in the western US!

This man made lake was created in 1963 when the waters of the Colorado River were held back by the Glen Canyon Dam, the construction of which began in 1956.  Seventeen years later the lake reached it's high water mark, providing us the second-largest man made lake in the US, and a playground unlike any in the world!  This vast lake boasts a maximum depth of 558 feet at full pool, a channel length of 186 miles, and a shoreline of nearly 1,800 miles!  The lake fills the depths of Glen Canyon, and backs into countless desert side canyons and coves as it sprawls across the colorful landscape.  A shimmering jewel in the desert, the lake is located in some of the most remote, rugged country in the US.  Stunning red rock and white sandstone towers and ledges combine with the colors of the desert sun and clouds painting scenes that can seem out of this world!

Lake Powell is probably best known for it's boating recreation opportunities, as the warm, clear waters draw crowds from all over the world.  As this lake does offer recreational opportunities you may not find anywhere else, you also will not find fishing waters like this anywhere else, and as you glance at the lake, you may at first think that this is not the body of water that would hold trophy fish.

 This lake holds a great variety of fish: Walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, and it's most popular species, striped bass.  The lake also holds great habitat for all these species; from rock piles for smallmouth bass, flooded brush and cover for largemouth, deep, cool holes for the catfish, and the backs of canyons and coves for the striped bass, you can easily locate the habitat for your desired species in this amazing lake.  What's more, with nearly 1,800 miles of shoreline you can bet you can find the perfect spot to be off on your own, away from the crowds to fish and enjoy the solitude of the Glen Canyon walls.

Fishing has been a little slow to come on this year, so don't get discouraged, thinking you have missed that great spring fishing!  In fact, it looks to peak in the weeks to come as the stripers congregate to spawn.  They are showing signs, but are not quite there yet.  Largemouth and smallmouth spawning is over, and fishing has cooled a little for those species.  Walleye fishing is picking up as well.  May is a great month to hit the waters of Lake Powell before the summer temperatures of 100 degrees plus make fishing a little more uncomfortable.  As well, May is a great time to beat the summer boaters that are holding off until the water warms more.

So where do you find information to plan a successful Lake Powell trip?  I would suggest starting off by visiting one of my favorite Lake Powell web pages, Wayne's Words
I consider Wayne Gustaveson the "authority" on Lake Powell fishing.  On his site, you will find fishing reports, fishing tips, area information, fees and regulations for the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, videos, maps, recipes, news and events...I could go on and on!  Wayne does a great job of keeping the site updated and the content current.  Be sure to check it out!

Another favorite site for looking at water levers, temperatures, and access is  There is some very interesting information found here about the lake itself, and as well as links to other websites focusing on Lake Powell.

If you visit the southern end of the Lake, Page Arizona (just a mile from the dam) offers all services, and is a great base of operations for your trip to the lake.  Kanab, Utah, just an hour northwest of the lake also offers a great stay and many exciting things to do.  If you visit the northern end of the lake, Bullfrog/Hall's Crossing, and Hite marinas offer boat access and a few conveniences, but those are limited due to the remoteness of the area.  Check the water conditions as well, Hite has been closed due to low water for some years now.  The central area of the lake is very remote, and a small marina about half way up the lake, Dangling Rope Marina, offers but a little gas, toilets, and emergency services for those that adventure out of the bays and up the main channel.

Looking for some great river trout fishing while in the area?  Be sure to pay Lee's Ferry, Arizona a visit!  The Lee's Ferry Anglers offer boat trips up the river (below the dam) to the great trout fishery that exists in the calm waters below the Glen Canyon Dam.  Some of the best river fishing for trout in the west is in store for you, be sure to check out their website for more details:

So, whatever tickles your outdoor fancy; fishing, hiking, boating, water-skiing, or maybe just sight seeing, you owe it to yourself to check out Lake Powell!  This truly can be the experience of a lifetime, and if you just so happen to have your fishing tackle you should really give this amazing lake a try.  Be sure to send us a few photos if you do!

Looking for some great warm water fishing tackle?  Check out my sweet find this week, Rusty Lures!  You will find some great lures and baits here for you Lake Powell trip!