How Did You Come Across Lake Powell in the First Place?

WaterDog19

Active Member
I was told by some of my older "mentors" that if I liked to fish...(then we could use waterdogs), I should go to Lake Powell, I new nothing about Lake Powell, so two of my fishing partners and I headed to Lake Powell. That was 1977, haven't stopped. Then the largemouth and waterdog connection was amazing, hard not to catch fish. At that time I'm not sure smallmouth had much of start in the lake, we saw our first smallmouth at the Halls on water maintenance garage, under the walk ways, when it was in operation. Crappie fishing was very good almost in all of the canyons. The first big striper in 1979, Escalante, Spring houseboat trip, just over 18lb.s at that time that was a very good fish, turned her loose.

All of our meals no matter what it was, "was all-a-grit", still are.

From that first trip, it went from Lake Powell, to just Powell.

This lake is the reason for all of the boats I have owned 5 so far. My present boat came from Chesapeake Bay, just to live the rest of its life here at Powell.
 

last wild human

Active Member
my best friend ,s birthday is in February, up north in Huntsville in feb it,s below zero hard water fishing at it,s best , we wanted a change, anglers inn open'd a store in riverdale a guy named web adams told us about hite marina and how to catch bass large-mouth and striped maybe crappie too . in the winter, unheard of for us so we took a 16 ft canoe 1.5 hp motor , camped at hite fished north wash ,dirty devil , up the river above the bridge, we were hooked for the next 16 years , we moved to farley canyon when the water drop ed . some years were good others were fantastic some beyond belief ,that was 1983, children, work ,life , kept me home in the early 2000,s 2017 i retired from udot no more on call 24 7s , now i come as often as i can at least once a month winter summer , i like to fish out of my kayak . it is the most bueatful place in the world i consider my self lucky to have found it.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
my best friend ,s birthday is in February, up north in Huntsville in feb it,s below zero hard water fishing at it,s best , we wanted a change, anglers inn open'd a store in riverdale a guy named web adams told us about hite marina and how to catch bass large-mouth and striped maybe crappie too . in the winter, unheard of for us so we took a 16 ft canoe 1.5 hp motor , camped at hite fished north wash ,dirty devil , up the river above the bridge, we were hooked for the next 16 years , we moved to farley canyon when the water drop ed . some years were good others were fantastic some beyond belief ,that was 1983, children, work ,life , kept me home in the early 2000,s 2017 i retired from udot no more on call 24 7s , now i come as often as i can at least once a month winter summer , i like to fish out of my kayak . it is the most bueatful place in the world i consider my self lucky to have found it.
I think you are right, we all are lucky to have Powell in our life.
 

Edward Gerdemann

Well-Known Member
I first heard about Lake Powell fishing back in the late 70s when I lived in Flagstaff. My long time fishing partner John Conrad had fished it quite a bit throughout that decade and shared with me his experiences and photos. I did't have a boat in those days and didn't get a chance to go with him before I had to move to Phoenix in 1983. In the late 80s I watched a local TV fishing show at the time called "Fishin' with the Good Old Boys" which showed several Lake Powell trips. That's when I became aware there were smallmouth bass, my favorite fish, in Lake Powell and the fishing was getting better and better for them.

I finally bought a small boat and made a trip up in 1991. While I enjoyed the lake and caught a few fish, that boat was way too small. In the mid-90s I bought a bigger boat and started coming up on a regular basis. I found the fishing far better and more fun that on the local lakes. In the spring of 1999 I got up early one Saturday morning and drove out to Roosevelt with my neighbor up the street only to be caught in a 140-boat bass tournament. The following Saturday my good friend Dale Marenda and I drove out to Alamo Lake only to be caught in one 64-boat Arizona tournament plus to 30-boat plus California tournaments. With 125 or so tournament boats roaring up and down the lake that day, Alamo was just plan dangerous let alone being able to fish. The very next week my wife and I drove up to Page and ended up purchasing a mobile home in Greenehaven north of town. The rest is history! :)

Ed Gerdemann
 

davew

Well-Known Member
My 1st trip was about 77 -- I was 10, and lived in Albuquerque -- went with my Dad, one of his friends and his friends kid ( my age) -- I recall the fishing being poor, but I really remember the waterskiing--- I was new to it, and I think I was pulled the length of the lake multiple time on that trip ( or so I thought). I also fell in love with cliff jumping-- I remember jumping off the cliff just west of the Halls boat ramp. You could go higher and higher. At the time it seemed I was jumping 100's of feet --- in reality, it was probable more like 20.
My next trip was when I was a freshman in high school -- My parents took me and one of my friends -- I remember cliff jumping, but what I really remember was meeting a GIRL--- my age -- 1st kiss.......never saw her again, but what a memory.
High school / collage / work and career got in the way, and Lake Powell was just a distant memory.
In 1996 I was offered and accepted a job in Denver. I had a friend that talked about Lake Powell, and I was able to throw in my 2 cents from my memory, and before long, a trip was planned -- that was 1999. So in July of 1999 6 of us ( 3 couples) took a trip to the lake -- we rented a 36 ft house boat, pulled a ski boat and two jet ski's -- went to the San Juan, and fell in love with the lake again. We waterskied, explored the length of the San Juan, and fished -- I had never really fished warm water-- all my experience was in trout rivers, and deep sea, my buddie and I took our belly boats, and fly rods, and I was HOOKED on fishing Lake Powell. I remember catching strippers in that belly boat, and having them pull me around the cove we were in. That was a great time. We went several more years after that with the same group.
We ( wife and I ) took a break for a few years to have a few kids, but during that time we took a job transfer to Grand Junction. I was talking to one of my neighbors one day and he says ---- you interested in buying a houseboat at Lake Powell?
As they say -- the rest is history -- that was 2008 -- we have owned several houseboats -- more "other boats" than I care to count, and a garage full of fishing gear.
My kids grew up on the lake, and I try to make 8 to 10 trips a year to my "second" home.
We have had family and friends from all over the country joins us on "my" lake, and everyone of them talks about and askes regularly when " the next" trip will be.
I have turned into a fishaholic, and plan my next trip as the one I am on is ending.
 

dallas massie

Well-Known Member
My family would go houseboating at powell every summer starting in 1972, when I was 10. Last trip with the family was in 1985, I remember the stripers where real skinny but fun to fish a boil. Did not come back till 2002 and got in to jet skiing the lake . By 2007 I would go fishing out of a jet ski for all day trips for four days and average about 150 miles a trip. Then I started taking my dog with me on the jetski and we would run across a boil , and the dog would be swimming until I picked her up. I have a 16ft center console boat know and feel in love with the lake and go about 6 trips a year . I fish 12 hour days and this year I plan to start hiking more.
 

dank80

Active Member
My grandparents did a big family trip with my mom's siblings in the late 80's when I was probably 7 or 8. There were probably 25 or so people. My dad didn't fish but I found an uncle's fishing pole that was rigged with a plastic worm and tossed it off the side of the houseboat towards some carp. I put a chunk of bacon on the hook. A big carp put a nice bend in the rod and that was the first fish I ever caught. I was hooked! I remember later getting the worm snagged on the 1 inch houseboat anchor line and being scared that my uncle was going to be mad that I lost his lure. We had a few of these big family trips growing up but my family never owned a boat or went with any regularity.

In 2009 I connected with a group of fisherman in my area who did an annual guys spring fishing trip. This became a regular thing and as soon as I was able we got our own boat. We partnered on a houseboat as well out of Wahweap so we're now able to get two houseboat trips each year and usually another spring shore camping/fishing trip in as well.

If there is a better place for a family and friends to make wonderful memories together, I'm not aware of it. It's a magical place, for sure! Already getting excited for the 2020 Lake Powell season!
 

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Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
I'm afraid to start cause it would be a book. Working on the lake for 10 years will do that.. Starting going to the lake in 1971 but only for swimming and diving as it was in the middle of my trips from Prescott Az. to Provo Utah. Nice way to wash the dust off. Didn't really start getting to know the lake until 1996 when I started as a houseboat mechanic for the rental houseboat fleet at Stateline. After that it was off the hook for me and the lake. One of my perks was houseboats for $23 a day which was the going rate for insurance. I invited all my musician friends and we would have live music for a week. I jokingly would tell everyone that the only reason I invited everyone was because they had to let me play my harmonica with the band. It got to the point that I had 3 59' sumerset houseboats sidetied when leaving the dock. The rule was that I had to be in control of the houseboats so I just drove the center one.. What a blast those days were. Somehow it's easy to forget all the terrible storms and late nights coming back in the dark.
Staying with the musical theme of birdsnet's post, we were picking up a 50 foot rental houseboat at Wahweap Marina in the 80's when we noticed the boat across from us had multiple Kawasaki generators on the front deck and some interesting decorating items inside the boat. We were discussing this with the dock manager at the time and he told us that Fleetwood Mac had rented the boat for a week and went out on the Lake to write and play music. He told us he was glad their week ended, because the employees were going out to the houseboat every night to listen to the music and party. Every morning as the week progressed the employees were showing up later and more hungover. I would think that the music in the canyon would have been awesome to hear.
We also were lucky enough when Aramark first came out with their luxury houseboats to see Kenny Rodgers check into one for it's maiden voyage.
 

Keith Stockman

Well-Known Member
My first trip came in '83 or '84. A friend and former coworker invited me on an April trip (very windy) on the 44' houseboat he'd bought into the previous year. The shad population had crashed and the stripers were HUNGRY. We caught stripers (long skinny stripers) in Forgotten until our thumbs were sore (we didn't think to bring a net), and I've been hooked ever since. I've come to the Lake at least a week every year since and some years as many as four weeks. I bought into the same houseboat in 1991 and we upgraded to a 50' in 2005. When I first came I had to borrow a fishing rod; I couldn't find the only one I owned. Now, three Lund boats and who knows how much fishing tackle later, my LP trips are still the highlight of my year. Lots of the early crew have passed on, but there are still three of us left along with one new recruit...….so the good times keep coming! Thanks in large measure to Wayne the trips seem to just be getting better.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
Wow! I am not the only one with a Lake Powell addiction. Thanks for the great life stories and for sharing them here. I have enjoyed your comments. My first trip was in 1972 while working on my Masters Degree in Fisheries Biology. I caught largemouth bass and tested their physical response to being hooked and how soon they recovered. It was fun! It is OK to release a fish after it is caught on a fishing rod. They do recover. I was offered a fisheries job shortly before I actually got my MS degree. I had a choice of working in Salt Lake City or coming to Lake Powell. I considered the offer for about 10 seconds and quickly chose LP. I arrived here in December of 1975. I am now beginning my 45th year and still can't give it up. I love Lake Powell.

This website was started in 2000. I knew nothing about the internet but got a bit of help and we put WW.com on line so my fish reports could be read in a timely manner each week. My bosses in SLC did not know about it. I just did it on my own because fish reports for people traveling to Lake Powell were incredibly important. How do you know where to fish in a new lake that is over 100 miles long with over 2000 miles of shoreline without current information?

Lake conditions changed. The lake filled and then fluctuated. That was beneficial to some fish and hazardous to others. I could tell incoming anglers what to expect as they arrived. This is still my purpose, to keep anglers informed and to maintain the best fishing possible. It still works! I thank BartsPlace for doing the internet work and that lets me just put out fishing information.

Thank you to all the website members and lookers. We try to keep the site family friendly without bad language, arguments and other issues that are so common with other sites. I am going to hang on and keep doing this as long as possible. My old body is slowing down but I recharge often by going fishing for a day. There is nothing better than "Fish-ical therapy". Expect weekly fish reports to resume March 1st through November 1st.

I love Lake Powell. Wayne
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
We actually drove right past lake powell the very first time we visited it back in 1993. We were on a family vacation with then only 3 of our 4 sons. We stopped at Page while we were enjoying our vacation driving around Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon and Sedona We stayed the night in Page, AZ and saw the water but just assumed that it was just a small lake on the Colorado River. Go forward 10 years and a friend shows us pictures of his trip to Lake Powell. I was hooked! Made a reservation with Aramark and we were soon off to our first trip to Lake Powell. Once we arrived we soon realized, Hey, we've been here before. Had no idea that small little lake we saw years ago was actually Lake Powell. Doh! Our first trip was a crazy trip and is well documented here at Dooley's at Lake Powell

The rest is history!
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
My first trip to Lake Powell was on Memorial Day weekend in 1975 when I was 11 years old. We had just purchased a HUGE new boat, and my mom and dad wanted to test it out on the Big Water of Lake Powell. It was an upgrade from our 1964 14’ HydroSwift that we had owned since I was born, a brand spanking new 16’ Bayliner! It was truly a great, reliable boat in its day, and as a family, we enjoyed hundreds of days on the water in it over the years.

But back to the story – we made this first LP trip with our family and our next-door neighbors family (who’s kid was my best friend then and still is today!) who had just purchased a new 16’ Mark Twain Tri-hull. There were 4 in our family and 6 in the neighbors family, plus camping gear, extra fuel, and a portable head. I don’t know exactly how we hauled all the stuff. We launched at Bullfrog and cruised South to Iceberg Canyon. We camped in a nice cove all by ourselves, waterskied, swam, fished, and floated. It was a great three day weekend. (Interestingly, the water level on Memorial day 1975 was 3655 – much higher than I would have thought)

But what I remember most of that trip is one day there was a clump of logs and brush floating in the middle of the cove where we camped. We were pulling a waterskier, and the skier fell. When turning around to go back to the skier, we cruised by the clump of logs/brush and noticed it was inhabited by snakes! I don’t recall anyone freaking out about it (as I would do today). We just pulled the skier a different direction and the clump and the snakes floated away.

I returned to LP several more times over the years in the late ’70s until my sister and I left for college and then I moved to CA after college. In the summer of 1989, I flew back from CA to go on a Lake Powell trip with a group of my high school friends who had bought into a timeshare out of Halls. Yes, we were “one of those groups” of 30 young adults on a 50’ converted rental Boatel having a blast. I’ve not missed a year going to Lake Powell at least once a year since 1989. All of my kids and grandkids have been coming to the lake with us since they were infants, so when they add to this forum thread in the future, they will have their own “1st Lake Powell Trip” stories to tell.

So it’s been 45 years since my first trip to Lake Powell. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places in the world, but there is still no place I’d rather be than on a boat somewhere, anywhere, on Lake Powell.
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
My first trip to Lake Powell was on Memorial Day weekend in 1975 when I was 11 years old. We had just purchased a HUGE new boat, and my mom and dad wanted to test it out on the Big Water of Lake Powell. It was an upgrade from our 1964 14’ HydroSwift that we had owned since I was born, a brand spanking new 16’ Bayliner! It was truly a great, reliable boat in its day, and as a family, we enjoyed hundreds of days on the water in it over the years.

But back to the story – we made this first LP trip with our family and our next-door neighbors family (who’s kid was my best friend then and still is today!) who had just purchased a new 16’ Mark Twain Tri-hull. There were 4 in our family and 6 in the neighbors family, plus camping gear, extra fuel, and a portable head. I don’t know exactly how we hauled all the stuff. We launched at Bullfrog and cruised South to Iceberg Canyon. We camped in a nice cove all by ourselves, waterskied, swam, fished, and floated. It was a great three day weekend. (Interestingly, the water level on Memorial day 1975 was 3655 – much higher than I would have thought)

But what I remember most of that trip is one day there was a clump of logs and brush floating in the middle of the cove where we camped. We were pulling a waterskier, and the skier fell. When turning around to go back to the skier, we cruised by the clump of logs/brush and noticed it was inhabited by snakes! I don’t recall anyone freaking out about it (as I would do today). We just pulled the skier a different direction and the clump and the snakes floated away.

I returned to LP several more times over the years in the late ’70s until my sister and I left for college and then I moved to CA after college. In the summer of 1989, I flew back from CA to go on a Lake Powell trip with a group of my high school friends who had bought into a timeshare out of Halls. Yes, we were “one of those groups” of 30 young adults on a 50’ converted rental Boatel having a blast. I’ve not missed a year going to Lake Powell at least once a year since 1989. All of my kids and grandkids have been coming to the lake with us since they were infants, so when they add to this forum thread in the future, they will have their own “1st Lake Powell Trip” stories to tell.

So it’s been 45 years since my first trip to Lake Powell. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places in the world, but there is still no place I’d rather be than on a boat somewhere, anywhere, on Lake Powell.
If I recall accurately (which hasn't happened in many years) when they were first filling Lake Powell they warned boaters that there might be "angry" rattlesnakes" floating on trees and logs when the water level rose quickly.
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
My first trip to Lake Powell was on Memorial Day weekend in 1975 when I was 11 years old. We had just purchased a HUGE new boat, and my mom and dad wanted to test it out on the Big Water of Lake Powell. It was an upgrade from our 1964 14’ HydroSwift that we had owned since I was born, a brand spanking new 16’ Bayliner! It was truly a great, reliable boat in its day, and as a family, we enjoyed hundreds of days on the water in it over the years.

But back to the story – we made this first LP trip with our family and our next-door neighbors family (who’s kid was my best friend then and still is today!) who had just purchased a new 16’ Mark Twain Tri-hull. There were 4 in our family and 6 in the neighbors family, plus camping gear, extra fuel, and a portable head. I don’t know exactly how we hauled all the stuff. We launched at Bullfrog and cruised South to Iceberg Canyon. We camped in a nice cove all by ourselves, waterskied, swam, fished, and floated. It was a great three day weekend. (Interestingly, the water level on Memorial day 1975 was 3655 – much higher than I would have thought)

But what I remember most of that trip is one day there was a clump of logs and brush floating in the middle of the cove where we camped. We were pulling a waterskier, and the skier fell. When turning around to go back to the skier, we cruised by the clump of logs/brush and noticed it was inhabited by snakes! I don’t recall anyone freaking out about it (as I would do today). We just pulled the skier a different direction and the clump and the snakes floated away.

I returned to LP several more times over the years in the late ’70s until my sister and I left for college and then I moved to CA after college. In the summer of 1989, I flew back from CA to go on a Lake Powell trip with a group of my high school friends who had bought into a timeshare out of Halls. Yes, we were “one of those groups” of 30 young adults on a 50’ converted rental Boatel having a blast. I’ve not missed a year going to Lake Powell at least once a year since 1989. All of my kids and grandkids have been coming to the lake with us since they were infants, so when they add to this forum thread in the future, they will have their own “1st Lake Powell Trip” stories to tell.

So it’s been 45 years since my first trip to Lake Powell. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places in the world, but there is still no place I’d rather be than on a boat somewhere, anywhere, on Lake Powell.
That’s a great story, especially the part about the snakes! I’ve always wondered how all the snakes react to changing lake levels. I’ve seen some rattlers isolated on small beaches in side canyons, including one up the Escalante where we parked the houseboat one year. Great little beach, but no way for any wildlife to escape... including the rattlesnake we shared it with! One of my friends refused to get off the boat there, but the snake had an agreement with us and we left each other alone...

I need to start a thread of “snake encounters”... I’d have lots of those...
 
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flowerbug

Active Member
*waving hello*

i like to read about western water issues, water projects and also how nature is affected by them. Wayne writes well about his love of the lake and what he sees on the water.

i've not yet visited the lake but some year i hope to get a chance to do that.

right now i'm hoping for another good water year and glad to see Lake Mead getting a boost.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
*waving hello*

i like to read about western water issues, water projects and also how nature is affected by them. Wayne writes well about his love of the lake and what he sees on the water.

i've not yet visited the lake but some year i hope to get a chance to do that.

right now i'm hoping for another good water year and glad to see Lake Mead getting a boost.
Be careful what you wish for. Lake Powell has amazing scenery, and exceptional fishing. The only downside is that it is almost impossible not to get addicted to the lake experience. I have been enthralled for over 50 years. Looking back, I would not have it any other way!
 

flowerbug

Active Member
Be careful what you wish for. Lake Powell has amazing scenery, and exceptional fishing. The only downside is that it is almost impossible not to get addicted to the lake experience. I have been enthralled for over 50 years. Looking back, I would not have it any other way!
:) i live such a long ways away (i'm in mid-Michigan) i'm not sure when or if i will ever get out that ways again. i hope to sometime i just don't know when.

i do have relatives out west so some day i do hope to return. i'd certainly love to see the Upper Colorado region again, i've spent some happy days there before. i just haven't made it to Lake Powell itself yet.

as for fishing i've walked and fished almost every stream of the Keweenaw Peninsula (brookies, rainbows and browns) trout fishing and also a fair number of the lakes in that area. i've never actually fished out on Lake Superior itself (i get sea sick haha) i'm more content with kayak and canoe level of interacting with water or being right in it.
 

IL_Bullet

New Member
I live in Illinois. In 1999 I saw an Olando Wilson fishing show where he was fishing lake Powell. They interviewed Wayne about the stripers over population.

I told my friend from Little Rock Arkansas. He said "well, that is just down I-40 from my house, let's make plans to go".

We have been ten times since then. A great time every time. Many fish caught. It's an entirely universe from where I live and fish here.

Wayne even stopped by when we was in fourmile canyon once. Another boat told us who he was. I wish he would have mentioned who he was.

Sadly, my friend made his last trip out in 2017 after going annually from 1999 to 2008. Glad we got to go the last time.

Lake Powell is magical.

Once we was in the month of white canyon in a 45+ minute boil and a jet ski came and put a vase of flowers by the shore line and hid behind a boulder. I heard them say "those guys are catching lots of fish". We got closer to them and they told us another jet ski was soon coming and he is going to see the flowers and propose to his girlfriend, then we are going to jump out from behind the big rock. All of that happened while the boil was still up. :)
 

Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
I live in Illinois. In 1999 I saw an Olando Wilson fishing show where he was fishing lake Powell. They interviewed Wayne about the stripers over population.

I told my friend from Little Rock Arkansas. He said "well, that is just down I-40 from my house, let's make plans to go".

We have been ten times since then. A great time every time. Many fish caught. It's an entirely universe from where I live and fish here.

Wayne even stopped by when we was in fourmile canyon once. Another boat told us who he was. I wish he would have mentioned who he was.

Sadly, my friend made his last trip out in 2017 after going annually from 1999 to 2008. Glad we got to go the last time.

Lake Powell is magical.

Once we was in the month of white canyon in a 45+ minute boil and a jet ski came and put a vase of flowers by the shore line and hid behind a boulder. I heard them say "those guys are catching lots of fish". We got closer to them and they told us another jet ski was soon coming and he is going to see the flowers and propose to his girlfriend, then we are going to jump out from behind the big rock. All of that happened while the boil was still up. :)
finally, a good jet ski moment...
 
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