BassWestUSA - July/August, 2009, Page 65

pounds by fall. The ma- jor difference however between Powell and its other siblings is that be- ing the first impound- ment on the Colorado River it gets the majority of the food that enters the chain. Fish on Powell are fat feisty and abundant! Catching 30 to 60 fish a day is nothing, its as easy as chewing lettuce. And the average angler can accomplish this feat for a variety of species includ- ing big Walleye, Crappie, Catfish, the occasional trout (the lake has three species) and even Northern Pike and Tiger Musky. The lake again has an abundant food supply, Crawfish, Bluegill, and both Threadfin and Gizzard Shad, offer the much needed forage to support such a diverse ecosystem. Lake Powell, like its cousin Lake Mead is a flood plain lake and so it has suffered low water levels from five years of drought. The last few years though strong snow pack has been bringing the lake up and the fishing has just exploded. It may be the most versatile and productive reservoir in the western states right now. Wayne Gustaveson, the local fisheries biol- ogist estimates the Powell has more black bass in it than any water way in the West- ern United States. Another real positive is that while many states did not pay atten- tion to the threat of invasive species such as mussels, Powell officials have been in- specting eastern vessels for over a decade now. Powell at this time remains the only impoundment on the Colorado River that is free of invasive mussels. Anglers visit- ing Powell should make sure their boats are wiped down and clean. If not, any boats thought to pose a threat will be put through a boat cleansing process before entering the water. The process is relatively quick and painless and officials at Powell have it down to a science.

times the fishable shore line as the other southwestern monster Lake Mead. But its very much different, Powell has many arms and fingers its tall walls offer protection and so big water is usually not much of an issue. Like any body of water there are underwater obstructions, so boaters need beware and use their heads, but its really not a problem. As far as lure choices let’s just say this, an- glers can do about anything they want on this lake and be successful. It’s really that good! Smallmouth Bass are highly abundant and live any where with broken rocks, sand, and ledges; pretty much the entire lake. Largemouth Bass tend to be in the backs of cuts and tributaries, usually in the slightly stained water and around wood. Basic lure choices in shad, sunfish, and crawfish colors will all work outstanding. Basically you fish your style and you will catch so many fish your arms will hurt.

For many anglers the shear size of Powell can be overwhelming. Over the years I have heard the stories of anglers that are scared of the big water, reefs and so many canyons that it freaks them out a little. Other anglers have had the impression that you have to run so far to find quality fish. Noth- ing could be further from the truth. Lake Powell offers tremendous fishing in all areas of the lake. Many tournaments are won with in eye sight of launch facilities on both ends of the lake. Yes Powell is big with almost 3

hitting the wateR!

While accommodations on most of the lake are somewhat remote Page, Arizona is the shining star. Situated at the top of a mesa overlooking Glen Canyon Dam Page is a magnificent city. At just over 3000 feet of elevation, Page is surrounded by red rock sandstone canyons and some of the most unique rock formations found on earth. It is centrally located roughly four hours from both Las Vegas and Phoenix, and only about 5 from Salt Lake City. Its small town atmosphere and big city accommodations, matched with countless outdoor activities has earned it national recognition in nu- merous outdoor publications. Ranked as one of the top places to live in the country by Outdoor Life Magazine in 2008 it’s easy to see why outdoor enthusiasts would love to live in and visit Page, Arizona. A small community with very little crime, a boom- ing economy, and all the accommodations to handle the millions of tourists each year, Page is the ultimate host for Canyon Coun-

a Shining StaR

try. Page Municipal Air- port has flight arrivals and departures each day, the hospital is state of the art, and city services are second to none. Page is an area that is rich with archeological ruins and remains of ancient ances- tors dating back to 500 AD, but it is also a place where today’s Native American culture can be witnessed and embraced. Hiking the many slot canyons or guided tours are offered daily, and on the water tours or even flight tours can be booked for the lake. The nearby proximity of the Grand Canyon is another amazing opportunity for visitors. River rafting is always a popular activity and can be booked for a day, or even a ride down into the Grand Canyon. Lee’s Ferry is a popular destination for an- glers looking at world class trout fishing. Thousands of anglers come annually to float the river and toss a fly at the wily Rain- bow Trout that inhabit the 22 mile stretch from Page to the Ferry. Bass boats are com- monly seen running the river but checking water levels and being careful will save a lower unit. Rainbow trout at Lees Ferry are plentiful and most average about 17 to 18 inches but hooking into fish up to 24 inches is not uncommon. The river is recently on a huge up swing and while maybe never reaching the 20lb trout that made it famous in the mid eighties, it is looking like more four to five-pound bruisers are on the near horizon. There are numerous local guides on both waters that specialize in making an anglers dream come true. While there aren’t many pro shops in town you do have one very good one. Stix Bait and Tackle has been the premier tackle shop for decades. It carries the largest display of Yamamoto Baits in the country, the fact that Yamamo- to Baits Corporate headquarters is located just up the street may have something to do with that. Needless to say Gary designs many of his baits for Lake Powell so you can bet any of them are deadly on this pond. Checking out websites like www.waynes- can give you a lot of direction for fishing on the lake as well as potential guide contacts. can give you all the information for house boat and recreational boats rentals, lodging, and camp grounds. The Page Chamber of Commerce web site offers plenty of ad- ditional information on accommodations, events, and activities. Check them out at BW

July/August 2009