Sunday, November 1, 2009

Houseboating On Utah's Lake Powell

UPDATE: Winter Lake Powell fishing info below.

I did not think I would like Houseboating. Being stuck in what I thought would amount to being in a travel trailer on water seemed like it would be claustrophobic to me. I was wrong. I have gone Houseboating twice on Lake Powell.

Lake Powell was formed when Glen Canyon Dam backed up the Colorado River by the town of Page, Arizona. Flooding Glen Canyon was and continues to be controversial. Lake Powell forever altered some extremely beautiful scenery. But, the lake made what remained of that scenery way more accessible to way more people.

Prior to Lake Powell, not all that many people saw Rainbow Bridge, it being the world's biggest natural arch. Now you can take a boat up a side canyon and dock your boat a short distance from Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge side canyon is rather narrow. This makes for some big wakes and some rock and roll boating. We're heading towards Rainbow Bridge in the picture directly above.

The National Park Service authorizes Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas as the concessioner in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona. There are 5 marinas on Lake Powell. Wahweap Marina, Bullfrog Marina, Halls Crossing Marina, Hite Marina and Dangling Rope Marina.

My two times Houseboating we sailed out of Bullfrog Marina. You can stay in a motel at Bullfrog or rent a house-keeping unit. We opted for the housekeeping unit, which is basically a large mobile home type place with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and, on the last Houseboating trip, TV had come to Bullfrog. I didn't like that. Now the TV option has even been added to some of the houseboats.

If Houseboating does not sound fun, you can opt to stay at a Marina's lodging and rent a power boat to zip around the lake. I think if I go to Lake Powell again that is what I would do.

This fishing is good on Lake Powell, if that's your thing. The water was crystal clear the first time I was on Lake Powell, as in you could see deep into the water. The second time the lake was almost overflowing and a bit murky due to all the runoff. It was spectacular, though, that time, to see a big rainstorm, with little waterfalls running down the canyon walls.

Depending on which marina you launch from you are close to other Utah and Arizona attractions. From Bullfrog Basin you can take a ferry to the south side of Lake Powell and continue on to the Moki Dugway, the scariest road I have ever driven, it twists and turns down an escarpment. Monument Valley is visible to your south, the Valley of the Gods is below you. Once you've made it down the Moki Dugway you are a short distance from Mexican Hat and the San Juan Inn. The San Juan Inn may be my favorite place I have ever stayed. (I've now blogged more details about the San Juan Inn)

Go here to see more Lake Powell pictures, including Rainbow Bridge. And a Moki Dugway picture.

Go here to read Big Ed's tale of catching a fish in Moki Canyon on Lake Powell.

Lake Powell's fishing season is drawing to a close. It has been a banner year for all species. Habitat, food/forage and fish numbers have peaked to near perfect conditions. Great fishing will continue into the winter months. Currently shad are still in the shallows, with bass and stripers in close proximity. But a winter storm will drop water temperature into the 50s. Soon winter fishing patterns will be in place. That means top water fishing is almost over for the year. It is wise to have a surface lure hooked up during November, just in case, but the real catching will be done deep.

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