Powell is a Study in Contrasts
by Wade Wixom
It’s ironic that one lake in the Southern Utah desert features more shoreline than the entire west coast of the United States. But this is not the only thing about Lake Powell that seems contradictory. It’s an incredible combination of extreme opposites: red-rock/ blue water, isolated wilderness/ crowded tourist destination, natural landscape/ artificial lake. Appropriately, I have a love/ hate relationship with it.I love it because its beauty is breathtaking and it offers amazing recreational opportunities, yet I resent that it covered a nearly unexplored wilderness beginning with the closing of the flood-gates in 1963 (coincidentally, the same year I was born). In my mind, Lake Powell’s birth meant Glen Canyon’s death, and I have to forget what it once was in order to enjoy it for what it now is.
What it is now is a very popular recreational mecca, at least between the months of June and September. Thankfully, Lake Powell has an “off-season” which provides a respite from the summer stampede. If you’ve never visited Lake Powell in in October – May, you are missing a treat.
With crowds and temperatures down, enjoyment-levels increase, at least for those who like to take advantage of Powell’s best-kept-secret: its fishing. My son, Jake, father Hartt, and I spent a few days at the lake in May, enjoying a full-day of bass fishing with the man responsible for the entire fishery – Wayne Gustaveson. Wayne and his crew showed us the best fishing spots, provided valuable insights and plenty of fishing tips for catching big stripers & smallmouth bass. They even showed us how to skip the dirty work of gutting the fish, just taking large fillets and disposing of the rest at the marina cleaning station.
Unlike many expert fishermen, Wayne is eager to share his best “secrets” with anyone who is interested, and he doesn’t charge a fee for the service. Just visit his personal website at wayneswords.com for tips and tricks which will make your fishing expedition as much fun as anything you’ve ever done at Lake Powell. His best tip may contrast with what you previously thought about Powell, but we found it to be true: it’s more fun in the “off-season.”