The completion of the 700 foot Glen Canyon Dam (left) in 1963 created massive
Lake Powell on the Arizona / Utah border. The lake
has since become renowned as a water recreation area, and is visited by
Below the dam the Colorado River flows into the remnant of Glen Canyon with
icy water from the bottom of Lake Powell. This has created a great
"tailwater" trout fishery for fifteen miles from the dam to Lee's Ferry,
where the Paria River flows into the Colorado. This was a site of a
ferry crossing in the 19th century.
Enter the Lake Powell Travel Guide and try
our interactive point-and-click map to learn about the area's top
attractions. The guide also includes a list of campgrounds, a complete place listing,
and useful links for area services and information.
This is the ultimate environment for rainbow trout. It is not uncommon for a boatload of
fishermen to catch 100 fish in a day, often averaging a pound or more. In addition,
visitors experience the unique beauty of a sheer-walled red rock canyon.
Wildlife is plentiful. There are shady, pleasing beaches where one may relax,
eat lunch, or camp out. The river is shallow in Glen Canyon and is extremely
conducive to fly fishing.
We did our fishing at Lee's Ferry with the legendary Arizona outdoorsman, Dale
Whitemore (who has retired from guiding), out of nearby Marble Canyon. He is shown (above right)
with a whopper of a rainbow trout. Above left, Dale and I relax in his boat. The river
is shallow and not easy to navigate, so going out with a guide lets you concentrate
on fishing. Plus you will hear many colorful stories!
There are very strict limits on keeping trout from Lee's Ferry. Most guides
and regulars encourage and practice catch and release out of strong respect
for the resource. The result is a very productive fishery. My personal best
was about 40 fish caught in one day.
Here I am with one of my better catches. Note the heavy overcoat. Lee's Ferry
is a year-round fishery although you have to bundle up in the winter. The trout
spawn in the winter, making their redds (nests) on shallow gravel bars. Hence it is
a very popular season for fly fishermen as they can sight cast right to the fish
which are very aggressive during spawning.
The most pleasant outdoor weather here is the spring and fall, and fishing remains
good no matter what the season. Although summers are quite warm the fish remain extremely
active. The water flow from Glen Canyon Dam tends to be higher in the summers
due to electrical demand. This stirs up edible materials from the river bed which
causes the trout to feed very actively and makes for excellent fishing.
Glen Canyon is renowned for its scenic beauty as well as the fishing. At left,
sheer thousand foot red walls crowd the channel. Right, a lush marshy area
at the foot of a spring reflects in the calm water.
One day raft trips are offered
out of Page. They start at the foot of the dam and finish at the Lee's Ferry
dock. Guests are then bussed back to Page. Because this section of the Colorado
River has no whitewater (rapids) but still offers spectacular scenery the tour
is extremely popular. It is ideal for families with young children or the elderly.
For the more adventurous there are numerous designated camping areas scattered
through the canyon, and these, too, are very popular.