ONE OF MY ON-THE-WATER WISHES for 2012 was to fish a striper boil at Lake Powell, and about a month ago I finally got the chance.
My previous jaunts to Powell have been work-related, so all my fishing was done under the supervision of people who really know what they’re doing—the kind of anglers who live, breathe and eat fishing. All I had to do was show up and hold a pole.
This time, however, I was going with regular people so I felt like the pressure was on for me to have the right kind of tackle and knowledge to get the job done. I wanted to be a good representative of the Division. I was nervous.
I started by talking to a few of the guys in the Division who have reputations for killing it at Powell. Immediately, I could see jealousy in their eyes when they found out I was going to be on the water for an entire week. Oh the fish they could catch. The tails they would spin.
They asked me lots of questions, to which I didn’t have answers—I was merely an invitee on this Powell excursion and had no clue what kind of boat we’d have or exactly where we would be on the lake. Besides, I figured there would be more time spent water-skiing, tubing and knee boarding than fishing (which was the case).
Luckily they gave me lots of advice along with some bait and jigs. I even finagled one of them into acting as my personal shopper at two different sporting goods stores where I spent more money than I intended, but ended up with a mighty fine collection of gear I was told would do the trick.
We didn’t catch many fish, but we had a lot of fun trying. Seeing a striper boil in person was awesome—it’s louder and more frenzied than I imagined. The final fish count included three respectable stripers, one obscenely large bluegill, a couple largemouth bass and a few smallies.
A new story of the proverbial ‘one that got away’ was also born. Exactly what transpired is uncertain, but the moral of the story is that when a trophy is at play (yes, there was an actual trophy), you should carefully select who holds the net for you.
After spending a week at Lake Powell on a houseboat with friends, old and new, I have a better understanding of what Thoreau meant when he wrote “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
Sure the fishing was fun, but what I really reeled in was a week packed with breathtaking red rock scenery, star-filled night skies, belly laughs, card games and freedom from the never-ending buzz of my phone. A break from my responsibilities is what I needed. Fishing was my alibi.
Many thanks to Ryan Cowley and Liz and Mark Porter for letting me be part of the 2012 Captain Porter’s Powerbait Powell Palooza.
If you need of a break from your routine, I highly recommend a trip to Lake Powell. Check out Utah.com—a great online resource for all things Powell. If you’re looking for additional, fishing-specific information, visit DWR and Wayne’s Words.