Lee’s Ferry

Lee’s Ferry Rainbow

I resolved earlier this year that I would fish more in 2012. This weekend was my first day on the water this year–and what a day it was. Lee’s Ferry was first established in 1871 by John D. Lee, a Mormon settler commissioned by the Church to provide a crossing for the Colorado River. It is a 15 mile stretch of the Colorado below Glen Canyon Dam and is renowned as a wild trout fishery. It hasn’t been stocked since 1992 and now has a density of self-sustaining Rainbow trout of 20,000 fish per mile. It is the most spectacular scenery conceivable with 1000-foot orange cliffs rising strait up from the edges of the river. Rob & Luke, Rick & Steve and Jeff & Chase came along. We had great guides from Lee’s Ferry Anglers.

It’s a pretty amazing fishery. Thanks to water flowing out of the bottom of Lake Powell, water temperatures don’t vary much more than 45 degrees all year long. The water is too cold for conventional hatches to come off in all but the hottest summer months when they get a cicada hatch. As a result, we fished tiny zebra midges with a small split-shot and strike indicator. It definitely polished up our nymph fishing tactics.

Glen Canyon Dam

One the way out we went through Kanab, Utah and Paige Arizona so we could drive over the Glen Canyon Dam and take a look at Horseshoe Bend from the lookout. It was spectacular. Luke scrounged up a few lizards to boot.  Coming back through Jacob’s Lake offered an amazing view of southern Utah from the Kaibab forest at 8000 feet elevation.

This should definitely go on the annual ‘To Do’ list.

Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River



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