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Home Anglers Corner September 20, 2017 - Neskahi to Zahn Bay

September 20, 2017 - Neskahi to Zahn Bay

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My partner Bill and I set off for our annual week long expedition to the San Juan on Sept 6th. We fished daily from the mouth of Neskahi Bay to the Northern reaches of Zahn Bay. We never encountered a group of surface feeding Stripers. The surface feeding we did see were small bands of Stripers and SMB trapping shad against the walls in the backs of canyons. SMB fishing was spectacular. All the fish you could reel in were there for the taking. Our best lures were Ghost Shad Sammys until the sun hit the water, then Yamy Shad Shaped Worms (color 208) on a drop shot scored almost every time down. We caught a few nice LMB each day, but SMB were the show. Fishing was best on shorelines and reefs where the water dropped off into about 30 feet. Large shallow areas didn’t seem to hold the fish. Islands in Neskahi held bigger fish as did the sunken reefs in Zahn.

 The down side of the trip was heading home on 9/15. My partner Bill and I headed toward Hall’s in our 40 ft houseboat about 10 am. Just past the Rincon, we were caught by the big storm. At Dangling Rope the day before it was forecast as PM thundershowers, however, it turned into much more. We were hit by one microburst after another for the next five hours. We had waves easily clearing the top rail on the houseboat, crashing into the front doors. We were pulling my 19ft Crestliner and I was sure we would loose it from running the nose too deep or the rope snapping. I could see the auto bilge pumping away to keep up with the wash over the front and sides. Trouble was, there was nowhere to get out of the storm with 6-8 ft. waves breaking in the mouth of the canyons. At 5 pm, we got to our slip at Hall’s just as the storm subsided. We both had a cocktail.

 I have fished Powell seriously for about 45 years (yea, I’m old). We have continuously had our houseboat in the water at Powell for 35 years. I have never experienced anything like the storm of 9/15. Thankfully, the old tub got us through, thanks to good maintenance, dependable motors, and chugging along into or along with the waves. We always rig for wind, this time it paid off. Everything was secured on deck and we didn’t loose a thing.    Thankfully, i had just replaced my tow rope with a 50 ft tube rope (which is much heavier than a ski rope). It did the trick and held.

 Don’t think you’ll ever need your lifejacket on a houseboat? Wrong. Make sure you know where they are. They were on us the whole time.