Fishing on Lake Koocanusa

Picture it: You’re out on picturesque blue-green water watching the sun rise as you cast your first line of many for the day. After a full day spent fishing, in the evening you return to board your houseboat and cook a fresh-from-your line fish dinner. The next day, you get to do it all over again. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

That dream can be your reality on Lake Koocanusa! With more than 80 kilometers — about 50 miles — of water to explore, it’s no wonder fishing on Lake Koocanusa is so popular. Kokanee Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, West Slope Cutthroat, and even some Perch and Bass are some of the fish you might find when you pull your line out of the water.

In the middle of summer, the sun rises shortly after 5 am and doesn’t set until nearly 10 pm, which means you can be out on the lake and fishing before your first cup of coffee. You  truly can spend all day fishing if that’s your version of a perfect day!

Maybe the rest of the family isn’t on board for an all-fishing-all-the-time trip, that’s ok!  Add a fishing boat when booking your houseboat to ensure you’ll be able to sneak away and access all the best fishing spots while the rest of your party enjoys everything else your houseboat has to offer.

Be prepared, you will need to get a British Columbia fishing license before you can fish anywhere on Lake Koocanusa. Once you arrive at Sunshine Houseboats Marina for your trip, the Driftwood Store offers all of the tackle needed for fishing the waters of Koocanusa.

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Guide to a Successful Holiday Houseboat Vacation

Looking to spend the holidays away from home this year? A holiday houseboat vacation on Lake Mead, Lake Powell or Lake Mohave might be just the right getaway you need to avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy season.

Here’s how to tackle the holidays according to our staff at Forever Houseboats:


Christmas lights

Bring a few twinkling lights to string along your rental. It’s the perfect decoration because it provides an extra warm and cozy feeling to your space—plus the beautiful reflection off the water is an added bonus!


A wreath adds just the right amount of holiday spirit to your houseboat. Hang it up somewhere where all crew members will catch a glimpse of it as they enter the cabin.  


You must not forget about the mistletoe, a traditional staple in holiday décor. Spark a bit of romance on your vacation by hanging up a few mistletoes above the doorways.

Meal Planning

Designate roles

On a houseboat vacation, it’s important to designate roles to each member of the crew to ensure there is no miscommunication and everything runs smoothly. Create a spreadsheet that includes each meal and who is cooking it. Then, rotate it between the cleaning crew so the duties are shared.

Plan your meals

Since you won’t have access to a slew of restaurants and grocery stores while floating on the lake, we highly suggest taking the time to plan out your meals. Snacks are great for a short period of time, but eventually your crew will want a decent home cooked meal, especially during the holidays. Our houseboats come with fully equipped kitchens—including an oven, fridge and stove—and a grill on the deck, so you’ll have everything you need to whip up a good dinner. Keep in mind you’ll want to pack all the spices, ingredients and condiments you want…

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Best Places to Rent a Houseboat in Arizona

No matter if it’s summer or winter, you can’t go wrong with a houseboat vacation. Although there are plenty of lakes in the Southwest, below are the best places to rent a houseboat in Arizona.

Lake Powell

With a max length of 186 miles and just about 2,000 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell is an ideal place to rent a houseboat in Arizona because of its sheer size alone. In fact, it’s the second largest man-made reservoir by maximum water capacity in the U.S. behind Lake Mead (which also made this list). Lake Powell is located on the border of Utah and Arizona; however, you’ll spend most of your time on the Utah side.

Houseboating on Lake Powell is popular because of its ideal conditions all year long. During the summertime, water temps are around 70 to 80 degrees, perfect for swimming and other recreational activities. There are also plenty of places to anchor and explore. A popular place to hike at Lake Powell is Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is another great houseboating destination in Arizona. Bordering the southern tip of Nevada, Lake Mead is 110 miles long with over 550 miles of shoreline. People head to this lake each year to enjoy boating, swimming, fishing, and the sun! Popular attractions nearby include the Historic Railroad Trail, Goldstrike Canyon, Arizona Hot Springs, plus many more paved and unpaved trails throughout Lake Mead Recreation Area. It is also known as a great bass fishing lake, hosting the U.S. Open each year.

Lake Mohave

A bit smaller than the other two lakes on this list, Lake Mohave spans 67 miles from top to bottom with over 230 miles of shoreline. Houseboaters enjoy this lake because it offers stunning canyon views and tons of sandy beaches to park and play. Lake…

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Good Meal Ideas That Keep Well on a Houseboat

If you are thinking about renting a houseboat for your next vacation, then you know that you will have to take into account additional logistics. From packing extra gear to make your stay more fun and extra safe to learning how to operate the houseboat, it’s an experience that differs in many ways from a traditional land vacation.

Another thing that you will want to consider prior to your houseboat vacation is your meals. At Forever Houseboats, we know that meal planning is an important part of planning your next houseboat vacation.

Here are a few meal ideas you may want to try:

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic Italian dish that is known for its affordability and its ease. This is a simple dish that only requires three ingredients — spaghetti noodles, meatballs, and a spaghetti sauce. It doesn’t take much to make a heaping pile of spaghetti that everyone on the houseboat will enjoy.

Sausage, Potatoes and Beans Tin Foil Meal

In a sense, houseboating is like camping on the water. Tin foil meals have long been a favorite among avid campers, and this one is particularly popular. Simply wrap grilled sausage, chopped potatoes and green beans in tin foil, and cook the concoction on the grill.

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

This quintessential summer meal makes for one of the easiest and tastiest houseboat meals. You can grill hamburgers and hot dogs right on the boat, and everyone can top them with their favorite fixings. Simple sides like potato salad and corn on the cob can be brought on board.


Tacos is another simple meal that is easy to make for a group. Cook up a couple of pounds of ground beef, add seasoning and serve to the masses. People can choose their favorite toppings, and chips plus salsa make…

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Lake Billy Chinook is the confluence of three of Oregon’s great rivers: the Metolius, Deschutes, and Crooked River. Only a 45 minute drive north of Bend, OR near the town of Culver. With 72 miles of cliffed shoreline, Lake Billy Chinook is the perfect backdrop for houseboating and any other water activities your heart desires.

Explore with your houseboat among the volcanic basalt cliffs that tower 500 feet above the water. The water is deep and crystal blue, perfect for kayaking, paddling, waterskiing, or jumping off the houseboat.

We rent houseboats from two marinas:

Billy Chinook Marina is on the northwestern end of the lake, and offers open shoreline. It adjoins the Warm Springs Indian Reservation where you can see rock formations like Balancing Rock.

Cove Palisades Marina is on the southern end of the lake, and offers a completely different view. Billy Chinook Falls is just two miles south of the marina. Or for some wildlife viewing, take your houseboat to the end of the Metolius arm for a peek at some wild horses running along the beach, or keep your eyes peeled to the treetops, you may spy an eagle’s nest.

Fishing is exceptional. Known for record Bull Trout (the three largest in Oregon were caught here). Other popular species are the Kokanee Salmon, Smallmouth Bass, German Browns, as well as Bull and Rainbow Trout. There is the occasional Atlantic Salmon or Catfish. Crawdads/Crayfish can be caught in the Crooked and Deschutes Rivers.

If you’re up for some hiking, don’t miss the Tam-a-lau Trail. It’s a moderate hike with a 600 feet elevation gain, a 6 mile loop hike from the…

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Houseboating in Wine and Water Country

Lake Berryessa, only 45 minutes away from beautiful Napa Valley wine country is the largest body of freshwater in Napa County, sprawling 23 miles long and plunging 275 feet deep.

Stop and smell the grapes in nearby Napa at one of the several wineries that line the Silverado Trail and Highway 29. Or play a round of golf at the Chardonnay Golf Club which consists of three different 9-hole golf courses rolling over 150 acres of breathtaking landscape. Weather is pleasant in the Spring ranging from the 70’s-80’s and heats up to around 96 degrees in July, making every season enjoyable. 

Glory Hole, near the Monticello Dam, is a sight that is not to be missed as it is the largest morning glory spillway in the world narrowing from 28 feet to 72 feet in diameter and drops a mindblowing 200 feet. In high water it spills into the funnel rather than over the dam, and exits on the south side of the dam. It cannot be approached by boat or swimmers for obvious dangers, but it can be accessed from the top of the Monticello Dam parking lot. You can also hike to the Spillway Overlook on the Stebbins Cold Canyon trail, a 5.1 mile fairly difficult adventure. Another great trail is called the Putah Creek Arm at the northwestern end of the lake. Take the “Pope to Putah” rail which leads to a ridge on the western side. A fairly new trail, this moderate hike has about 1,000 feet elevation gain and can require caution due to steep areas that can be slick after rain.

Wanting a bit more freedom? Take your kayak or paddleboard to the open…

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Why a Houseboat is Ideal for an Adult Getaway

Adulting is hard — that’s why it is important for adults to book vacations to get away from it all. Sometimes, a group of friends wants to reconnect and live like they did in the old days. Other times, a couple wants to spark the flames of passion once again. For all types of adult travelers, a houseboat vacation is the perfect option.

Here’s why you should book a houseboat for your next adults-only trip:

Houseboating Combines Unique Accommodations with Authentic Adventure

When you book a trip on a houseboat, the journey and the accommodations are one in the same. You get to enjoy the amenities of your houseboat with your entire travel party, all while traversing across the lake to see new sights and explore the region around you. Houseboating is an experience — one that is different from any other type of travel.

Houseboating is an Affordable Way to Travel

For many adults, a vacation is a luxury and budget can quickly become an issue. Luckily, houseboating is an affordable way to travel. All members of your travel party can split the cost of the boat rental. In addition, there’s plenty of opportunity to save more money by bringing your own food on board, sharing meals and choosing free or low-cost excursions during your trip.

Houseboating Allows Travelers to Relax and Reconnect with One Another

Many times, adults just need time to slow down, have conversation and enjoy the view. Luckily, houseboating makes it easy to enjoy all of those things throughout the duration of your entire vacation. Imagine yourself surrounded by your friends or the people you love, and all you have to do is sip your favorite beverage, talk about the good old days and enjoy the 360-degree waterfront views.

With marinas in Arizona, California and Nevada, Forever Houseboats

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Why You Should Spend Money on Family Vacations

Getting away for a family vacation is never easy. These trips often require a lot of advanced planning to coordinate everyone’s busy schedules. Parents must start to save months, and sometimes years, in advance so that they can afford the experience. They have to consider the likes and dislikes of each individual child, as they try to find the perfect destination to enjoy together.

All of this work can be exhausting and expensive, but it’s well worth the effort. These are a few reasons why you should spend the money on that next trip without a second thought:

Family Vacations Give You Time to Connect and Bond With Your Children

Most families describe their lives as busy and chaotic, and time never seems to slow down. One of the best ways to reconnect as a family unit is to escape to a new destination, and enjoy life at a slower pace while you are on vacation. This is a time to unplug, enjoy a new adventure and bond with one another.

Some of the Best Life Lessons are Learned While Traveling

Depending on the type of vacation you book, you’ll find that you and your family have the opportunity to experience something new together. For example, if you book a houseboat, your children will learn the art of living life on the water. This is something that they cannot learn while watching YouTube or while sitting in a classroom.

The Memories Made on Family Vacations are Priceless

Sometimes, it’s easy to predict the memorable moments of vacation. Everyone is captivated by magnificent monuments and iconic museums. But sometimes, the best memories occur from the most unexpected moments. For instance, no one is going to forget the time dad fell off the tube while cruising on the lake. In these fleeting moments, both parents and…

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Fall Fun at Smith Mountain Lake

When you think of taking a houseboat vacation, I’m sure you’re imagining long summer days and hot weather. While you’re not wrong, summer certainly is the most popular season for houseboating, you’ll be missing out if you overlook the days after Labor Day.

Milder temps, fewer crowds and lower prices are just a few of the benefits of waiting to take your trip until most of the summer crowd has packed up their bags and headed back to work and school.

Called the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” Smith Mountain Lake — or SML as it’s locally known —  is the second largest body of freshwater in Virginia. Spanning 40 miles and offering 500 miles of shoreline, it’s also surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, making it one of the most popular and scenic destinations in Virginia.

The houseboat season at Parrot Cove Marina runs through the end of October, and believe us when we say there is still plenty to do in those last couple of months! In fact, some of the biggest events on SML take place in September and October.

Below are just a few of the most popular events happening on the lake this year:

30th Annual SML Chapter ACBS Antique Boat Festival & Show

When: Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 19, 2020
What: Classic and antique boat enthusiasts from across the country descend on SML to show off their vessels. Also featuring craft and food vendors, kids’ activities and more.

Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. September 26 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 27, 2020
What: The SML Wine Festival takes place the…

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A Tale of Two Anglers and the Smallies That Made Them Famous

Dale Hollow Lake is known for many things; houseboating, clear water and its unaffected beauty. But Dale Hollow is known most for fishing-calling itself home to one of the most popular freshwater game fish in all of North America, the Smallmouth Bass. Don’t be fooled by the smallie’s accessibility or their eagerness to snap at most lures, baits and flies- as they will give you a run for your money with one heck of a fight! Not only does Dale Hollow hold the World Record for Smallmouth Bass (and some other records through the years) but more trophy catches are caught at Dale Hollow Lake than any other lake in the world, and is home to two smallmouth fishing celebrities who caused quite the stir with their monumental catches!

David Lee Hayes takes the number 1 spot for the largest Smallmouth Bass in 1955, weighing in at an unbeatable 11lb 15oz. To this date, he has yet to be beat despite his temporary ousting of the record. On July 9th, David went trolling with his wife Ruth and their 6 year old son. He reported it to be a rather slow day, his family even retiring for a short nap. He thought his line was snagged, but then felt the fight on his hook and knew he had something big. After a 20 minute fight which he recalls “feeling like much longer,” he woke his wife to help him net the beast. Not knowing he had a world record “smallie,” he stowed what he could fit of the fish in his metal cooler and continued his day fishing. When fuel was needed, Hayes went into the marina where the dockhand insisted on weighing…

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