My Story

First Time On Dale Hollow Lake Part 1

In the decade before WWII, during the same time that the Core of Engineers in Kentucky acquired and cleared land and built Dale Hollow Lake by putting a dam on the Obey River, the Lower Colorado River Authority in Texas was doing the same thing to dam up the Colorado River close to Austin, Texas. Both Dale Hollow Lake and Lake Travis are ironically about the same length. However, when full Dale Hollow Lake has approximately 9,000 more surface acres of water than Lake Travis.

And whereas the land around Dale Hollow Lake is owned by the Core of Engineers, most of the land around Lake Travis is privately owned. Both lakes being surrounded by rocky shorelines boast of clear water year-round except for short periods of time when runoff from heavy rains clouds the water with its murky menace. The scales get tipped sharply in favor of Dale Hollow Lake for fishing because six out of the top ten world record smallmouth bass, according to Bassmaster, have been caught in Dale Hollow Lake!

In The Beginning

In the early 1960’s I was just a young boy fortunate enough to have a set of grandparents who loved hunting and fishing. In the late 1800’s near the community of Spicewood, Texas the Bebee Ranch and the Nauman Ranch had a common fence line on one side and fronted the Colorado River running through the central Texas hill country. That’s how my “Pampaw” Bebee met one of the Nauman girls who became my “Mammaw” Bebee. My Dad was an only child and grew up with lots of “guides” encouraging him along the way to his becoming an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing.

Right after returning to Austin in 1945 from serving in the Navy during World War II, my Dad met the love of his life. They soon married and in a little over five years, my two older sisters, me and our younger brother had been born. A little more than five years after that in the late 1950’s Dad purchased a place on the west side of Lake Travis downriver from Spicewood but on the same side of the lake.

This is where Mammaw and Pampaw Bebee taught me and my brother how to hunt and fish. Back in the 1960s Lake Travis, with the only developments on the lake or along its shorelines being Marinas, looked like Dale Hollow Lake looks today. Knowing what Lake Travis looks like today surrounded by the greater metropolitan development of Austin, Texas was a huge reason why our son Ryan, living in Kentucky wanted me to see and experience fishing Dale Hollow Lake.