Lake Simtustus is a fisherman's dream! With such a wide variety of fish species offers you a variety of ways to catch them! Trolling seems like the most popular hobby, but fly fishing, lure casting, and bobber beer fishing all have success. The Deschutes River is world renowned for its fly fishing for Redband trout and Steelhead. Rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass are all waiting for the challenge! Redband trout and Steelhead can be caught on the Lower Deschutes River just below Pelton Dam.
There are a number of guide services for the Lower Deschutes.
|Lake Simtustus is the only Tribal Waters open to fishing during the winter season. During the summer, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, kokanee, rainbow trout, and brown trout are all waiting to steal your bait! We have a fish cleaning station and hold a number of contests throughout the year. You do need a Tribal Fishing Permit and an Oregon State License to fish these waters.|
The Elusive Kokanee Salmon
Features: Kokanee are silvery in color until they are ready to spawn, at which time they become reddish. They do not grow as large as sockeye- their ocean traversing siblings. They can vary significantly in size depending on how densely populated the waterbody is. Since they are filter feeders, their populations can quickly expand and contract with the availability of food.
Habitat: Kokanee can be found at all depths of cold, clear lakes and reservoirs in several parts of the state. They will change which depth they are at depending on water temperature.
Technique: They are a challenging fish to catch as they eat mostly zooplankton, but they will take both flies and lures. Once caught, they make great table fare.
Features: The color of all trout varies with environment. In general, the rainbow is bluish-green on the back, silvery on the sides and belly, and has a white edge to the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. A generous sprinkling of black spots appear along the back, and on the dorsal, adipose and caudal fins. A pinkish band usually extends along the sides.
Habitat: Rainbow trout are the most widely stocked and distributed trout in Oregon. They occur naturally in many rivers and streams, and each year ODFW stocks millions more in ponds, lakes and streams. Prime trout waters are clear, clean and cold. Good trout stream habitat is complex, consisting of an array of riffles and pools, submerged wood, boulders, undercut banks, and aquatic vegetation. The ability to swim to and from different habitats from ocean to headwaters, or from tributary confluence to headwaters, increases the value of individual habitat components.
Technique: Rainbow trout have a well-earned reputation for being a hardy, hard-fighting game fish. Their diet consists of minnows, crayfish, insects and other small aquatic life, making them susceptible to a well-presented spinner, flatfish or fly. Baits, such as night crawlers and dough bait (like PowerBait), can also be very effective.
Features: The coloration tends to be golden-brownish with dark brown or black spots on the body, and on the dorsal and adipose fins. Usually, few or no spots appear on the tail fin. Many body spots, especially those below the lateral line, are edged with pink, red, or orange, forming rings or halos. Breeding males develop strong teeth and a hooked snout. Size can range from 11-inches long in small streams to over 30-inches in large rivers or lakes.
Habitat: Although brown trout can adapt themselves to sluggish streams and warmer temperatures than other trout, cold, spring-fed tributary streams with stable water conditions are required for successful spawning.
Techniques: The brown is known as the wariest of trout and the most difficult to catch. While brown trout have a varied diet, anglers often target them to use spinners or flies that mimic minnows. As the current carries the bait downriver, hold as much fishing line off the water as you can to achieve a natural "drift." Once the line has swung toward the shore and is straight down the river, begin a moderate retrieve.
Small Mouth Bass
Features: Smallmouth bass are golden green to bronze with dark vertical bars and blotches on the side. The upper jaw does not extend beyond the eye. In some locations, it has a red eye. Somewhat smaller than the largemouth, smallmouth bass in Oregon may reach 23-inches and exceed 7 pounds.
Habitat: Smallmouth bass are adapted to flowing waters and do well in warm streams with deep holes and rocky ledges. They also prefer lakes and reservoirs with rocky shorelines and limited vegetation. Adult smallmouth feed mostly on fish and crayfish.
Technique: Much of what was written about largemouth bass also pertains to smallmouth. Like largemouths, the smallmouth bass is less active and much harder to catch when the water temperature is below 50° F. Smallmouth is more likely to be found where cover consists of rock rather than vegetation or sunken wood. The best places to look for them are near rocky points, boulders, ledges, or drop-offs. In the spring they move inshore in lakes and reservoirs and into the shallows of streams as the water warms. Spawning activity begins when water temperatures reach about 58° F. As with largemouth, the male aggressively guards the nest and fry, making them easier to catch at this time. Other seasonal behavior is similar to that of largemouth bass, as are the angling techniques used to catch them, but because smallmouth is generally smaller, the lures used are also often smaller. Plastic grubs, crankbaits, and spinners are all effective.
Large Mouth Bass
Features: Largemouth bass are greenish on the back and sides with a white belly and usually a dark horizontal stripe along the side. They are distinguished from their close cousin, the smallmouth, by a large mouth with the upper jaw extending behind the eye. Largemouth bass in Oregon can exceed 25 inches in length and a weight of 12 pounds.
Habitats: Their preferred habitats are shallow ponds and lakes, or the backwater sloughs of rivers where aquatic plants or submerged logs and brush provide abundant cover. Largemouth bass begin life feeding on zooplankton (tiny crustaceans), but soon switch to insects, and then to fish and crayfish.
Technique: Largemouth bass may be caught most of the year, but are difficult to catch when the water temperature is less than 50°F. Early in the spring try nightcrawlers, plastic worms or jigs fished slowly along the bottom around cut banks, channels, rock piles, and woody cover. Bass moves into shallow water to spawn when the water temperature nears 60° F. As the water warms, largemouth will strike surface (e.g., popper, propeller type bait or darter) or shallow running lures fished around weed beds, docks, pilings, sunken logs, weed lines, and other shoreline covers. The best time to fish surface lures is early or late in the day or at night, and when the water surface is calm. During the hot part of the summer, largemouth seeks deeper, cooler water during the bright part of the day where they may be taken on lead-head jigs, plastic worms, and deep running plugs. Use pauses and short jerks of the rod tip to give the lure action. When fishing with diving plugs, use a steady retrieve, with speed determining the depth of return. Underwater plugs such as crankbaits and spinnerbaits also work well when the water is rough or choppy.