Lake Simtustus fishing

Irishrover

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Lake Simtustus is really just a part of the Deschutes River. It is the part that is impounded behind Pelton Dam and starts at Round Butte Dam. I's about seven mile long. Mostly a boat lake because there is very little accessible shoreline and the lake falls of deep from the shore. It has a ten mile speed limit for most of the lake. The place is stocked with rainbow and steelhead. It also has a few kokes and some large browns, a few Bull trout, and has some non hatchery large rainbows. Not that I have caught one of those.

One nice thing about the place is that you can fish it with just about any method you want to use. I have still fished it with worm, pulled lake trolls, hit it with spinners (green roostertails) and of course pull out the fly rod and use a green wooly bugger with a softhackle dropper. The drawback is that you need a Indian fishing permit to fish there $30 for a family season permit. (Treaty of 1855). It also takes about twenty minutes to get to the good fishing area at 10mph. But once you are there the scenery is fantastic and the fishing is usually good.

There is no charge for the boat ramp and there is a store there. The place is run by the same folks that run the store over on the North Fork Reservoir (Clackamas). They make great cheeseburgers! PGE also has a campground there. Even has showers!

It's an easy place to find. Coming east on hwy 26 cross the Deschutes River at Warm Springs keep heading east and there is a sign on the right that points the way to the lake. It's before you head up the big hill to Madras. You can always get the latest fishing info at the little store by the dock. Friendly folks there.

The Feds own the east bank, the Confederated Tribes of the warmsprings own the west bank, the State owns the water. We pay for the fish (taxes tags & licenses) the ODFW put the fish into the water then they become the property of the Tribes (Treaty of 1855)... Could drive a person crazy. But I really like that place and I'm glad to see someone else here has fished there.

Lake Simtustus Fishing
 

IZZY

New member
I'm going to Lake Simtustus for the first time this Memorial Day Weekend. We got two grandpa's, two dad's, an uncle and 8 boys from ages 5-15 going with two boats so I was hoping to get into some fish. Anyone got some good advice on where and how to hook into some nice fish there? I have heard there is some really good fishing there, but I haven't had anyone tell me HOW they catch them.
Thanks for any words of wisdom you all may have, and happy fishing to you all!
 

Irishrover

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I usually moore my boat at lake Simtustus but this summer I'm going to moore the boat at Newport and chase coho salmon. I have had great luck at Simtustus. Some folks go up to the log boom and tie up and use power bait or worms down deep. I motor up past the Indian camp ground, and into the narrows, right where they start. I either cast or troll green roster tails. The other way I fish is to troll or cast a green or black wooly bugger. The fish I target are the steelhead. If I'm casting I cast toward the bank under the over hanging trees or rocky shelfs. The lake has a 10 mph speed limit and it is about 7.5 mile up to the best fishing area. Good luck!
 

IZZY

New member
Thanks for the advice Irishrover. I'll see if we can't try a little action in the narrows. I'll give you all a report next week. Good luck this weekend. May all the "oregonfishingforum" anglers land the big ones during this holiday weekend!
 

trout37

New member
How has Lake Simtustus been this summer? Any good fish stories? I'm very interested in this lake... like does the fishing slow down during the summer? How about late summer early fall? And when one says the fishing is a good 7.5 mile trip, is that upstream? or down? lol I have never been there so I have no idea.

I just bought my first money pit.. err.. boat and I'd like to start making a list of good lakes that aren't too far from Troutdale. Eventually I'd like to have a "menu" to choose from (mainly lakes for now). Thanks for any future help...
 

Irishrover

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First thing is it would be 7.5 miles up stream and past the Indian campground. That will be on your right as you head up stream. The best place to start is past the campground where the river narrows and makes a bend. The fishing is good all season partly because the water is very cold up in that portion of the river. It's the water coming out of the bottom of Lake Billy Chinook.........50 degrees or lower all year. Be sure to buy an Indian fishing permit for the lake, one is required to fish there. Trolling and casting a green rooster tail works well for me up there. Good luck.
 

A_J-Llama

Member
Tribal Permit

last time over there it was like fifty cents per person per day, and even if it was more, well worth the price to fish. It's the same if you fish the Metolious arm of Lake Billy Chinook, gotta buy the permit. But, let me tell you, even if you didn't catch "your moneys worth" of fish, the scenery and surroundings can be breathtaking.
 

michaelt

New member
More on Lake Simtustus Fishing

I am an avid fisherman of Lake Simtustus. I love it there. My wife and I are usually seen in a yellow paddle boat that we enter at the Pelton Park ramp. We spent as much time there as possible. We go there not only for the fish but the great scenery.

I also have a motor boat that I use to fish the upper end near the log boom. I use a wedding ring set up and sometimes a downrigger. The best fishing I have found is between Indian Park Campground and just before the canyon to the logboom. I have tried other trolling setups but find the wedding ring the most productive. I do also park the boat and cast out with a small bent lure that looks like the colors of a kokanee. Can't remember the name of it. Pretty successful with it too.

If you have not been there, it is worth the time and money to fish it.
 

beaverfan

Well-known member
So I was looking over the stocking schedule and came across this. Camping trip anyone?

30,000 Summer Steelhead in a little over a month!
 

Irishrover

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The ones they plant are about 10 to 12 inches. They never make the run to the ocean. They grow fast in the waters of the Deschutes and they are a ton of fun to catch. They have been doing this planting since about 1995 so there are a few good size hold overs. My favorite way to catch then is on a fly. Here is what they look like after they have been caught.
 

John B

Member
I have caught Steelhead in Simtustus up to 8lbs. The draw to Simtustus isn't the trout and steelhead but the huge Kokes, which are caught in the upper end of the lake at the boom generally fishing with jiggs. The boom is about 9 miles from the RV park with a speed limit of 10 mph. I fish Simtustus alot and will be there the first week of May. I will be meeting up with old friends on Saturday after the opener for an old friend who will be memorized at the boom. This is tribal water and requires a tribal permit. Although the longest fish ladder in the west is located at Simtustus, it doesn't work, so the state of Oregon has an agreement with the Indians to plant the steelhead. When visiting Simtustus you need to be aware that it is owned by the tribes and that you can not trespass on there ground. Tribal police and US Marshalls are not bashful when it comes to handing out citations and making arrests.
 

Irishrover

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Simtutus is a great place. I see that fish ladder and wonder why the don't turn it into a water park ride.:lol: It is a long one. I used to fish the boom but now have much more fun driffing in the narrows fly fishing. I've never had any trouble with the tribal police and in the 18 years I've fished there I've only seen them on the water once. Of course I alway buy a permit and stay off the west bank except the Indian camp ground. Sometimes we camp on the east bank because thats not tribal land. Good luck.
 

John B

Member
I will be fishing Simtustis on April 29th - May 1st. This is a great lake with lots of fishing for different species.
I will be targeting the Steelhead and large Kokes. For me this is one of my favorite lakes, for which I have
spent many hours fishing. If your there on the dates I'am look me up, I'll be the one in Papas Boat with the
big smile on my face and the ultra light rod in my hand, bent double to the water.
 

Reed

Member
I'm making my first trip to Simtustus on June 4th. any "How too" notes would be great! Staying at Simtustus RV Park, stop by & say "HI"
 

Irishrover

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I hope the weather warms up for you. It's going to get down to 31 tonight here in Culver. As far as how to notes I can give you a few ideas. I have fished that water for a few years and have tried different methods. First and foremost you need a boat. I have in the past motored up to the Round Butte dam end of the lake ans tied off to the log boom there. From there I could either cast flies (my favorite geen or black woolybugers), or relax and drop a worm or power bait to the bottom and soak up the sun. I have also worked the "Narrows" over trolling, or fishing from the bow casting a green rooster tail toward the overhanging alder trees. I have also used this method with flies. If I get hit with a spell of laziness I just troll a fly. I have also trolled with pop gear. All these methods have been successful. The most enjoyable is trying to cast a dry fly to those rising trout right at the edge of the overhanging alder trees. The best places to fish for me have been above the Indian camp ground. My favorite spot is were the lake bends and starts to form the Narrows. You will know you are the if on the east bank you can see what looks like a big landslide. Be sure to watch for the osprey, eagles, deer, otter and beaver. Oh and if you like good cheeseburgers go to the marina store.
 

Reed

Member
TY! I fished LBC earlier this month, it was down to 17 at night and my furnice ran my battery dead . bure... I'll take my generator next time I go to Perry South, I'm pluggin in this time. I'm looking forward to this trip, do troll the flies wet or dry? Fish Lake I troll it with a dry line with a streamer, some times will add a tiny split shot. I also have downriggers, this is going to be an interesting trip to try all the methods of fishing it. P.S. I love cheesburgers! Just have to be carefull as I diabetic and most of the good food is off limits most of the time...

Stop by, I'll have the coffee on, A22 @ Simtustus RV Park.
 

Reed

Member
I had sutch a good time that I think I'll head back over and do some more fishin... The plus's: gr8 people, clean, they launch & retreave your boat for ya, new restrooms & showers (they are not pay either) and each level has it's own golf cart for people to use, the fishin is good and the lake has a 10mph speed limit, the only draw back is if you don't like gravel to camp on. It doesn't bother me and one other thing is the place is very dog friendly! The weather is nice and only a bit over 3 hours drive for me...
 

Irishrover

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Trout fishing at Lake Simtustus

Trout fishing at Lake Simtustus has been awesome. My wife and I spent a sunny day fishing from the boat on a mostly in complete solitude. We only saw two other boats fishing near the area we were fishing, and they were there just briefly. We were fly fishing with hares ear nymphs, green woolly buggers, and soft hackles.
There were lot of salmon flies around but the fish were after much smaller flies. It's a beautiful place to fish but it seems a boat is necessary.

Usually we are down fishing out of Astoria or Newport at this time of year. We decided to enjoy some sun and relaxing time on the wter this year before we hit the ocean in mid July.
 
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