Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The North Fork Lewis River  
The North Fork of the Lewis River begins in the Gifford
Pinchot National Forest and flows to the main stem of the
Lewis River near Woodland, Washington. The river has
good runs of different species of salmon and both
summer and winter steelhead. In addition, there are
sea-run cutthroat and resident rainbows. It provides fly
fishing opportunities just about year-round. Its winter
steelhead hasn't been so great lately but its Chinook
Salmon fishing is considered top notch.

Access is easy and plentiful. Highway #503 parallels  
one side of the river for several miles and County Road
#16 runs parallel  the river on the opposite side. Several
boat ramps are available. The upper river, above Swift
Creek Reservoir, can be accessed from Forest Service
Road #90.

The North Fork has an excellent spring Chinook Salmon
run. These fish average from ten to thirty pounds. Top
months for the spring run are April and May. There's
also a fall Chinook run with September and October
being the top months. During the same time, the fall run
Coho Salmon run usually provide more action. Coho run
from September through November. These fish average
about 8 to 10 pounds.

Summer-run steelhead show up as early as April but the
best fly fishing opportunities is usually during he months
of July and August. It usually provides anglers plenty of
fish and action. The winter steelhead run isn't near as
good as the summer run. Recent catch numbers have
been low but opportunities do exist.  

Sea-run Cutthroat Trout are plentiful and managed by
"catch-and-release" regulations. The river also has
some Dolly Varden but they too are managed under
"catch and release" regulations.

Although there is some bank access, the river is best
fished from a boat. Popular areas of the river can
become crowded during the prime month but otherwise,
there is plenty of room for everyone.

The Upper section of the North Fork Lewis River, above
the Swift Creek Reservoir, has an excellent population of
wild rainbow trout. Due to the popularity of the salmon
and steelhead fishing, few anglers take advantage of it.
The stream can be waded and fished from small
inflatable type crafts.

Varies with species and area of the river - make sure
you see the current special regulations
April and May is the best time for the spring Chinook
Salmon. Spring steelhead show up as early as April and
continues through May.
Summer steelhead run from June through September
with the best fishing taking place in July and August.
Chinook Salmon enter the river in September and peak in
October. Coho fishing also starts in September and runs
through November.
Winter run steelhead enter the river about the middle of
November. January to April is the peak time of the winter
Type of Stream

Steelhead (Summer and Winter)
Coho Salmon
Chum Salmon
Chinook Salmon (Fall and Spring)
Sea-run Cutthroat
Rainbow Trout


Southwestern Washington

Nearest Towns

Varies by species and area of the

Fair to Good

Non-Resident License
State of Washington

National Weather Service Link

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North Fork Lewis River Fishing Report:
Coming Soon
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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