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Skamania County, Washington

Fly Fish Lewis River, Cougar, WA

Originally added by Emily Walbridge

Big river packed with trout!

An 1.5 hour drive NE from Vancouver, WA this section of the Lewis River makes for a perfect day fishing trip.  Heading North on I-5 for approximately 20 miles take the Woodland / HWY 503 exit East and head towards Mt St. Helens.  You'll follow the Lewis River along Hwy 503 (Lewis River Road) the entire way, making it a picturesque drive.   

You're next turn will be in an hour, so enjoy the drive.  Be aware the road is curvy and there have been mud slides in the winter, spring time closing one lane at times.  There are also several pull-offs along the way for pictures or to throw a line in if you're looking to stretch the legs for a few minutes.  Hwy 503 will turn into FR-90, once you pass the village of Cougar, continue on FR-90.  If you're hungry and want to stop on the way, try the Lone Fir Resort for a quick bite in Cougar.  It's good local food and you'll see Mt St Helens hikers stopping in to register for their climb.

At the end of Swift Reservoir you'll see a fork in the road, follow it to the right to stay on NF-90.  Shortly after, there will be a parking lot on the left side of the road just before the bridge.  Turn in and pick a parking spot.  There are fishing regulation rules posted at the parking lot along with a couple of trails for easy river access to either follow it upstream or downstream.  Be sure to check the WDFW before hitting the river.  

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Easy Parking


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