Swift Lake (Skamania County) Fishing Report

I don’t normally trout fish late in the season, but when I saw my friend Luke Hatfield’s recent Swift Reservoir report my interest shot way up. The lake is fishing incredibly good as it winds down to it’s season closing on Nov. 30th. So after contacting Luke and his offering to guide the lake I pulled my boat out from under the tarp, reattached the batteries and headed down to Swift. Along with me were my friends Randy (rseas) and Robbie. Rounding out the boat was Luke’s dad, John.

We fished on Monday and were the only boat in sight. The weather was still wet with periods of “was that a patch of blue?” mixed in. But it wasn’t bad, better than the day before on Yale.

The launch is down very low, but still do-able. We started at a very leisurely 8:30am. The drive to Swift had a bonus as we drove by a herd of elk, very cool!

Luke brought along his own gear for us to run, and also swapped in some of his rod holders. I must say, I have already gone online and spent a couple hundred dollars on boat upgrades after this trip.

The plan of attack was to fish along the old river bed, trolling 2.5-3.0 mph, long lining with either no or very little weight. We ran three rods to the back of the boat and a planer rod off either side, five rods for five anglers. As of this reports Swift is a one rod only lake. We ran no bait.

The target were rainbow, but we found ourselves catching a lot of land locked coho as well. Swift has coho, not kokanee. There are also bull trout (catch and release only). Also there is a size limit on the rainbow, 20”.

We never did have to throw back any rainbow, but they were a very respectable 11-14” size range and fat. The coho ran 11-14” as well. On Swift, the late season (last two months) limits go up to ten rainbow with land locked salmon rules applying, meaning coho count toward the ten fish limit.

Our action was non-stop all day and by 2:30pm we had limited out the boat. The hot lure of the day was an Old Goat in orange, smallest size lure. Very impressive! We also got to try out Luke’s “two fer one” lure set up where he runs a diving plug as one lure and another lure on a “y” set up up from the diving plug. Pretty effective and we actually caught two fish at once on this set up, the first time that had ever happened according to Luke.

Swift is closed now, so this report can be a reminder for you to put it on your calendar for next year, late falls fishing. The crowds are gone and the lake is red hot at the end of the season.

Thanks to Luke and his dad for fishing with us and showing us the ropes!

Get Email Alerts for Swift here.

Read all reports for Swift here.

Leave a comment


11/30/2016 8:55 PM
Mike, Thank you for taking the time to test the OG1! Looks like you guys really got into 'em! --Donn
12/1/2016 8:00 AM
Is the picture of the Scotty rod holder the one your upgrading too? What is its plus?
Mike Carey
12/1/2016 4:40 PM
You bet Donn, great lures. I'm a fan. The upgrade I'm doing is a 3 slot scotty (not pictured) and in the center slot a small bait table. And rod extenders all around, although not the orcas. For some reason I continue to struggle getting the rod out of those holders. I know it's a simple thing but I just can't get it,
12/5/2016 10:29 AM
Thanks for the report! How far did u set back. I've read other reports of long lining with a set back of 100ft to 150ft. I fished swift back in November. I didn't do as well as u guys. My set back was only 50 to 60ft.
Mike Carey
12/5/2016 11:26 AM
we ran long set backs of 90 to 120 feet. We did have a few fish hit as we were letting out, 30-40 feet back of the boat, but long set backs worked for us.
12/16/2016 9:24 PM
Mike: Glad to see you were so successful. I agree with you that the Old Goat Lures work awesome. I also fished up there around Halloween time a couple years ago and the fishing was lights out then too. They ran exactly the same size then as well. There are so many fun places to fish. It's hard to decide where to go sometimes. Denny
Mike Carey
12/17/2016 6:05 PM
you know the old saying - "fish where the fish are!"