Hatchery and wild steelhead are beginning to show themselves in fishable numbers in the North Fork Lewis river in southwest Washington along with some very nice quality resident cutthroat trout. We fished on January 12th for the majority of the day a few miles up and down of the golf course area, mostly bobber-dogging small baits, yarn, and soft beads and landed a few smallish/borderline jack wild steelhead, 6-8 cutthroats and lost a quite larger steelhead after a few minutes of hooking him. The water was a clear/green color with about eight feet of visibility and was flowing at 5500cfs out of the dam. It seemed to me in these conditions and through chatting with other anglers that the fish were holding in areas and not moving up river too quickly, which in hindsight I would suggest to stay in one spot once you know you’ve located holding fish and switch up your presentations until you find the winning combo (try tossing jigs, or run plugs down in front of them). All in all I’d say it’s currently worth a trip and should improve as we get deeper into the winter/spring steelhead season.
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