Cutthroat Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Mountain Whitefish
The American River is a tributary of the Bumping River, It flows down the east side of the Cascade Range, through Wenatchee National Forest and the William O. Douglas Wilderness.
From its source at American Lake, it flows north for several miles, picking up its tributary the Rainier Fork American River, which flows east down from the vicinity of Chinook Pass. State Route 410 crossing Chinook Pass from Mount Rainier National Park, then follows the Rainier Fork and the American River valleys.
After its confluence with Rainier Fork, the American River flows through Pleasant Valley. It joins the Bumping River a few miles above that river’s confluence with the Naches River.
The American River is part of the Columbia River basin, being a tributary of the Bumping River, which is tributary to the Naches River, which is tributary to the Yakima River, which is tributary to the Columbia River.
Take Highway 410 east from Greenwater or west from Cliffdel. The highway parallels the river most of the way from Lodge Pole Campground on the west to American Forks Campground and it’s confluence with the Bumping River on the east, a distance of 12 miles.
The U.S.Forest Service’s Lodge Pole, Pleasant Valley, Hells Crossing, Pine Needle, American Forks, and Little Naches Campgounds all have campsites, restrooms, and water, and they’re all on or near the river. The nearest food, gas, tackle, and lodging are in the town of Naches.
Fishing the American River:
Once planted with pan-sized rainbows from the Naches Fish Hatchery you can expect fair summer trout fishing for brook and cutthroat plus whitefish, using small spinners, and wet flies. The river is closed to fishing for bull trout, chinook salmon, and steelhead. Selective gear rules are in effect. Special Notice, the section of the river from the Highway 410 Bridge crossing below (down river) from Hells Crossing Campground to the Mesatchee Creek Trail crossing is closed July 16-August 31. Please see 2012 fishing regulations for more information on this closure. The river opens June 1 and fishes though October 31.