All the f&!*%ing time...Have you ever had one of those maps that started off so clear and easy in your head and then, for some unknown reason, you slam head-first into the brick wall of "It's not working"?
What software are you using? On most of the vector and raster-based programs, you can arc and warp text to make it fit better. My suggestion on the Red River would be to shrink the text a bit and give it a slight path or arc that would let it fit in there without touching the banks. I'd also give the other river's name a bit of an arc as well, so they match aesthetically.
I do have a comment about the rivers themselves: Why is there a big river entering the lake, but only a small one exiting? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
As for forests... can't help ya.