Wade fishing the Kalama, who's with me?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Thomas Williams, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    So this Saturday I'm wanting wade fish the Kalama river. I've never fished it before but from what I've read its pretty easily fished from the bank. I'll be mostly nymphing. Does anyone want to go with or have any useful information as far as access goes? Please feel free to pm me. I've got a pontoon boat as well if you would rather float it. Let me know... Thanks.
     
  2. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    You've got some of the best swinging runs accessible by foot, and you couldn't find an easier river to swing a fish on at these water levels. I'm not saying you shouldn't nymph, but if you're wanting to try the swing, nows the time to do it.
     
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  3. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    Sounds good. Can you give me a general area to start? I know nothing about this river. Again a pm is encouraged.
     
  4. snarlac

    snarlac Member

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    I believe there is a campground near the mouth that can sell you a map for a few bux; that might be more helpful than exchanges on this forum. Its not the sort of system that has much in the way of fishing "secrets."
     
  5. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    Kalama doesn't have many secrets. If you want lonely fly only water, head to the upper river above the second hatchery. Stop at the hatchery while you're their and they'll tell you how many nates they've passed upriver. If you're looking for a shot at fresh summer fish, stick to the lower river. If you want to avoid the tube hatch in the lower river, you're going to have to get there early. Otherwise, at this time of year you're going to share it with a lot of drunk locals bouncing through the runs. Occasional bikini shots can be worth it. As long as your not picky. Or sober. Monday I had two guys walk down to the run I was fishing and start swimming through. They did tell me there were fish in there, so I was grateful for that.
     
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  6. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    Well I guess my plan is to start at the falls and work my way down. Is the native run strong enough to merit fishing the fly only section?
     
  7. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    About as many nates as hatchery fish this year last time I checked, so it's as good a bet as anything. You'll be sight fishing in the upper river and it stays pretty lonely up there.
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I used to fish the Holy Water and other pools up in the fly only section a lot in the 70s. There was no gate, and we and others camped there many times. Good fishing over the mix of hatchery and wild fish then.

    Sg
     
  9. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    Theres a gate? Do I need a permit or something to fish above the falls? How far up can I drive? I may fish the upper river just for the solitude.
     
  10. I should be available the following weekend Thomas sunday would work best
     
  11. flycasterwa

    flycasterwa Chris Delsing

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    Eager to hear back on your day. Jealous wish I could go.
     
  12. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    The Weyerhaueser gate's usually unlocked, especially at this time of year.

    I'm pretty sure the only land you need a permit for is the land owned by the Port below the I-5 bridge and above the I-5 bridge at the first major turn. They have large signs where they apply.
     
  13. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    Generally I don't fish Sunday because I have physical training on Monday but I may be down. I'll let you know how I do.
     
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  14. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    How was it?
     
  15. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    It's was fun. The river is beautiful but I didn't see or catch any steelhead. However I caught the biggest sea-run cutt I've ever seen in my life. He hammered a dark purple fly I use for summer low water. When he came out of the water I thought it was a small steelhead. I tried to get a photo but I didn't have a net with me. I planned just to bank the steelhead I caught. When he came up close I saw the red slashes on his throat and yellowish coloring along his back. My heart was was pounding I couldn't believe the size of him. I would estimate him to be between 21"-22" and pushing 4 pounds. He had my drag screaming and everything. He was the only fish I caught or saw all day. Made the trip worth it though. I talked to a couple gear fisherman and they all said it has been a terrible year. I'll probably give it one lore shot for summers before the salmon arrive.
     
  16. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    You would have to catch one helluva steelhead to beat that! Congrats. I'd take a one fish day like that any time! Sounds like a "once-in-a-lifetime" searun cutt!
     
  17. Steffan Brown

    Steffan Brown ...

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    Yeah man, that sounds like an awesome fish! Congrats!
     
  18. Ryan Couch

    Ryan Couch New Member

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    Congrats I almost went to the kalama this past weekend instead I went to the Cowlitz same thing caught a nice 8" cut and a couple bows. Cant wait for salmon to get here!
     
  19. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    That's a treasure of a lifetime right there, congratulations. I usually catch a few very small sea-runs a summer in there (like 8" small) but I've heard the old guys say that back in the early 70's they used to run thick and much bigger. It's definitely been a slow year--the hatchery isn't recycling many fish, but it seems like the entire system is late. We'll see.
     

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