Kalama river question...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by james.jimenez, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. james.jimenez

    james.jimenez Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    WA
    Anyone want to point me in the right direction? Not looking for a secret location just a starting point. I see there is a large section for fly fishing only and this is where I look to start. Is this an easy river to wade? Any suggestion on fly patterns? I have not had much luck fishing for that damn unicorn fish, steelhead, so this trip I plan on targeting anything but that damn fish.. And because I know you are gonna say something... THEY DON'T EXIST JERRY!!!! You will not change my mind on this..

    Thanks in advance to anyone who is will to give advice..
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,869
    Likes Received:
    5,445
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Drive south on I-5. Get off at Kalama River Rd. exit. Head east, upstream. Lots of obvious access and lots of obvious posted property. The river is wadable at normal flows.

    A fly pattern that is as good as any and better than many is a marabou streamer in your favorite color. Until later in summer when the water is low and clear. Then use a Spade in size 6 or smaller.

    I don't know when you're planning on going, but you might consider that April and May will statistically be the months with the lowest abundance of fresh steelhead in the river, and you'll hook tons of outmigrating smolts if you're not careful. By June, abundance will be on the upswing, and the trip will be more worthwhile in terms of gas burned and time spent casting over unoccupied water.

    The fly only water is in the upper river and gets the fewest number of steelhead. I thought WDFW only lets wild fish go above the falls, but they may let some hatchery summer runs go up as well. I'm not sure and haven't bothered to check. I wouldn't fish the upper river without first asking the hatchery folks how many steelhead they've allowed past the falls.

    Sg
     
    Ed Call likes this.
  3. james.jimenez

    james.jimenez Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    WA
    Hope I don't get voted off the forum for my next comment... Catching a unicorn fish would be cool, but is there other fishing worth fishing for here? Would trout be a target fish here? I am thinking of heading there next weekend if flows are good. Just wanting to try new waters.. Lake fishing ISPs fun but I think it's time for a change..
     
  4. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    819
    Location:
    Kalama, WA
    James, like most of the lower Columbia tribs, the Kalama doesn't have any resident trout to speak of. If you're catching trout size fish they are almost always smolts. The Kalama gets some sea run cuts late summer. The water was just a tad faster than I normally like it this last weekend but its a good time to hit the water without the usual crowds.
     
  5. james.jimenez

    james.jimenez Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    WA
    Are smolts fun to catch? I looked up the regs and all they say is year round catch and release..
     
  6. aplTyler

    aplTyler Inept Steelheader

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    I would not target smolts if I could help it James... it's considered poor form for many reasons. Leave them be, especially the native ones up high. They already face far too low odds of survival.

    That said, the Cowlitz would be my choice if I was in Olympia and looking to hook Steelhead at this point in the year. The Kalama should be decently fishable if this blip of rain coming through doesn't blow it out. Then again, I wouldn't expect to find many fish in there either.
     
    Ed Call likes this.
  7. bigdood

    bigdood fishing hack

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Home Page:
    They have kala in the kalama? I never put 2 and 2 together but may have to dust off the three prong
     
  8. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    819
    Location:
    Kalama, WA
    If you're hooking smolts take a few steps down until they stop tagging your fly. They're definitely not fun to catch, mortality is pretty high when you're yanking a size one gami out of their face. Plus it's hard to catch mature fish when the babies are playing soccer with your fly.
     
  9. Venture down to Oregon
     
    JesseCFowl likes this.
  10. james.jimenez

    james.jimenez Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    WA
    Anyone have anything good to say about this river yet?
     
  11. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    Home Page:
    James, sounds like you're interested in catching some trout in moving water. Send me a PM and I might hook you up with a spot or two that won't put too many miles on your rig. Will need a brief chat re ethics and c&r, though, to ensure that I can trust ya to some wild fish.
     
  12. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    819
    Location:
    Kalama, WA
    Currently you may want to forego a drift boat and just bring an ark.