kalama (flyfishing only area)

anyone hit this area? want to go down sometime soon. wondering whats worked (flies). beginning to make up flies for august or september which i heard is the prime time to go. standing areas or boats? good access or bad? any info appreciated, thx!!!

Caddisaction :THUMBSUP
For late in the season tie up some steelhead caddis (the McMillian pattern) Those fish can be very responsive to skated dries. There is a lot of access and that time of year, you should be able to get anywhere on foot if your a decent wader. I've never bothered to float the river for that reason.
I heard that the kalama special is one for that river? anybody try that one. My trouble is that i dont know my bugs that well and try to get the basic flys for the specific river done ahead of time and sometimes by the time you go the hatch has changed......because i dont get out every weekend like some of you. thanks for the info.


o mykiss

Active Member
The Kalama Special is a standard hair wing steelhead fly. Red fiber tail, yellow floss body, grizzly hackle palmered over the body from the tail forward to the head (and I think maybe clipped, but not sure on that one), white calf tail (or similar) wing, and soft grizzly hackle wound around at the head. If you are fishing for steelhead on the Kalama (which is what I think this river is known for), you don't have to worry about matching the hatch. The Bill McMillan caddis pattern mentioned in the previous post is a dry steelhead fly and probably is a good bet if the steelies in the Kalama will come to a surface presentation. The game with steelies on the dry fly is not the same as trout fishing. I think buggy looking patterns are the way to go (if for no other reason than that they may bring trout to the surface if there aren't steelhead around), but you don't need to match the hatch and the stuff you fish is generally a lot bigger than anything that hatches on the river (I tie most of my steelhead dry flies on size 4 and 6 hooks). Also, you don't really want a dead drift presentation. Instead, quarter your cast down stream and lay out the line, leader and fly in as straight a line as possible (if you don't get there on the cast, you can fix things by lifting the tip of the rod to straighten out the line and let the leader and fly catch up to the line). Let the fly "skate" across the stream so that it kicks up as big a wake as possible (the disturbance is apparently what gets steelhead to come up). You can make it easier to create some surface disturbance by tying in a riffle hitch after you've tied your fly on to the leader with an improved clinch knot or whatever you like to use to tie on dry flies. As for flies, you could also try bombers (white calf tail, though they're not easy to tie unless you're good at spun deer hair bodies; the Waller Waker, which is also a spun deer hair fly and even harder to tie than the bomber; the Haig-Brown Steelhead Bee, which is pretty easy to tie; the Harry Lemire Greased Liner (which isn't a surface pattern per se but fishes well in the film); a big Sofa Pillow; or the Crystal Caddis, which has a tail of a few strands of orange crystal flash, a dubbed orange (or cinnamon, or whatever) body, a collar of natural deer hair with a few strands of orange crystal flash tied in for the wing, and a muddler style spun deer hair head. This all presumes that Kalama steelhead come to the surface (which I don't know - never fished this river). If it's a wet fly game, I'd imagine your standard hair wing-style steelhead flies (skunks, purple perils, signal lights, coal cars, etc., etc.) would work good for summer fishing.

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