Tips For Steelhead Fishing in the Kalama River

Tips For Steelhead Fishing in the Kalama RiverThe Kalama River is a tributary of the Columbia River situated in Cowlitz County at the southwest part of Washington. The river is well-known for its productive fishing of many species but most notably for steelhead and Chinook salmon. Steelhead anglers flock to the river especially during the summer and winter runs.

Baits and Lures

Kalama River experiences healthy steelhead runs during the summer and winter seasons; effective baits and lures to try include a variety of plugs and jigs. When side-drifting from a boat, toss corkies with eggs or yarn. Use smaller presentation for best results-approximately the size of a quarter is ideal. Back-trolling with plugs also works very well in the Kalama. Using eggs and jet divers when back-trolling and corkies, sand shrimp and Spin-n-glo lures when bank fishing will cause plenty of steelhead bites, according to the Washing and Oregon Game and Fish Magazine.


Season and Hot Spots

Fish for steelhead in Kalama during its summer peak season in July. For winter runs, December and January are the best times to go. Take your boat from a ramp about half a mile above the mouth of the river during peak season to find populations of fish. For an extended trip, camp in one of the two camping areas on the lower part of the river: Camp Kalama Campground and Mahaffey's Campground. Troll-fishing below the Modrow Bridge and down the river is a hot spot for steelhead, according to the Hotshot Fishing Guide Service, a local steelhead fishing guide in Kalama.

Tackle and Techniques

For drift-fishing, use 4-foot fishing leader and 8-lb mono-filament fishing line. If you prefer fly fishing, a 6- to 8-weight fly rod with a Cortland 444 sinking steelhead line along with approximately 75 yards of backing is recommended by the Hot Shot Steelhead Fishing Guide Service. Powered boats are allowed below the Modrow Bridge and drift- boaters can access three launch sites at the upriver and also at Modrow Bridge. For those steelhead anglers who like bobbers, 2 to 8 feet lengths are quite effective.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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