Kalama River Fishing Guides

Kalama River fishing guides catch Salmon and Steelhead on the Kalama River.

If you have fished the Kalama River without success it may good a good idea to contact a local Kalama River fishing guide or charter boat service and learn the how to and tips and tricks for catching fish on the Kalama River. Once you learn from an expert fishing guide you can catch fish there on your own.

Nearly 600,000 Chinook and almost 430,000 Coho are expected to return to the mouth of the Columbia River this year, and many of those fish are headed to lower river tributaries. Rivers such as the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis have all been producing strong catches of Chinook, as well as summer-run steelhead.

The Kalama River Fishing Guide Information

Kalama River One of the most pleasant and productive rivers in the state is the Kalama, in lower Cowlitz County. It joins the Columbia River about two miles above the city of Kalama. It has superb access, with five boat ramps and nearly a dozen public access fishing spots strewn along about 17 miles of cool, deep, green fish-filled water that delivers catches all year around.

Kalama River Salmon Fishing

Steelhead and salmon are the most-sought Kalama River species and there is scarcely a month when an angler cannot try for and expect to see fresh, bright fish. Steelhead catches number from hundreds of fish to over 1,000 each month, with July the peak of good summer angling and December/January supplying the cream of winter fishing. (See regulations for summer wild steelhead release and fly- fishing only area.) Rodsmen can greet anadromous species by boating from a ramp half a mile above the mouth of the Kalama, west of 1-5, reached by taking the Kalama Road (Exit 32) west, or pursue the same road up the river by exiting to the east. There are two large camping areas on the lower Kalama, Camp Kalama Campground and Mahaffey's Campground, which serve as excellent bases for a week or weekend of fishing the Kalama.

Northwest Fishing Report Links
  • Oregon Fishing Reports Weekly Oregon Fishing reports posted by the ODFW for all regions

  • Washington Fishing Reports Weekly Washington Fishing reports posted by the WDFW for all regions

  • Idaho Fishing Reports Weekly Idaho Fishing reports posted by the IDFW for all regions

  • Columbia River & Tributary Fishing Reports by David Perez of Hooked On Fishing Guide Service

  • John Day River Fishing Reports by Steve Fleming of Mah-Hah Outfitters

  • Western Washington Lake Fishing Reports By Butch DeLagoon

Steve's Guided Adventures

Steve's Guided Adventures has over 20 years of fishing experience in Washington and Oregon and on the Columbia River and can take you to the premier fishing spots and provide a great outdoor experience. Steve specializes in fishing the Kalama River and is considered to be an expert on this popular fishery. Book now for the best fishing dates and plan on some great action on the Kalama River with Steve Leonard.

Columbia River Tributaries Cowlitz, Lewis, and Kalama

Kalama River Fishing Guides

Spring, Summer and Fall fishing on the mighty Colombia river tributaries.
The Cowlitz, Lewis and Kalama rivers have some of the best fishing in Washington state. Spring kings on the Lewis river in April and May is the best fishing you could ask for. These Hot kings tip the scales between 10-30lbs. Best table fare there is!
 The Cowlitz river provides the hottest summer steelhead action in the state. Big summer steelhead weight between 7-20+ lbs. and tail walk like tarpon! Fall salmon fishing on the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers for kings and silvers is some of the best in the country. Kings weight in from 12-50 lbs. Silvers come in the rivers by the thousands. Ranging from 6-20 lbs. A great fish to catch and put on the BBQ, smoke or have the neighbors over for dinner!
 We specialize in corporate accounts and large groups! All rods, reels, tackle, and bait are included, but feel free to bring along your favorite rod and tackle, if you would like.  Expect a full day of fishing (about 7-8 hrs).

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

February 7, 2013

Spring chinook must be released on the Kalama River

Action:   Kalama River anglers must release all spring chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Effective dates: Feb.15, 2013 until further notice.

Location: From boundary markers at the mouth upstream to the upper salmon hatchery (Kalama Falls Hatchery).

Reason for action:   The spring chinook returns to the Kalama River are predicted to be below average in 2013.  The expected returns are needed to provide for the hatchery escapement goals and do not provide sufficient numbers of fish for harvest. Hatchery returns will be monitored weekly to assess the strength of the returns.

Other information:   Kalama spring chinook hatchery returns will be closely monitored in-season. 

The Kalama River remains open to fishing for hatchery steelhead.   
Information contact:   (360) 696-6211.  For latest information press *1010.

Learn more about Salmon by checking out all these websites:

For the best fishing guides in Oregon, Washington and Idaho check these websites:

State Farm Insurance

Kalama River Fishing Tips:
Best techniques so far have been plugs in sizes T-4 , k-13 or k-15's in silver/char bill, grinch, bubba, green hornet, green weenie an the best has been Blue Scale or blue scale/char bill. Diver's and eggs or egg/shrimp combo have also had some success and will get better as more fish arrive. Back bouncing eggs or the combo will be the go to method as water drops.

Have been back bouncing eggs and shrimp or sardines in the top of the holes and doing real well on fish to 25 pounds. Divers and shrimp or eggs have also been very effective. Float fishing in the deeper slow holes has also been great.

Thanks for Larry Hyatt for sending us these tip for fishing on the Kalama River.


Northwest Links For Tides / Fish Counts at Dams & Similar

  • Tide Tables All Areas

  • Fish Counts For All Columbia River Dams

  • Fish Counts For Willamette River

  • Daily Water Flow In KCFS For Columbia River Dams

Pro Green rods were created for the more aggressive angler who is fishing for inshore saltwater species. These rods are surprisingly light for their power, yet sensitive enough to detect even the lightest bite.


These new rods provide trout and steelhead anglers with fly fishing flexibility; allowing you to utilize a single-hand cast, roll cast, or even a full-on spey cast!


USGS River stages  -  Weather  -    Washington State weekly fishing report

Washington Boat Facilities  -  WDFW Website

Powered boats may be used below Modrow Bridge, about 31/4 miles upriver, and drift- boats have three launch sites spread farther upriver, plus at Modrow Bridge. Boats are not needed to share in the Kalama's topnotch angling. Bank access is diminishing, as private homes sprout along the river's banks, but there still are long stretches of riverbank open to fishermen. Chinook and coho salmon charge into the Kalama in two waves; spring and fall. Regulations should be carefully read, as salmon fishing is open all year except there is a fly- fishing only period of time in fall, a size limitation on Chinook salmon in early winter, the Kalama from Summers Creek down to the salmon hatchery is open only from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Nov. 30 for all- tackle angling, and the stretch from Summers Creek upstream to Road 6420 is open the same time period, but only to fly-fishing. Your daily salmon bag limit is six fish over 10 inches, not more than two of which may be adults (see regs). There are some rainbow trout and sea-run cutthroat caught from the Kalama, but most fishermen are looking for steelhead, and the Kalama seldom disappoints them. There is steady, good angling. July generally tops the summer catches and December is a good choice for winter steelheading. From Modrow Bridge down, powered boats can plug or troll, but the majority of trolling occurs below I-5. Mint-bright steelhead and many nirror-sided salmon are taken on Flatfish, Hot Shot and Tadpolly plugs, some thin trolling spoons and an assortment of spinners. Cluster egg baits, bobber drifting ties, and shrimp/yarn combos all deceive large numbers of Kalama steelies. This river also is excellent for summer fly-fishing or for rodsmen who go to tiny No. 12 and 14 Corky/yarn rigs on No. 4 gold Eagle Claw hooks and share the bite on artificials. Excellent catches also can be made on spoons and spinners, with nickel blades a fine choice. No. 2 and No. 3 spinners such as Mepps, Metric, Rooster Tail, Shyster or comparable makes will hang the Kalama's aggressive biters. Nickel and brass 3/8 ounce spoons, especially those with fire orange spots on their backs, are good selections for the quiet pools and runs.

Kalama River reopens for hatchery Spring Chinook

  • Beginning June 25, anglers may again keep hatchery spring Chinook on the Kalama River.

  • Species affected: Chinook salmon.

  • Effective dates by location: Effective June 25 through July 31 on the Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth to the upper salmon hatchery.

  • Reason for action: With a late surge, the hatchery brood stock goal is expected to be met.

  • Other information: The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Release wild Chinook and wild coho. Minimum size is 12 inches.

  • Information contact: Steve Vigg (360) 906-6710. For latest information press *1010.

Fishing Guides On The Kalama River  /  Kalama River Fishing Guides

Washington River Reports 07/05/2008

Sturgeon fishing is scheduled to reopen in the Columbia River estuary next week.

Retention of legal-size sturgeon will be allowed July 10-12, July 17-19 and July 26-27 from the mouth of the Columbia to the Wauna power lines.

The fishery closed June 25, leaving about 4,200 sturgeon remaining from the 2008 harvest guideline of 13,140 fish.

Brad James, Department of Fish and Wildlife fish biologist, said sturgeon fishing was very good during the last week of the season, but it started off slow, which left room for some extra fishing days.

A joint Washington-Oregon hearing is scheduled for July 22 to discuss ongoing sturgeon sport fishing in the lower Columbia.

Anglers are reminded that use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

Summer chinook fishing between Bonneville Dam and the U.S. Highway 395 bridge in Pasco closed Monday, but anglers still can retain sockeye from Rocky Point up to the U.S. 395 bridge through Sunday.

Hatchery steelhead fishing remains open through Dec. 31.

Steelhead fishing has been excellent in the Cowlitz River at Blue Creek and the barrier dam despite high flows. Steelhead fishing has been good in the Lewis and Kalama rivers. A few bright and dark salmon also are being caught in the Kalama.

Salmon fishing has been slow on the Olympic Peninsula because of erratic water levels.

Pikeminnow fishing continues to be very good throughout the Columbia River. Excellent catches of pikeminnows happened last week at Boyer Park, Columbia Point and Cathlamet.

Shad fishing has been fair below Bonneville Dam. Bass fishing has been slow.

Washington Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife

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