The Kalama holds winter-run steelhead between the second hatchery at Kalama Falls and the mouth. Most of the action is in the lower five miles. Because the Kalama gets a pretty good push of water in the winter, it can take a heavy sink-tip to get down to the fish's level.
There is no river gage on the Kalama, but you can use the East Fork of the Lewis as a surrogate. Just be aware that the East Fork drops and clears faster than the Kalama. If there's a storm, wait to fish here until the East Fork has dropped to near normal levels for a couple of days.
The Kalama flows east-to-west, and the south bank is high. This keeps the water cold, and water temperatures under 40 degrees are standard for winter.
One advantage to winter fishing here is that the cold east wind is usually not an issue.
For more on January tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General forecast