An angler needs to check the regulations as many tributary streams are closed to fishing to protect spawning bull trout and cutthroat trout. 9. Your email and your recipient's email will NOT be shared with anyone. Blankenship Bridge is your first access at the confluence of the Middle Fork Flathead River, followed upriver by: Glacier Rim, Big Creek, Coal Creek, Polebridge, Ford, and Border river access at the Canada-USA border. The South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the nations largest designated wilderness areas. The trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. Numerous Class II, III and IV rapids exist in this gorge. This should lead to significantly better fishing in both the South Fork below the dam and for the Flathead River in the years ahead. Up until reaching Meadow Creek Gorge 40 miles later, described later, the river presents no special challenges to a rafter. Copyright 2002 - 2020 Big Sky Fishing.Com, Introduction to the South Fork Flathead River, Photographs of the South Fork Flathead River, How to Choose the Best Inflatable Boat for Your Needs, How to Protect Your Phone While Fishing or Floating, Big Prairie Ranger Station Pack Bridge: 92, Black Bear Ranger Station Pack Bridge: 69.5, Takeout to avoid Meadow Creek Gorge: 61.6, Log Landing (take out point before Reservoir): 40. Absaroka River Adventures . There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. Rafting & Paddling the South Fork Flathead River. Middle Fork Flathead River rafting trips float several different sections of the river due to easy access from US Hwy 2. To avoid going through this gorge, any floater must be prepared to pack out their gear (you just can’t float out to your car). Awe inspiring views into Glacier National Park are common from the river. Fish in the North Fork run on the small size (8-12”) because when the parent rock, argillite, breaks down it doesn’t contain much of the big fish producing nutrients that can be found in the productive limestone waters elsewhere in Montana. We also have visitor guides available in states highlighted in blue below. Utilizing the services of an outfitter is a great move. This river cuts through the middle of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering unbelievable dry fly fishing for cutthroat, and streamer fishing for bull trout. To simply reach the interior of the Bob frequently requires hikes or horse packs of several days. Book a float with this company and they’ll take you to the Stillwater River (the exact location depends on the river level). The Klickitat River, located in south-central Washington, flows generally south from its origin on Mt. Gorgeous scenery, interpretive guiding. DIXON, Mont. The South Fork of the Flathead River is Montana’s crown jewel in terms of remote rivers. Searchable listings of Kalispell RV parks and campgrounds. Unlike other wilderness floats (such as on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho), the river is not over-run by rafting parties, since the only way to put a raft into the South Fork of the Flathead is by packing it in. Note: It is illegal to take or intentionally fish for bull trout. Just be careful not to spook the fish—the waters of the South Fork of the Flathead River are crystal clear. Our Flathead river rafting scenic tour gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular beauty of Glacier National Park and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The North Fork Flathead River originates 50 miles across the border in British Columbia, Canada. With near freezing water no longer flowing through the river during the middle of the summer, insect hatches have improved significantly on both the South Fork and the main stem of the Flathead River. However, if you time your trip right, before spring runoff, you can catch larger westslope cutthroat trout that migrate from Flathead Lake on their spring spawning runs. Less inspiring is the fishing (honesty hurts at times! ... Map + Directions. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. Excellent access is provided by the North Fork Road which can be accessed just north of Columbia Falls. Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. The fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. About the closest you can get to the river by vehicle is by using the long and curvy West Reservoir Road that crosses the Hungry Horse Dam and meanders around Hungry Horse Reservoir. For those who seek it, the Bob is a wonderful place to find solitude, especially in the areas away from the better-known areas such as the Chinese Wall. The North Fork Flathead River is a wonderful river to float. The river brings with it the rugged remoteness that one would expect from the Canadian Rockies. The food web in Flathead Lake is most likely still changing and it is difficult to predict what the outcome may be. The remainder of the building is owned by the State of NJ and managed by the Delaware River Mill Society for educational purposes. A Seat with a View on the South Fork Flathead River. The logistics of fishing the Flathead river from a boat are not easy. A summary of what Kalispell has to offer. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. Additionally, from Meadow Creek Pack Bridge (near the wilderness area boundary) down to Spotted Bear footbridge, it is all catch and release and only artificial lures may be used. This peaceful and tranquil setting changes when the river reaches Meadow Creek Gorge. Searchable list of Kalispell tour companies, guides and outfitters, rental companies and more. ... No permits are required to float the river. For running powerful Class IV and V rapids, nothing beats an inflatable whitewater kayak. From there, the South Fork trail more or less follows the river throughout its journey in the wilderness area. ); this is one river where a die-hard angler can spend more time looking up at the scenery than watching his fly. The lower 17 mile section to Blankenship Bridge and the confluence of the Middle Fork is classified as Recreational. Above the lake, the Flathead River flows through the upper Flathead Valley, home to such popular towns as Whitefish and Kalispell. As railroads developed in the 19th century, serving New York City market was vital, but problematic. The South Fork of the Flathead, located in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is a horsepack in/float out trip of 5-7 days, putting you over feisty Cutthroats to 22″ and “Bull Trout” to 15 pounds. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. All Rights Reserved and. And the pack in is neither quick nor easy—any pack in requires covering at least 25 miles or more of mountainous terrain. In the middle of the Wickecheoke Creek Preserve you can find New Jersey’s only covered bridge. In addition to guided fly fishing, we offer drop float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Boaters should have appropriate maps; Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River Float Guide is recommended. Flathead National Forest and private lands border the south bank, river left, and Glacier National Park borders the bank on the north, river right. The South Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. Each of the three forks of the Flathead River (North, South, Middle) is discussed separately in their own sections, as each fork is a distinct river. Please respect private landowners’ rights. Continue to Mobile Site Of course, this remote setting has its benefits. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. Several guide services located around the Bob provide packing services, and can pack in gear for the floaters without a horse. We offer a 7 day adventure (6 day option also available) that takes you into the best westslope cutthroat and bull trout river in the country, the beautiful, remote South Fork of the Flathead. Jim Klug photo. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. There are numerous designated access sites, and it’s pretty easy to navigate. We also have the following visitor guides in Montana. In addition to guided fishing trips, we offer drop & float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Built circa 1860, the Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge crosses the creek at County Road 604. Campgrounds can also be found in Glacier National Park. This Norht Fork of the Flathead River Map is a high quality, detailed river map printed on durable waterproof and tear proof, plastic of the beautiful NF of the Flathead River in Montana from the Canadian border to Columbia Falls (at the Confluence with the Middle Fork of … Request these additional visitor guides selected below. Use our easy Lodging Search to find exactly the type of accommodation you are looking for at the right price. This cold water pretty much killed off the fishing in the South Fork below the dam during the summer, and greatly affected the aquatic hatches on the main stem of the Flathead as well. Working with researchers from the University of Montana, crews set up 13 monitoring cameras at various segments of the Flathead River during the 2017 and 2018 float season to document existing uses. You can send yourself an email as well. Adams in the high country of the Yakama Indian Reservation to its confluence with the Columbia River in the Columbia River Gorge. The White River has adequate flows through early July. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. 406-407-1602. Sprawling more than 1.5 million acres, the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex (known to locals as “the Bob”), which also includes the Great Bear Wilderness and the Scapegoat Wilderness, is perhaps the wildest location in the lower 48 states. From it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. The river is catch and release for cutthroat trout and a daily limit of 2 for rainbow trout. South Fork Flathead River is a river in Hungry Horse, MT in Flathead National Forest, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Rocky Mountains. The South Fork is one of the very few places in the lower 48 where we may legally fish for these carnivorous monsters. We pack you, your gear and your float equipment to the confluence of Young’s and Danaher Creeks where the South Fork of the Flathead River begins. The reservoir is more than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse Dam. Secondly, these waters are cold, being fed by groundwater and glacier fed streams. The Swan River Fishing Access Site on Rainbow Drive in Ferndale is the top put-in spot and the most common take-out is near the Clay Cliffs across from … Transportation companies, driving directions and more for Kalispell. Terrestrial patterns, particularly hoppers, also are excellent to use in July and August. Be prepared for dusty conditions! The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness. Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. As the river flows through this gorge, the river becomes extremely narrow with big drops and sharp turns. Big Creek Campground is an excellent choice for camping as are the numerous dispersed sites along the river. South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. The Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. RM 83-82: White River Park - In open woodlands such as White River Park look Summer also registers a fair amount of backpacking and horse packing visitors, although a person is unlikely to see more than a couple parties of people once away form the popular day hiking trails on the edge of the wilderness area. Shore Thing Shuttles – Mainstem above Flathead Lake. The headwaters of the Flathead River drain the SE corner of British Columbia in Canada. The fishing in the South Fork of the Flathead River is, quite simply, excellent above Hungry Horse Reservoir for cutthroat trout, especially the portion of the river that lies in the wilderness area. The river provides outstanding fishing for native Montana trout in a remote and beautiful setting. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. 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