South Fork of the Flathead 6-day Come fish untouched water. However, Montana Fishing Guides are well versed in those areas that are legal to guide on and we plan and execute expertly guided fly fishing trips on many parts of Flathead River. Rocky Mountain Range. During that smorgasbord, cutthroats feed with abandon, pretty much rising to any insect passing overhead, desperately trying to replace lost weight, while building an energy surplus to sustain them through another challenging winter season. Thread starter gbanker; Start date Aug 13, 2012; gbanker Well-known member. They’re not stupid. Breathtaking Scenery and Great Fishing. But, critics add, those fish are “stupid” and offer little challenge to the advanced angler. The Flathead River flows for about 158 miles. By mid-November, when harsh weather returns to northwest Montana, the South Fork’s cutthroat head for the reservoir, hoping they carry enough mass and fat reserves to survive another winter. The Flathead River’s South Fork: A Haven for Cutthroat Fly-Fishing Mavens Montana’s Flathead River flows through the pristine, densely forested Bob Marshall Wilderness, the one-million acre chunk of protected turf that offers perhaps some of the best western fly-fishing in these United States. Chubby chernobyls, PMXs, stimulators, and purple haze mayflies are our best selling flies for this river. Facebook . We are currently booking trips for 2020 and 2021. The next cast brought a fish from bedrock to the top. The price is the same for a 5 or 6 day trip you can decide which is best for you. The river also offers bull trout, which can range past 30 inches, and you can legally fish them in this river, if you have a special bull trout permit, which you can buy over the counter. The Flathead River system is comprised of the North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork and the main Flathead River which is formed when the Middle Fork and South Fork come together just South West of Hungry Horse, MT. Fly Fishing Near Glacier National Park The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead Lake. Rocky Mountain Range. fishing regulations help protect it even more. The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead Lake. Your target species will be cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. These aren’t the largest trout you’ll ever see, but they average about 10 inches and stretch up to 17 or 18 inches on the large end. gco@linctel.net Areas suitable to camping with horses, such as the Big Salmon Lake area, endure serious angling pressure. Years of guiding in western Montana during the summers provided me with great exposure to Montana's fabled waters, but the idea of fishing for pure strain Westslope cutthroats in the heart of the Bob Marshall Complex nagged at me right into retirement. Flowing south to north, the South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. And, without words, on a calm summer night in Montana we’ll agree that few fly fishing locals offer as much as the South Fork Flathead. When I lost my fly on the rock cliff behind me, I gave up. The three forks converge near Columbia Falls, Montana and become the main stem of the Flathead River. A few moments after the tents were erected I cast an obnoxiously large, size-10 Royal Wulff over the current. One of the best Big Sky Country trips you could take is to the South Fork Flathead River in northwest Montana. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in North Fork of the Flathead River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. When it comes to fly fishing, it doesn’t get much better than the wild miles of the Flathead River. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana! There are some parts of the Middle, North, and South Fork Flathead River areas, which are part of government lands, so Montana Fishing Guides does not offer trips in those areas. During July, the South Fork is one of the only rivers in America … Middle Fork Flathead River – 7,290 CFS. It’s that enthusiasm, that backhand slap to caution, that propensity to crush every fly that floats overhead that, at once, celebrates and sabotages the cutthroat’s reputation. I’m not a numbers guy when it comes to fishing, but I did keep track of the fish I caught on a particular day, August 21. Bull trout are gorgeous, pale-sided, pink-spotted, orange-finned fish that frequent the South Fork’s deepest pools and they are prone to attack streamers, such as double-bunnies, muddler minnows and woolhead sculpins. The bull trout in the South Fork … Midges #16-20 (Black & Green body, white wing) Dry Fly – Griffiths Gnat, Poly wing midge, purple haze Nymph – Brassie, Green machine, shop vac. Think about it: prior to construction of Hungry Horse Dam in 1953, the South Fork’s cutthroat wintered in Flathead Lake, an act that required a perilous 70-mile downstream journey. Access is via horseback, backpacking, or day hiking into the watershed. A South Fork cutthroat’s challenges don’t end with winter. Included: We provide transportation from Kalispell to the river and back to Kalispell at the end of the trip. These days when I propose a fishing trip they are likely to say, “For reasons outside my control, I can’t.” I want them to say, “Where do we meet?” When I hear the former I say, “Who wears the pants in your family?”. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing. The South Fork is a place I'll take my daughter, Tate, to learn the ropes. Phone: 406-362-3070. If it looks fishy, it is. By July (usually by the Fourth of July), most of the South Fork’s cutthroat have spawned and they return to the main river just as high water recedes. The Flathead is unique because it remains one of the few primarily native Westslope Cutthroat Trout fisheries left. All fish in the South Fork of the Flathead River are wild as the river is not stocked with hatchery fish. P.O. Fishing seasons . The Flathead is unique because it remains one of the few primarily native Westslope Cutthroat Trout fisheries left. Lake trout are particularly maddening because they prey heavily on the Flathead system’s cutthroat—in Flathead Lake and in 50 miles of the Flathead River above the lake—which keeps trout populations in the mainstem Flathead and the Middle and North forks much lower than they could and should be. This river flows through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is loaded with native westslope cutthroat trout. Contact us today! Fly fishing the … Treat them gently. Wade fishing is also the most popular way to fish the South Fork of the Flathead River, simply because getting a raft into the wilderness area is no easy feat. It was a 2 day horseback, 5 day fly-fishing float trip back into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. They eat everything in sight because they have to. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. Today, fishing for South Fork bull trout, which range to 10 pounds or more, is allowed between the third Saturday in May and August 15. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). Montana Fly Fishing. With stunning 360 degrees views, this river a top notch destination. Hatches on the South Fork of the Flathead River include caddis, mayflies, spruce moths, and many terrestrials including hoppers, ants, and beetles. The South Fork, which is located east of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana, is one of three major forks of the mother-stream Flathead River. Fly fishing the Flathead River system provides a healthy population of native Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Bull … Once in hand, anglers find perfection. Each native trout—and any native fish for that matter—is a treasure. … Portions of the upper mainstem Flathead River are classified as 'Recreational' within the Wild and Scenic River Classification system. Perhaps in the forest we’ll hear an elk bugle or a wolf howl or a grizzly growl. the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. September 14, 2017 at 8:07 am Sounds pretty dangerous with all … Loaded with native westslope cutthroat, the South Fork is as good as dry-fly fishing gets. It forms in the Bob … Each trip may take a different route in, but all will end the same place, which is nearest to Kalispell. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. All fish in the South Fork of the Flathead River are wild as the river is not stocked with hatchery fish. Until 2004 bull trout were totally protected in the South Fork drainage and directed fishing for them was deemed illegal. One way to up your odds for a larger fish is to set sights on the South Fork’s other native specie, the bull trout. Our float fishing day begins around 9:00 a.m. after a hearty breakfast. South Fork Flathead River One of the best flyfishing streams but it’s a long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear. Adding intrigue to a South Fork foray is the method in which anglers access the river—by horseback or on foot, with heavy packs on their backs, following significant trails that course steep bluffs and lead into the wilderness. For years now, the South Fork of the Flathead River has sat squarely at the top of that list. Flathead River Fly Fishing. A real nice westslope cutthroat ready for release. Salmon Forks Outfitters offers a one-of-a-kind horseback fly fishing trip to the headwaters of the famed South Fork of the Flathead River. We all agree that finding time to fish is more difficult than it used to be. Wayne and I had gotten into the rhythm of Young's Creek, and had enjoyed fishing our way down it. Due to the cold, clear, low nutrient water, fly fishing in the North Fork Flathead River can be spotty. We begin the floating portion of our trip on day three. Fly Fishing Near Glacier National Park. Shaggy-maned mountain goats dance across granite cliffs, snubbing their snouts at gravity. Lincoln, MT 59639 This river flows through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is loaded with native westslope cutthroat trout. The South Fork Flathead is one of the most beautiful and productive trout streams in North America. Time, as our parents promised and we never believed, is at a premium and this comet called life is shifting to overdrive. If it looks fishy, it is. Our location is known as the best fishing on the South Fork River corridor by locals and guides alike; and our base camp is a stones-throw from the wild hatchery. Depending upon the trip, we will often stay at this camp for 2 nights. Full and half day trips are available on the Flathead River and our professional guides are eager to lead you down the river both on 1/2 day trips or on a full day of instructional and fun fly fishing. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). This 5 or 6-day fishing excursion is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fish the famous South Fork Flathead River drainage. From numerous promontories, located a couple hundred feet above the South Fork, anglers peer into aqua-green holes, some that reach 30 feet deep, and imagine trout as long as their legs holding against the current. —GT, My forest of fly-fishing friends is thinning. While the trip in can be done in one very long day, we prefer to allow for two days’ travel for the comfort of our guests and the well-being of the stock. After 60 miles it is gobbled up by the Hungry Horse Reservoir and then flows for another 5 miles into the town of Hungry Horse, Montana. Fly Fishing in the United States. The South Fork Flathead River is home to an incredible number of Westslope Cutthroat, and the huge Bull Trout (Dolly Varden). We tried our best, but we couldn’t really reach the sweet spot. ... American Angler magazine covers fly-fishing tactics, tackle, destinations, news, and fisheries conservation for a national readership of more than 40,000 fly fishers of all levels. In fact, the South Fork’s trout are mostly modest specimens ranging between six and 14 inches, but 16-inchers are taken with regularity and 17-to 20-inch fish are occasionally landed. Montana is legendary for its outstanding fly fishing and the waters fished by Glacier Anglers are no exception. Many guests choose to have their vehicle shuttled to the Meadow Creek Trailhead where our journey ends. When you go on a South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing Trip, you will fly into either Missoula, Kalispell or Great Falls, depending upon which trailhead we begin the trip from. Review of the best fly fishing at South Fork Flathead River in Montana. Or, you could have horses pack a raft into wilderness and float out. Access is difficult on the South Fork of the Flathead River. As it winds its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, surrounding Glacier National Park, the fishing is a dream that goes perfectly with the view. Messages 202 Reaction score 5 Location Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer. Loaded with native westslope cutthroat, the South Fork is as good as dry-fly fishing gets. During the summer months, numerous smaller cutthroats in the 8-12 inch range cruise the river. At camp, likely under phenomenal stars, we’ll stoke a fire, make hot chocolate and toast the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Please call or email today for pricing and availability. Located in the Crown of the Continent, and down river from Glacier National Park, The FlatheadRiver offers exciting fishing opportunities for Montana’s native trout and breath taking panoramas. The river also offers bull trout, which can range past 30 inches, and you can legally fish … We set up camp in a grove of aspens just 30 yards from the stream. In doing so, those cutthroats exit prime feeding lanes and set up camp in marginal habitat. God's Country Outfitters Since 1996 - Years of guiding in western Montana during the summers provided me with great exposure to Montana's fabled waters, but the idea of fishing for pure strain Westslope cutthroats in the heart of the Bob Marshall Complex nagged at me right into retirement. Aug 13, 2012 #1 Welcome any info from anyone who has been able to fish this river. Flathead valley has many fishing oppertunities. South Fork Flathead River info? Messages 202 Reaction score 5 Location Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer. Through the summer and fall, you can stay at our camp that is within a minutes’ walk of … Take, for instance, a recent trip I took to the South Fork with a couple friends. Main Stem – 17,500 CFS Thread starter gbanker; Start date Aug 13, 2012; gbanker Well-known member. this truly is a trip of a lifetime. They simply reflect conditions of their environment and if you love the Bob Marshall and wild places where life and death walk a tightrope, you must admire the South Fork cutthroat. Despite my enthusiasm, some anglers say the South Fork isn’t anything like it used to be, that it’s declined to a point that doesn’t merit their time. Many people attribute the river’s decline to increased angling pressure and likely they are correct. When fishing the South Fork, anglers can raise fish to bushy, attractor dry flies, such as the classic Royal Wulff. A river that sees relatively few fly fishers—and with this type of trout population—means that the trout live exactly where you think they should. Unfortunately, all they can do is picture those fish because few monster cutthroats are found in the Flathead. Recall, brown trout came from Europe in the late 1880s and rainbows arrived from California. Flathead River Fly Fishing Patterns. Montana's South Fork of the Flathead River: Information provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: The South Fork Flathead River originates at the confluence of Danaher and Youngs creeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and flows north, unimpeded for over half its length. Snow-pack, run-off, and weather conditions can alter the hatch times considerably. They live where brown trout and most rainbows can’t. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana! It definitely belongs the list of Best Places in Montana to Fish. The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead … Fly Fishing on the Flathead River Post Date: May 12, 2020. Beginning in the Canadian Rockies north of Glacier National Park, the Flathead flows south through northwestern Montana into Flathead … 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 *Price subject to 7% Forest Service User Fees. Fly Fishing Montana's North Fork, Blackfoot River - Duration: 2:43. levwood 47,672 views. Due to the cold, clear, low nutrient water, fly fishing in the North Fork Flathead River can be spotty. This is outstanding fishing, as there is a wild cutthroat trout everywhere in the river you would expect one to be – and some in places you would NOT expect them to be. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! Whether you are a veteran angler or a first-time beginner, you will be thrilled and amazed at the numbers and size of the Westlope Cutthroat Trout. It almost seems like a prerequisite for the fishing trips we take is this: They must be sure-bets so we can strain as much from our time as possible. ... 2 comments for “ Fishing South Fork of Flathead River ” Bill Tilman. Since the water is so cold and clear, you have to be a qualified angler to land fish. However, much of the South Fork sees little pressure. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 *Price subject to 7% Forest Service User Fees. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. They require of anglers a dedicated effort, a solid hike or a horseback trip to reach. Yes, some anglers say, cutthroats are beautiful fish and they are fun to catch. Wilderness is wilderness and enforcement of that regulation is nearly impossible. We started at the Meadow Creek Trailhead on the lower South Fork and charged in about 10 miles, burdened by 50-pound backpacks and the previous evening’s toxic dreams, courtesy of the Bucksnort Bar. Salmon Forks is one of the few places to legally target native bull trout. The South Fork of the Flathead River enters the Main Stem of the Flathead about five miles below Hungry Horse Dam that forms the big Hungry Horse Reservoir on the South Fork. Overall, the South Fork Flathead is a great trout stream, a place where anglers may expect good fishing, some solitude and gorgeous scenery. Messages 202 Reaction score 5 Location Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer. General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. This information is a basic run-down of the hatch schedule for the Flathead River. This river's drainage is huge, including a large part of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. We conduct very limited and highly coveted South Fork Flathead River  Fly Fishing Trips under Forest Service Permit #0596-0082. Remember, cutthroats are the only native trout found in Montana, minus a few smallish rainbows living in the northwest corner of the state. With compliance, anglers could see bigger fish in future years, but don’t count on it. Our Bob Marshall trips are operated in partnership with long time packer and permit holder … Thread starter gbanker; Start date Aug 27, 2016; gbanker Well-known member. Your email address will not be published. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. Fishing the North Fork Flathead River. In addition, they find an adequate winter food supply. Fly Fishing in the United States. Rocky Mountain Range. July Bull Trout Fishing Trip. The Flathead River takes work to learn. From there we float the approximately 50 miles out over the course of 4 – 5 days. As it winds its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, surrounding Glacier National Park, the fishing is a dream that goes perfectly with the view. Fortunately, anglers atone for that average size in the number of fish landed and they find an overall experience they couldn’t dream of on the big-name streams, such as the Madison, Big Horn, Beaverhead or Yellowstone, where boat-launch lines are common and many fish wear multiple hook scars on their faces. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in North Fork of the Flathead River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. Anglers absolutely love wade fishing this upper reach. The beginner angler can have good chances to catch their first fish on a fly rod, and the expert can work a tough riser on tiny dries. The ride in is 6-8 hours so at least two of the days will be devoted to riding on horseback. Then its time to inflate boats and bolt frames together! When the time comes, I’ll take my children to the river and teach them to fish dry flies for eager cutthroats. Glacier Anglers offers day trips, overnight float trips on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River, and multi-day backcountry trips into the Great Bear Wilderness to fish the acclaimed upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River. South Fork Flathead River. The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead Lake. These days, most of the South Fork’s cutthroat descend the river and spend winter in Hungry Horse reservoir, a 35-mile long impoundment that separates the upper South Fork from its lower five miles. Wade with a walking stick or partner, be bear aware, and always bring your bear spray. Skip navigation Sign in. 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