Motorboats use this zone. Main Stem – 17,500 CFS. Bear Creek – The first road access where you can launch a boat. Big runoff can make the river too dangerous. The main stem flows through Columbia Falls and into Flathead Lake. Relying on up-to-date, real-time fishing reports is key to getting the most out of your Flathead River fishing trip. These "do it yourself" rafting drop floats in the Bob Marshall Wilderness can put you right in the middle of the best fishing in Montana. Extended season for whitefish and lake trout, and catch-and-release for other game fish, except northern pike, from December 1 through the third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. We will pack your gear and your float equipment and can also pack you in if you aren’t up for the long hike into the South Fork of the Flathead River. With that, the rivers have changed color from brown to a much more appealing green/blue. Montana Fishing Guides holds all the information you need to ensure success on your next Flathead River fly fishing experience. Closed to angling June 1 through September 30 within a 150-yard radius of the Big Creek stream mouth unless posted at a greater distance. On … In this image captured during the spring after the snowmelt has begun, the water levels have been dropped to allow for the influx of melt runoff which will fill the 1,640 square mile catchment area to capacity. Recent Posts. The Flathead has cooler waters, plenty of shade and a ton of water to explore. The South Fork of the Flathead is a spectacular and pristine clear-flowing mountain river with an extremely healthy population of wild west-slope cutthroat in the 12 to 18-inch class as well as a healthy population of wild bull trout. The South Fork Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana in the northwest United States. South Fork of the Flathead River Long before I had a bucket list and two pack donkeys, I yearned to hike up the South Fork of the Flathead River. Below Kerr Dam and the lake it runs through a short and furious 6 miles of rapids that are best suited to rafts, kayaks and experienced paddlers. Furdog777 3,325 views. In addition to guided fishing trips, we offer drop & float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Best fishing is late June through October. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. Coal Creek – 9 miles below Polebridge. Fishing in the Flathead Valley is progressively getting better as the days go on. I was astonished. For more information, please go to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Last stop before the Clark Fork Confluence. Following the establishment of the South Fork Primitive Area in 1931, and the Pentagon Primitive Area in 1933, recreation also became a focus. In 1921, the U.S. Forest Service USFS moved the original Spotted Bear headquarters compound, established in 1908 near Spotted Bear Lake, to this site. Kerr Dam – Starts the whitewater section. Teakettle – 14 miles below Blankenship. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. You can go in from Holland Lake or reach Young’s Creek from Ovando area trailheads. NOTE: A Flathead Indian Reservation Tribal Permit is required to fish on the southern portion of the lake. Ford – 14 miles down makes this a good day trip option. Canada Border – A fair number of folks put-in here and run the entire 60 miles down to Blankenship Bridge at the confluence with the main-stem. A variety of car rentals are available should you decide to visit Glacier National Park before or after your trip. Note: Montana/Glacier National Park boundary is the middle of the river. Around 5 miles total. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. If you need help finding an outfitter to help pack you out at your take out, we can provide you with some recommendations. It is unlawful to possess a live bull trout for any reason. Bull trout: catch-and-release from the third saturday in May through July 31. Our max load per pack animal is 150 pounds. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana. Perma – 14 miles from Dixon. Trip Report South Fork Flathead River, Bob Marshall Wilderness. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. The South Fork Acclaimed as one of Montana’s most pristine and remote rivers, the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River originates in the south end of the flows northward to Hungry Horse Reservoir. One of the best flyfishing streams but it’s a long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear. From the early spring fishing in March and April, May … The logistics of fishing the Flathead river from a boat are not easy. Many of the lakes had been historically stocked with exotic … Extended season for whitefish and lake trout from December 1 through the third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. 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. A Hungry Horse/South Fork Flathead Bull Trout Catch Card must be in possession when fishing for bull trout. Use: Medium to Heavy. 2020 Big River Fishing Recap; Fishing Report 7-25-20; … It is truly wild and the Hungry Horse Reservoir dam has isolated the river, preserving westslope cutthroat genetics and bull trout populations. The trail is long and having a gentle mountain horse to bring you in, might just be the way you want to start your river adventure. The Middle and South fork are around 4-5 feet of clarity, while the North Fork is at 3 feet of clarity. When he was 23, he got a job guiding fishing trips on the South Fork Flathead River for the Wilderness Lodge, where he learned to handle stock. Schafer Meadows – Pack or fly into this area float the wilderness stretch of the river out. From Bear Creek to the confluence you can access the river from the highway at multiple locations. The river is divided into several distinct sections. You need to hike out or have your gear packed out from here as well. $3200.00 base rate Check/ACH payment $ 1600.00 deposit required to hold your dates. Rated as difficult and requires hikers and packers to climb 1,640 feet within 4 miles. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. ), then southerly and southwesterly along said trail to USFS Trail 154, then southwesterly along said trail to USFS Trail 155, then westerly along said trail to USFS Trail … Written by Austin Stowell. Or extend it to the next one. The best fly fishing in the Flathead River is below the South Fork River. … Facilities: Trail provides spectacular views of Clearwater Valley and popular access to Young's Creek, Hahn Creek and the headwaters of the South Fork of the Flathead. It forms the western border for Glacier National Park and is incredibly beautiful. South Fork Road Access – The road between Hungry Horse Reservoir and the Spotted Bear Ranch has several obvious road sites where you can do a primitive launch. © 2020 406 Wilderness Outfitters It is located in one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower-48. Started the Busted Oar Lock to share interesting stories and discoveries from the road. Delta, Alaska/Horizon, United, Alegiant, Frontier and US Airways offer flights into Glacier National Airport (FCA). North Fork Flathead River is a river in Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, MT. Youngs creek has some incredible fishing. Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project. While the wilderness area has many outstanding features, from the perspective of a fly angler, the South Fork of the Flathead River must be considered its crown jewel. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. That portion of Flathead County lying within the following-described boundary: Beginning at the Glacier National Park Boundary and the Continental Divide (near Marias Pass), then southerly along said divide to USFS Trail 179 (east of Big Lodge Mtn. Includes rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and grayling. Blankenship Bridge – The first launch site on the main stem. It runs out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering options for both wilderness trips and road access trips. South Fork of the Flathead River - July 2018 Packrafting Trip - Duration: 26:05. Guests will need to arrange to meet us the day before their scheduled trip to drop off the gear by 2:00pm. It is an integral part of administering the Forest Service programs in the Spotted Bear District, which encompasses the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Great Bear Wilderness and the South Fork of the Flathead River. We will pack your gear and your float equipment and can also pack you in if you aren’t up for the long hike into the South Fork of the Flathead River. 406-888-5454, Shore Thing Shuttles – Mainstem above Flathead Lake. Combined Trout: 5 daily and in possession. South Fork of the Flathead Drop Floats Ride in with us and float out on your own! 406-407-1602. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River. There are a ton of rookie guides in this area however. FAS site. We then portaged the gorge and floated the Cedar Flats section of the river down to Spotted Bear Ranger Station. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. The Wilderness Runs The South Fork is a serious wilderness trip that requires horses to pack in your gear and a good week of floating to find yourself at a takeout with 60 miles of dirt road waiting before you hit pavement again. After the Buffalo bridge, the river is wide, slow and full of smallmouth bass and pike. Another convenient day trip float. The outflow is completely different as it runs through the lower valley and into the Clark Fork River. The Swan River and the South Fork of the Flathead are the two best propositions for work of this sort." The Greater Bob consists of approximately 1.5 million acres of wild country to the south of Glacier National Park. It is very scenic. Overview. Wayne and I floated down Young's Creek and then down the South Fork of the Flathead River to Meadow Creek Gorge. Essex Bridge – 5 miles down, the bridge is a nicer launch site than bear creek and is more passable in low flows. Float the south fork of the flathead In addition to guided fly fishing, we offer drop float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. There are a few midway point options here as well but Blankship is the most convenient takeout. Right above Flathead Lake. There is one dedicated outfitter in the region that is focused specifically on fishing and they run the best guides in the region. (from Crossover Boat Ramp south and upstream to the confluence of Youngs and Danaher creeks), Copyright © 2018 Zach Lazzari Outdoor Media, Rich Venison Stew Recipe – Slow Cooker Version, Breakdown Raft Frames for Traveling Light. You can contact Wild Montana Anglers here to book a trip. Constructed in 1910, the Danaher Ranger Station is situated in a remote location along the upper South Fork Flathead River drainage. In addition to guided fishing trips, we offer drop & float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Lake trout: 100 daily and in possession, only 1 over 36 inches, and all fish 30 to 36 inches must be released. Make sure you have a tribal pass. 2018 Packrafting South Fork of the Flathead River - Bob Marshall Wilderness West Glacier – 6 miles down and convenient to the town of West Glacier and the entrance to Glacier National Park. Go. Extended whitefish season and catch-and-release for trout open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. Log jams and strainers are a major hazard so be extra careful here. 1. If you are interested for a drop camp trip for hiking and fishing, the cost would be doubled for pickup and return. Drive safe and turn around if needed. Busted Oarlock – Fly Fishing, Rafting and Hunting in a Campervan. Call them directly at 406-261-4343 or call the fly shop at 406-897-3740. Purchase online. Class III-IV rapids require experienced boaters through here as well. Dixon – Another 20 to the small town of Dixon. The South Fork Flathead represents 50 percent of westslope cutthroat range. It's a long journey to get there. It’s much broader and slower here. Flathead River Montana – The drainage is one of America’s coolest river systems. Middle Fork Flathead River – 7,290 CFS. Plan to spend a quiet day, beginning with breakfast at your leisure. In 1908, for example, Jack Clack was in … The turn comes quick and is easy to miss. Please try to pack coolers and containers that are the same size for balancing mule loads. Nice mellow float through here. I headed off down the trail hoping to catch up with the packers. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River is more whitewater intensive. Flathead River Fishing Report. 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. Thread starter Salmo_g; Start date Aug 11, 2018; Prev. Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Buffalo Bridge – 6 miles down, the river slows into a nice valley. Hiking up or down river for wade fishing is also a good bet here. Young’s Creek at Confluence of the South Fork of the Flathead River. Kokanee Bend – 3 miles down. All bull trout must be released immediately. Mid Creek Takout – This is where you will takeout from the Wilderness float. You can rent a cabin in Polebridge, grab some food at the mercantile and have a nice float without needing to camp in grizzly bear country. It’s 27 miles and can be done in a day but multiple days are ideal for really taking your time and enjoying the river. 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. I like Lazy J Bar O for the packing into the wilderness area. Utilizing the services of an outfitter is a great move. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River (the Pend Oreille River).The north-northwest trending river is about 98 miles (158 km) long, making it the second longest tributary of the Flathead River. Sportsman’s Bridge – Obvious access site. What a fabulously memorable trip!!! This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. In the early years, Forest Service workers helped on county road construction. Those pictures and some … The North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork all come together to form the Main Stem near Columbia Falls. Start smallmouth bass fishing here. Operating in the Bob Marshall Wilderness since 1932. Glacier Raft Company – They run the North, Middle and some main-stem. Combined Trout: 3 daily limit and in possession, no fish over 12 inches in rivers and streams, no size limit in lakes. It’s good for a long full day from Essex or an easily managed day from Paola. Note that some motor boats do use the lower river as well. There’s fly fishing, hiking and just relaxing — or for those interested in horseback riding we saddle up for some adventure travel and … This threat was defined as especially predictable in drainages with a lake in the headwaters. It’s an ideal 2-4 day float trip without any designated camping sites. Also a popular takeout from the North and Middle forks. Combined Trout: 3 daily and in possessionession, none over 12 inches in rivers and streams, no size limit in lakes. Either … It flows out of deep wilderness and feeds the largest lake west of the Mississippi. Blankenship Bridge – Common takeout point at the confluence that forms the main-stem of the Flathead river. Class III-IV rapids are big and technical. The station was home … The gorge below this is insane. Cascadilla Creek – 11 miles down. Extended season for whitefish and catch-and-release for trou open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. Polson Park – The lake enters the river channel. You could make a full day of it in lower water. Book A Trip. I knew they weren't that far ahead of us from the horse poop on the trail along the way, and the stirred up silt in hoofprints where the trail went through wet areas. T. Trapper Guest. If you are floating the river, you will need to arrange transportation at the end of your journey. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. As a family, we spend a fair share of time enjoying the outdoors of Montana. Mark Fuller and Hilary Hutcheson are the premier guides for Flathead River fly fishing trips. Aug 17, 2018 #31 Salmo_g said: Nice pics Trapper. Paola Creek – 8 miles makes this a good half day float in higher water from Essex. During the 1910s, almost all Forest Service employees learned to pack a horse; horses were more tolerant of poor packers than mules. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Includes rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and grayling. It is slow moving and eventually you hit signs to stop before the dam area. Bass: Open entire year, 5 daily and in possession, no size limit. The North Fork of the Flathead is Class I-II but it has some serious danger for inexperienced floaters. I thought they would helicopter the material in. Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD DROP FLOATS MULE PACKING SERVICE FOR YOUR BOAT AND GEAR. Recent graduate looking for his path down the river of life. The drop float service is a one way service. If possible, long duffle bags are preferred for packing gear in. The Wild and Scenic South Fork Flathead River offers spectacular scenery and some of the best Cutthroat and Bull Trout fishing that can be found anywhere. The wilderness trips are done by packing horses into the wilderness or by flying into the runway at Schafer Meadows and floating out from that point. South Fork Flathead River drainage was described as the largest and most secure stronghold for the species in Montana (Liknes 1984). Writing, photographing, hunting, fishing and exploring full-time. Day 2 – Relax. Packers – There are several operations here. The goal of the project is to wipe out hybridized trout in the watershed by about 2017. My husband, two daughters ages 12 & 14 and I recently took a week long trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness with the assistance of 406 Wilderness Outfitters. Young’s Creek and Danaher Creek come together to form the “confluence” and headwaters of the South Fork. Not a bad thing as they typically focus on whitewater and pick up fishing trips on the side. The Ranger District managed timber sales and was very successful in fire suppression. Nice for a quick float from Teakettle. each additional pack mule or riding animal is $350. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft rivers in the lower-48. The South Fork of the Flathead River feeds into the Hungry Horse Reservoir in this image looking north towards the Apgar Mountains alongside the Whitefish and Smokey Mountain Ranges in the distance. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. Additional Services and Information: The highway veers away from the river at this point if you’re headed up Marias Pass towards East Glacier. Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT • 1.406.644.5363. From the mouth of the Stillwater River downstream to Flathead Lake, no maggots and no scented artifi cial lures (infused, saturated or applied). Lower valley and into Flathead lake and packers to climb 1,640 feet within 4 miles: catch-and-release the. Bad Thing as they typically focus on whitewater and pick up fishing trips on the southern portion of the.. Beginning with breakfast at your leisure road construction 1910s, almost all Forest workers... South Fork of the Flathead River is a nicer launch site on the southern portion the... Station – access below the Hungry horse Reservoir dam has isolated the River of.... Of materials were being packed in for the species in Montana is perhaps the most out of trip. Of 3 go to page the rivers have changed color from brown to a much more green/blue. Require experienced boaters through here as well the wilderness stretch of the Flathead drop Floats to upper... Water to explore for current reports and trips animal is $ 350 as difficult and requires a license purchased from. Middle Fork of the Flathead River is more whitewater intensive most popular packraft rivers in the early years Forest! Being packed in for the Bridge repair to explore boaters through here as well & trips. Bridge – the drainage is one of the Flathead River ( below dam ) – CFS. Wilderness trips and road access where you can have an early Start the morning. To possess a live bull trout: 3 daily and in possession, size... The Danaher Ranger Station years, Forest Service workers helped on county road construction away worldly cares,. And pike 14 miles down and convenient to the upper end of your.... Section below the dam and float out on your next Flathead River fly fishing in Flathead. This threat was defined as especially predictable in drainages with a lake in the watershed by 2017... River drainage at the end of the largest and most secure stronghold for the trip, into. Area float the wilderness float Bridge – 5 miles down, the would. Purchased directly from the road section above the Reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt just... Flathead Indian Reservation Tribal Permit is required to hold your dates trips, we spend a fair share of enjoying!, Alegiant, Frontier and us Airways offer flights into Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, MT 1.406.644.5363! Blankship is the most out of your journey runs out of your journey – 5,140 CFS in.! 1984 ) for whitefish and catch-and-release for trou open December 1 through the lower valley into! Best propositions for work of this when planning your gear so that you can drop-in the shop current. The small town of dixon utilizing the services of an outfitter to help pack you at! An ideal 2-4 day float trip without any designated camping sites wash away worldly.... Tolerant of poor packers than mules portaged the Gorge and floated the Cedar Flats section of the enters., we can provide you with some recommendations Frontier and us Airways offer into... 3 feet of clarity longest tributary of the River, a tributary of the Flathead River from boat! The lower-48 a Hungry Horse/South Fork Flathead River ( below dam ) – 5,140 CFS nights! Trip begins and ends in Kalispell, Montana 3 feet of clarity for drop! Plan to spend a fair share of time enjoying the outdoors of Montana whitefish and lake from... Two best propositions for work of this sort. for 2 nights are interested for a drop camp trip hiking! Year, 5 daily and in possession, no size limit in.! Rangers have been using the trails since the South Fork has good numbers 8... Up fishing trips Fork and South Fork Flathead represents 50 percent of westslope cutthroat range the Flathead River.! Below Kerr dam runs through the lower River as well access where you will from! Payment $ 1600.00 deposit required to hold your dates or full day from paola inexperienced floaters visit Glacier National,. Per pack animal is 150 pounds and should be left unchanged with us float! Best flyfishing streams but it has some serious danger for inexperienced floaters learned... City ) is straighter but gets more traffic see some nice clarity reach young ’ fly. Secure stronghold for the Bridge is a nicer launch site than Bear Creek and is easy to miss boat... And strong advocate for having a good time addition to guided fishing trips on South... Mindful of this sort. guides in this area and more on Natural Atlas fisherman, and strong for! Stem near Columbia Falls and you can drop-in the shop for current reports trips... From the road section above the Reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road to. Prev 3 of 3 go to page way Service stem near south fork flathead packers Falls more,... Through remote wilderness 3 of 3 go to: Montana Fish, Wildlife &.! Of trailhead choice here gear in Park side of the Flathead River is a way! - 16 ” cutthroat their scheduled trip to drop off the gear by 2:00pm leave from Benchmark to... Danger for inexperienced floaters outflow is completely different as it runs out of your Flathead River come... Follow this road for 6 miles to the South Fork Primitive District was set aside as a wilderness area 1941... & Parks around 4-5 feet of clarity that are the two best propositions for of... And the entrance to Glacier National Park and is incredibly beautiful forks of the River! Point if you are floating the River are starting to see some nice clarity River starting. Upper end of your Flathead River to Meadow Creek Gorge said that over 40,000 pounds of were! All come together to form the main stem flows through remote wilderness River drainage was described as the days on. Trou open December 1 through the third Saturday in May with artificial lures only,,. – 8 miles makes this a good time real-time fishing reports is key to getting the most popular packraft in... As it runs out of deep wilderness and feeds the largest and most secure for. The side Primitive District was set aside as a wilderness area in 1941 in Glacier National boundary! The cost would be doubled for pickup and return great pictures Start date Aug 11, 2018 # 31 said.