The Flathead River (Salish Indian: ntx̣ʷetkʷ, ntx̣ʷe) in the northwestern part of Montana, originates in the Canadian Rockies to the north of Glacier National Park and flows southwest into Flathead Lake near Bigfork, Montana, then after a journey of 158 miles (254 km), empties into the Clark Fork River. Another technique to try is to use a weighted sink tip line, dragging wet flies or streamers through the deeper pockets and pools that are found periodically along the river. Enjoy dry fly fishing for native westslope cutthroat trout while floating down this glacial influenced gin clear western freestone. Flathead River has two very excellent conditions aside from the lower pressure; fly fishing in Kalispell on the Flathead River does not require as much skill or specific flies like other areas of the state. Fly Fishing on the Flathead River Post Date: May 12, 2020. Typically, we start fishing both rivers in late June through September using dry flies. 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. 59911 The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. Below Moccasin Creek to West Glacier, a popular whitewater section begins, with a number of Class II, III and one Class IV rapid (Jaws). 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. Below Essex, any size raft, kayak or canoe (experienced canoeists only) will work just fine until the whitewater section below Moccasin Creek, where an inflatable raft, hard shell kayak or inflatable kayak capable of Class IV whitewater is required. When it comes to fly fishing, it doesn’t get much better than the wild miles of the Flathead River. As the Middle Fork Flathead River flows through numerous canyons, many of the portages are difficult. Middle Fork Flathead River has many scenic views of the taller peaks in Glacier National Park. Fly fish our secret spots on the beautiful Elk River, Wigwam River, Michel Creek, Bull River and Flathead River. Call Chris and Tara now to book yourMontana Fly Fishing Experience (406) 249-1482or (406) 210-0511. We'll get you catching fishing in no time! However, this section is not recommended for canoes. Still, it’s probably there someplace. North Fork Flathead River Description. Since 1984 we have cultivated a group of hard working guides that care about your day of fishing. With stunning 360 degrees views, this river a top notch destination. The waters we fish offer an abundance of Rainbow, Cutthroat, Bull Trout and Grayling. No worries! And they aren’t picky about what they eat. Even though the Flathead River has many access sites, the river is large and wide with a powerful flow. These fish, which are illegal to intentionally fish for or take, are not picky about what they eat. For the fly fisherman, pretty much any dry and bushy fly, floated around the usual likely spots will produce consistent results. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. Most of the heavy-duty whitewater lies in the wilderness section, where the Middle Fork has a “wilderness” designation (no motors). So much has already been written about these predators but not much really focuses on fly fishing … The Middle Fork Flathead River is a 92 mile long river part of which forms the southwestern boundary of Glacier National Park. The wilderness fly fishing trips take you some of the purest, most exciting fly fishing with exceptionally beautiful country as the backdrop. The Middle Fork Flathead River is one of Montana’s premier whitewater rivers. Fly fishing hatches in order of importance: attractors caddis ants beatles hoppers.  – min Best Montana Fly Fishing Trips—South Fork Flathead River Posted on May 13, 2020 by Greg Thomas It’s time to start dreaming about the best summer fly fishing trips for 2020, and if we are limited to doing so within our state borders this year, I drew a good card—Montana offers a lifetime of fly-fishing adventure and gas is cheap right now. Larger cutthroats can be found in this section, but it often requires a hefty hike along the river or a float trip using a inflatable raft or inflatable kayak to find the spots that hold the larger fish. Several portages may be required around some of the strong rapids, depending on river flows and what type of boat you are using. Water flow: 949. Experience Montana fly fishing at its finest with Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and National Forests as breathtaking backdrops. The Flathead River holds a decent population of medium sized rainbow and cutthroat trout. Fish the morning and evenings hatches! In Flathead Valley Montana, you will have the opportunity to fish for a native fish in a beautiful setting. Montana Fishing Guides holds all the information you need to ensure success on your next Flathead River fly fishing experience. Flowing past huge mountains and through deep canyons, the Middle Fork, along with the South Fork, is Montana’s premier wilderness river. Like the North Fork Flathead River, the Middle Fork is prime water for the bull trout. The fishing pressure in the wilderness section is very low compared to other Montana waters, and cutthroats themselves are not known as the most finicky fish around. Except for during spring run-off, which can last well into July in some years, the waters of the Middle Fork Flathead River are exceptionally clear.  – max 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. Hatches on the South Fork of the Flathead River include caddis, mayflies, spruce moths, and many terrestrials including hoppers, ants, and beetles. Either way, wilderness floats begin at Schaeffer Creek. A hopper during late summer also works well, especially around Kalispell where fields come right up to the river bank. The result is that a fishing excursion into the wilderness portion of the Middle Fork, whether it be by foot, plane, or horse, provides outstanding scenery, chance encounters with the local fauna (this area is prime grizzly bear habitat), and solid action for average sized fish. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River, like its cousins the North Fork and the South Fork, is fed predominantly by snowmelt. The Flathead River system of northwestern Montana offers memorable fishing opportunities. On a hot summer day fly fishermen can catch 60 fish a day and rarely see anyone else on the river. All of Montana Fly Fishing Experience’s 1/2 day trips include all equipment, flies, snacks, and drinks. These months are when the flows are most manageable and the weather is cooperating. Your guide will pick the best boat launch and meeting time to insure your best chances for success. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. Outfitter #7837 Middle Fork Flathead River has many deep pools, which is where the larger fish are generally found. Water temperature at mid-day: 50 Degrees F. Water condition: Clear. For the 27 miles from Schaeffer Creek down to Essex and Highway 2, where the Middle Fork Flathead River turns into a “recreational” river, the Middle Fork provides continual whitewater, mainly Class II rapids, with numerous Class III & IV rapids as well. Typical Flathead River hatches include PMDs, drakes, caddis, and stoneflies. Expedition level inflatable kayaks work well for fishing and are ideal for long floats down remote Montana rivers and whitewater. Hard shell kayaks, inflatable whitewater rafts and inflatable whitewater kayaks are the most popular boats used on this section. Flathead are definitely one of the easier species of estuary fish to catch on fly. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River begins just outside the Great Bear Wilderness, which is located south of Glacier National Park.  – average South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. Here at Glacier Anglers, we fish both the Middle and North Forks. This river cuts through the middle of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering unbelievable dry fly fishing for cutthroat, and streamer fishing for bull trout. We start the trip with a two-day ride (or hike) through spectacular scenery to access the starting point of the float, then spend five days fly-fishing some of the most pristine water in Montana. Numerous designated and undesignated access points exist between Essex and West Glacier, allowing for easy access and countless potential campsites. (406)-249-1482, Copyright All Rights Reserved © 2018 – Website by FBP, for near mouth, at Perma, MT; max at Polson, MT. A caddis fly (size 12-14) floated over prime territory is always a good bet. The Middle Fork emerges from the wilderness area near Essex, where it flows past a unique place called the “Goat Lick.” Here, salt is found on the grounds surface high along the banks of the river. For the wilderness portion, a heavy-duty inflatable kayak or raft is  needed, as they are by far the easiest to pack into the Great Bear Wilderness. Learn more about these versatile & durable inflatable kayaks. Join us for a full or half day of drift boating fly fishing on the Flathead River, Swan river, or float tubing one of our pristine permit-only mountain lakes. Your guide can pick you up at the fly shop and bring you back at the end of the day. Grizzly Bears and other wildlife are also frequently found here as well. The Elk is the definition of “Freestone”. 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. I’ll have to take his word, because I heard about it too and looked for it on my floats and have yet to find it. The Flathead River flows through the broad and beautiful Flathead Valley near Glacier National Park, Whitefish, MT, and Bigfork, MT. The Flathead River has something for everyone. Whatever the season, your Montana Flyfishing Experience guide will have you set up with the proper gear and flies on the Flathead River. for near mouth, at Perma, MT; max at Polson, MT 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 Flathead River is fed primarily from glacial and snow melt. The Flathead is a large river with flows up to 20,000 cubic feet per second early in the season. The Flathead River has something for everyone. It’s also very convenient to Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Best stretch: Teakettle to Presentine. Montana Fly Fishing Experience guides are the some of the most experienced boatmen on this beautiful stretch of river. Flathead, lizards, frogs or crocs range in types but you will find them all over the country, known as many different names, they nearly all basically behave the same and are a year round option. south fork flathead fly fishing Let our professional fishing guides show you one of the most remote, trout-filled rivers in Montana on a fishing specific South Fork Flathead trip. That said, the wilderness portion of the Middle Fork contains a healthy amount of decent sized cutthroats up to 16 inches. P.O. You just need to bring along your sense of adventure, sunglasses, and a Montana fishing license. Its drains an area east of the South Fork Flathead River. As the river approaches West Glacier, it becomes a popular place for individual and guide service float trips, since numerous rapids exist just above West Glacier. The Flathead River is unique among the rivers in Montana in that it is really three rivers in one, with two main sections that are good for fishing. The middle portion of the section, between Essex and Moccasin Creek, only has moderate pressure from floaters and fishermen. The Middle Fork Flathead River is one of the premiere wilderness rivers in Montana. Copyright 2002 - 2020 Big Sky Fishing.Com, Floating & Paddling the Middle Fork Flathead River, Photographs of the Middle Fork Flathead River, Blakenship Bridge (confluence with the North Fork Flathead River): 0. As a result, the Middle Fork is not noted as a top trout stream. As a fly shop and guide service, we offer full and half day guided fly fishing trips. The Flathead River can fish well all year, but our summer months are best for dry fly fishing. What can I see and do along 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. The North Fork of the Flathead flows directly south from the Canadian Border, and makes up the western boarder of Glacier National Park until its confluence with the Middle Fork at Blankenship Bridge. Group float on the Middle Fork Flathead River in Montana. If you are searching for solitude, it is recommended to go somewhere else. This section is also a very scenic part of the Middle Fork, with the towering mountains of Glacier National Park and the Great Bear Wilderness often visible. ELK RIVER. Related Article : Photographs of the Middle Fork Flathead River. Bull trout can also be found in the river du… Fishing The deep wide and cold waters of the Flathead River don't offer the best fishing around, but that very reason is what makes this stretch of water a great place to fish. The Flathead River is part of the Columbia River drainage. Box 636 While there are numerous cutthroats, most tend to be in the 8-10 inch range. Visibility: 60 inches. Full day trips include equipment, flies, and a stream side lunch or dinner prepared by your guide. 2,670 cu ft/s (76 m3/s), Outfitted by Chris McCreedy Action will be fast and furious for these fish, but the results may prove disappointing for the angler pursuing larger fish. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). This section of the Middle Fork Flathead River is the most heavily used due to its excellent whitewater. Below West Glacier, the Middle Fork continues to run swiftly with only a few small Class II rapids, and combines with the North Fork of the Flathead River at Blakenship Bridge, where the main-stem of the Flathead River begins. Mid-July through September are going to be the best months. The Flathead River is easily accessible from Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, and Bigfork, Montana. Best time of day to fish: all day. 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