Rocky Mountain Range. Messages 202 Reaction score 5 Location Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer. Flowing south to north, the South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 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 … Perhaps in the forest we’ll hear an elk bugle or a wolf howl or a grizzly growl. Mid-afternoon of day 2 you will be off the horses and on the river! The South Fork is a cutthroat-trout laden stream that flows through the pristine, densely forested Bob Marshall Wilderness, a one-million acre chunk of protected turf that offers a quintessential western fly-fishing experience—a level of solitude in wild country with naïve trout taken on nothing more representative than bushy attractor dry flies. This river's drainage is huge, including a large part of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). On some trips, fishing may be available this first evening. Then its time to inflate boats and bolt frames together! Our float fishing day begins around 9:00 a.m. after a hearty breakfast. Salmon Forks is one of the few places to legally target native bull trout. If I remember correctly, the first cast rose a fish, but I was too startled to set the hook. Smaller Caddis patterns as well as terrestrials are my go to! Take, for instance, a recent trip I took to the South Fork with a couple friends. We set up camp in a grove of aspens just 30 yards from the stream. The South Fork is one of the very few places in the lower 48 where we may legally fish for these carnivorous monsters. For the first few days of the trip, the water meanders lazily through a sweeping glacial valley and grand Ponderosa Pines. The South Fork of the Flathead River is also one of the few areas in the lower 48 states that allows you to target and catch the Native Bull Trout. Unfortunately, all they can do is picture those fish because few monster cutthroats are found in the Flathead. Loaded with native westslope cutthroat, the South Fork is as good as dry-fly fishing gets. The South Fork is formed from the junction of Danaher Creek and Young’s Creek and runs for 45 miles due north, fed by dozens of small tributaries, where it exits the wilderness near Spotted Bear Ranger Station. I fish the portion within the Bob Marshall Wilderness area every time I go. We do throw a dropper off the back from time to time but we are primarily searching likely trout holding water with attractor dry flies. Wilderness is wilderness and enforcement of that regulation is nearly impossible. 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. This information is a basic run-down of the hatch schedule for the Flathead River. It forms in the Bob … The South Fork of the Flathead River is a truly remote stream. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex contains incredible remote rivers, creek and streams providing world-class blue ribbon fishing for strong wild cutthroats and native bull trout with some pushing 30 inches (Permit required. And, when you’re camping in the Bob Marshall, take all precautions with your food and camp—bears are numerous. The Flathead River is a crystal clear, clean, cold river inhabited by native … All of Montana Fly Fishing Experience’s 1/2 day trips include all equipment, flies, snacks, and drinks. Remember, cutthroats are the only native trout found in Montana, minus a few smallish rainbows living in the northwest corner of the state. Or, you could have horses pack a raft into wilderness and float out. Lincoln, MT 59639 Here at Glacier Anglers, we fish both the Middle and North Forks. In doing so, those cutthroats exit prime feeding lanes and set up camp in marginal habitat. Montana Fly Fishing. South Fork Flathead River Dave Archer, fishingtips101.com. Chubby chernobyls, PMXs, stimulators, and purple haze mayflies are our best selling flies for this river. Recall, brown trout came from Europe in the late 1880s and rainbows arrived from California. God's Country Outfitters Since 1996 - Fly fishing the South Fork of the Flathead River should remain a favorite for the explorer type of angler for a long time. Between late June and mid-November the river runs so exactingly clear it appears that nothing greater than cellophane exists between the bottom rocks and the sky. This cold, clear water flows into the North, South and Middle forks of the Flathead, which merge together near Columbia Falls to begin a southward journey. The logjams and portages didn't affect our … Fly Fishing Near Glacier National Park. It’s as if some cut-and-run logging company waltzed into Montana and whacked them down at the knees. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. The South Fork emerges from the renowned Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex flowing into the Hungry Horse Reservoir. 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. Wolverines tromp across shale nine thousand feet above sea-level digging rodents from rock piles, crushing their prey in powerful jaws. Since the water is so cold and clear, you have to be a qualified angler to land fish. An explosion occurred at the surface and moments later I twisted a fly from the mouth of an eight-inch cutthroat and set that fish free. South Fork Flathead River. It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout. When fishing the South Fork, anglers can raise fish to bushy, attractor dry flies, such as the classic Royal Wulff. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 *Price subject to 7% Forest Service User Fees. 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. However you get there, the South Fork of the Flathead River is a place where good fishing and a wonderful experience go hand in hand. Please Click Here for the description provided by the forest service. Montana Fly Fishing Experience guides are the some of the most experienced boatmen on this beautiful stretch of river. Day two of the wilderness expedition is generally a somewhat shorter ride ending with afternoon wade fishing on the South Fork of the Flathead. Good casts and good drifts—and even some bad ones—are rewarded. For years now, the South Fork of the Flathead River has sat squarely at the top of that list. Flathead River Fly Fishing. The truth is, I respect the cutthroat more than its non-native cousins. If you drive there are many different options regarding Where we meet and where your vehicle is parked for the week. In the old days, they say, a guy could catch 20 or 30 cutthroats ranging between 15 and 20 inches a day. The three forks converge near Columbia Falls, Montana and become the main stem of the Flathead River. 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. Flathead valley has many fishing oppertunities. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” 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. From there we float the approximately 50 miles out over the course of 4 – 5 days. Fly Fishing Montana's North Fork, Blackfoot River - Duration: 2:43. levwood 47,672 views. Messages 202 Reaction score 5 Location Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer. gco@linctel.net They’re not stupid. Hatches on the South Fork of the Flathead River include caddis, mayflies, spruce moths, and many terrestrials including hoppers, ants, and beetles. Typically they hold behind boulders and downed logs, or in sidechannels where the current is manageable. 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. Portions of the upper mainstem Flathead River are classified as 'Recreational' within the Wild and Scenic River Classification system. Areas suitable to camping with horses, such as the Big Salmon Lake area, endure serious angling pressure. Bull Trout in excess of 35" can be caught and are often times considered a “bucket list” fish for many fly fishermen. 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. 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?”. Bull trout are known to grow up to 36” in this fishery, so if you are looking to catch that fish of a lifetime, you have come to the right place. 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. 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. The ride in is 6-8 hours so at least two of the days will be devoted to riding on horseback. Included: We provide transportation from Kalispell to the river and back to Kalispell at the end of the trip. Here, you will find one of the best Westslope Cutthroat trout populations not only in Montana, but nationwide. Following is a description of that trip, with all the humor and trials thrown in. Challenge is a perfect description for the life that South Fork cutthroats lead. It begins deep in the Bob Marshall and, ultimately, flows more than 40 miles through wilderness designation and another 20 miles through National Forest Service lands before losing itself to Hungry Horse Reservoir. Access is difficult on the South Fork of the Flathead River. When it comes to fly fishing, it doesn’t get much better than the wild miles of the Flathead River. 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. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! In that reservoir the fish find minimal current, which allows them to conserve energy. The Flathead River can fish well all year, but our summer months are best for dry fly fishing. It was a 2 day horseback, 5 day fly-fishing float trip back into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 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. Breathtaking Scenery and Great Fishing. South Fork Flathead River. Fly Fishing in the United States. ... unsophisticated dry fly fishing is hard to find anywhere in the Lower 48. Fishing the North Fork Flathead River. Skip navigation Sign in. fishing regulations help protect it even more. South Fork of the Flathead River This is a video I shot, of a trip that Paws Up Outfitters offered. This 5 or 6-day fishing excursion is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fish the famous South Fork Flathead River drainage. The next cast brought a fish from bedrock to the top. South Fork of the Flathead 6-day Come fish untouched water. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. Wayne and I had gotten into the rhythm of Young's Creek, and had enjoyed fishing our way down it. Fish from those streams drop to Flathead Lake during winter, just like the South Fork’s fish used to do, where they compete with bull trout and non-native fishes, such as Lake Superior whitefish, lake trout (also called mackinaws), northern pike, and rainbow trout. 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. Good casts and good drifts—and even some bad ones—are rewarded. First day ride into Salmon Forks camp; next five days horseback rove, camp and fish at different locations that can include: Little Salmon, Salmon Lake, White River, South Fork Flathead River and Salmon Forks, five full days; ride out last day. We booked a full day fly fishing drift trip on the Flathead Rivers with John from Bigfork Anglers. Main Stem – 17,500 CFS Throughout, the South Fork Valley is vast and offers a primeval feel. Flowing south to north, the South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Grizzly and black bears tempt the conscious from their dark, forested lairs, just off the trail and behind camp. Treat them gently. 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. 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. This is when life gets good for the South Fork’s cutthroats and its fly-fishers. Contact us today! Once in hand, anglers find perfection. 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. Placid, trusting mule deer wander into camp, feeding on meadow grass and wildflowers. Your email address will not be published. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. 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. 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