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. Other fish, such as non-native lake trout and lake whitefish thrived in these conditions to the detriment of native fish. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. And not a single service will be found, so bring whatever you need, as you won’t be able to buy something if you forget it. The Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. It's a long journey to get there. 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. 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. After traveling more than 40 miles, the South Fork finally leaves the protected wilderness area, and begins to follow the reservoir roads for another 20 miles until spilling into the Hungry Horse Reservoir. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. Grizzly bears, moose, elk and wolves all call the Bob home. Once the fry emerge from the gravels, juveniles will rear in these tributaries for 1-3 years until they migrate back to Flathead Lake. 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. 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. This river cuts through the middle of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering unbelievable dry fly fishing for cutthroat, and streamer fishing for bull trout. From there, the South Fork trail more or less follows the river throughout its journey in the wilderness area. Click on any state to see what's available. This peaceful and tranquil setting changes when the river reaches Meadow Creek Gorge. All Rights Reserved and. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. Transportation companies, driving directions and more for Kalispell. An angler needs to check the regulations as many tributary streams are closed to fishing to protect spawning bull trout and cutthroat trout. The reason for that is two fold. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. Due to the fact that the South Fork of the Flathead River starts deep in the wilderness area and flows for more than 40 miles through the heart of the complex, simply getting to the South Fork is an adventure in itself. The lower 17 mile section to Blankenship Bridge and the confluence of the Middle Fork is classified as Recreational. Access to the wilderness complex is excellent, with dozens of trails threading their way from easily accessible trailheads along the perimeter of the wilderness. Fly-fishing can also be quite difficult around Meadow Creek Pack Bridge and upstream for a number of miles since the river is cloaked in dense forest. The South Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. Above the lake, the Flathead River flows through the upper Flathead Valley, home to such popular towns as Whitefish and Kalispell. Nighttime temperatures, even during the short summer months, frequently plummet below freezing. South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. Opening is the third Saturday in May through November 30, however, there is an extended catch and release season for trout and a 50 daily limit for whitefish for the rest of the year. Of course, you can still use the full version of Go-Montana on your mobile device just as you can on your desktop. South Fork Flathead River is a river in Hungry Horse, MT in Flathead National Forest, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Rocky Mountains. Dangerous sweeper logs can be common and the braided channels just below Coal Creek suggest that you check in advance with the Ranger Station for the latest conditions. Gorgeous scenery, interpretive guiding. 18.9 Mi. The logistics of fishing the Flathead river from a boat are not easy. Blackfoot River. Just be careful not to spook the fish—the waters of the South Fork of the Flathead River are crystal clear. We also have visitor guides available in states highlighted in blue below. Read this in-depth guide on how to select a fly rod to meet your own specific fishing needs. Once in the interior, a person can spend months traversing the 2000 miles of trails that criss-cross this vast wilderness area. The North Fork is an excellent river to float in rafts and canoes but it is recommended that the novice canoeist wait until flows recede in July. Return to Main Site. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. The road also has a reputation of being hard on tires, so make sure you have a good full size spare or two. 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 North Fork Flathead River divides the Flathead National Forest from Glacier National Park. The result is that anglers now sometimes struggle to catch fish that are small enough to keep. The river is wide and frequently quite deep. The river meanders its way through some of the most spectacular country a rafter could hope to find. The South Fork is one of the very few places in the lower 48 where we may legally fish for these carnivorous monsters. In 1976, US Congress designated 219 miles of the Flathead River as “National Wild and Scenic.” The Flathead River offers more than 275 miles of river rafting ranging from peaceful Class I float trips to Class III+ whitewater adventures on the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead River. 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. However, the Bob is not like most other wilderness complexes, which you can simply hike across in a day or two. This should lead to significantly better fishing in both the South Fork below the dam and for the Flathead River in the years ahead. The river starts in Canada and flows along the west edge of Glacier National Park. Please respect private landowners’ rights. For larger nymphs and streamers a 9-foot 6-wt with a sink tip fly line makes life easier. Other than the Meadow Creek Gorge area, a wade fisherman can access virtually any segment of this river, spending weeks if not months exploring every pool, run and riffle. If you want to camp on river left in Glacier National Park you will need to get a backcountry permit, available from the Backcountry Permit Centre in Agpar. The rugged area includes the landscapes of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. This is about 2 miles south of the Trailhead, and requires a short walk to the river. In addition to guided fly fishing, we offer drop float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. And the pack in is neither quick nor easy—any pack in requires covering at least 25 miles or more of mountainous terrain. Big Creek Campground is an excellent choice for camping as are the numerous dispersed sites along the river. Use our easy Lodging Search to find exactly the type of accommodation you are looking for at the right price. Jefferson River Access Map (Twin Bridges to Headwaters State Park) by River Rat Maps This Jefferson River Map is a high quality, detailed river map printed on durable waterproof and tear proof, plastic of the Jefferson River in Montana from Twin Bridges to Headwaters State Park. Any fish you catch while in the wilderness area will have to be eaten there. Six Montana paddlers took a five day backpacking and packrafting trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to float about 56 miles of the South Fork of the Flathead River in mid-July. Copyright © 1997 - 2020 The Go Travel Sites. The South Fork Flathead River is home to an incredible number of Westslope Cutthroat, and the huge Bull Trout (Dolly Varden). 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 trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. Lastly, Ford, Shnaus and Ben Rover are 3 rental cabins that provide great accommodations. Regardless of where you enter the Bob, the South Fork is a wade fisherman’s dream. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. 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 … While the river is deep in spots, the river should pose no challenges to the alert wade fisherman. 9. Middle Fork Flathead River rafting trips float several different sections of the river due to easy access from US Hwy 2. Absaroka River Adventures . Boaters should have appropriate maps; Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River Float Guide is recommended. From there we float the approximately 50 miles out over the course of 4 – 5 days. We offer a compact version of Go-Montana for mobile users, allowing you to access just the information you need on the road. The Klickitat River, located in south-central Washington, flows generally south from its origin on Mt. Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. 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