The South Fork of the Flathead River is home to native Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD September 24, 2014 This cold water pretty much killed off the fishing in the South Fork below the dam during the summer, and greatly affected the aquatic hatches on the main stem of the Flathead as well. Trip Report: South Fork of the Flathead, Montana. Backpacking gear is needed for the angler without a horse to fish the South Fork above the Hungry Horse Reservoir, as the only access to the river is by trail. 2. 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. 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. Packed with fly fishing focused content on the world’s finest fly fishing lodges, outfitters and destinations. The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness. The second, and somewhat obvious, reason is that in order to reach the river in the wilderness area requires considerable time and energy, as it lies in a very remote setting by any standard. Either way, it’s a long way in from any trailhead to reach the river. The South Fork of the Flathead River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the nations largest designated wilderness areas. From this point, you can float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse Reservoir. 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. Sign in to report inappropriate content. Below the dam, the river only runs for 5 miles. You even arranged for good weather. The reason for that is two fold. A Seat with a View on the South Fork Flathead River. in Packrafting, Trip Report, Photography, Camping. Colby…. Due to the remote setting and the difficulty and expense of bringing in rafts, the river is relatively free of floaters, allowing for a peaceful, scenic float. To reach this section of the river, though, requires going down a rather steep and hazardous put-in at the dam. The 2020 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide is here! The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. Reviews from the South Fork of the Flathead River Trip “The fishing was unbelievable, the river was perfect, the food was great, the hikes were beautiful and the company was the best. The river provides outstanding fishing for native Montana trout in a remote and beautiful setting. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. If you will be riding instead of walking, we will provide you with a horse and all necessary tack and saddle bags for your trip into the South Fork of the Flathead River. Floating the South Fork of the Flathead River is perhaps one of the finest floats anyone can do in the lower 48. The Bob has been on my radar for years, because inside The Bob is one of the greatest multi-day float trips in America: the South Fork of the Flathead River. The South Fork of the Flathead River is Montana’s crown jewel in terms of remote rivers. 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 result is that anglers now sometimes struggle to catch fish that are small enough to keep. Summer also registers a fair amount of backpacking and horse packing visitors, although a person is unlikely to see more than a couple parties of people once away form the popular day hiking trails on the edge of the wilderness area. The trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. The river is a dry-fly mecca, and it’s one of the few places in America where you can legally target bull trout. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Since the fishing pressure is low, the trout aren’t horribly picky about what they will take. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. The catch is, of course, the best fishing is found well above the Meadow Creek Pack Bridge, as far fewer people fish upstream than at the much more accessible trailhead. The road also has a reputation of being hard on tires, so make sure you have a good full size spare or two. Plan to spend a quiet day, beginning with breakfast at your leisure. Length: 38 miles. Thread starter Salmo_g; Start date Aug 11, 2018; Prev. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. 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. In many areas the North Fork widens up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest Service lands. It was amazing what he can do out there…. From it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. … The river also runs through a deep, nearly impassable gorge for several miles (called Meadow Creek Gorge) just upstream of the pack bridge, thus forcing anglers to go further upstream to fish. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 First, Montana Fish & Game imposed strict special wilderness limits years ago. ... Southfork of the Flathead Trip '14 HD - Duration: ... Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. Go. South Fork Flathead Itinerary Day 1 – Pack Up and Ride. For more information on the South Fork of the Flathead, or other adventures, give us a call here at the Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures office! Failure to take these precautions is likely to lead to uninvited and probably unwanted guests with large claws and teeth probing your campsite during the night. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. With near freezing water no longer flowing through the river during the middle of the summer, insect hatches have improved significantly on both the South Fork and the main stem of the Flathead River. Dates: June 27th – July 1st, 2019. It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout. The distance from the Dam to the trailhead at Meadow Creek Pack Bridge is about 50 miles, which takes about two hours. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. But when photographer Jacob Moon and his wife Natasha invited me to go packrafting on the South Fork of the Flathead… So the moral of the story is this: If you cook any fish while camped in the wilderness area, make sure you cook them well away from where you’re camping (like hundreds of yards). Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. Backstory. The fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. 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. The North Fork creates the western boundary line of Glacier National Park and provides some spectacular views inside the Park. The river meanders its way through some of the most spectacular country a rafter could hope to find. Sprawling more than 1.5 million acres, the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex (known to locals as “the Bob”), which also includes the Great Bear Wilderness and the Scapegoat Wilderness, is perhaps the wildest location in the lower 48 states. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance. 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