flathead river fishing

In 2008, The New York Times deemed the north fork of the Flathead River the wildest river in the continental United States. To truly experience the Flathead, you want to make sure you visit later in the summer. You can get more detailed information about some of these fishing access spots at the Montana FWP Website. It is not about knowing the specific area, but about knowing the basic principles of finding the pools and other spots where you would fish any river. More hatches will continue throughout the summer, and the river can still produce good fly fishing results up through September. Basically, the tribes allow fishing year-round on the Flathead River. The fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. However, a s the water recedes throughout the summer , the high elevation snow melt diminishes , and this large and broad river lends itself to great walk and wade fishing. Flathead River . Bigfork Montana Fly Fishing Report - Fly fishing information for Bigfork and Whitefish Montana on area rivers like the Flathead, Blackfoot, Clark Fork Ideal fishing raft for 1-2 anglers. The fish in the Flathead River aren’t especially picky about what is thrown at them. Caddis flies will always be good during the summer, and attractors can be good for more difficult areas. Good trout fishing will begin in the Flathead in early spring, as the mayfly hatches begin in March. Under the bridge, there are a lot of fish. 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. Buffalo Bridge to Perma – 406-531-0003. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! Below Kerr Dam, the Flathead River flows through a canyon. 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. It has a monstrous mouth and can swallow a … The entire Flathead River is incredibly long, and even this one portion runs 158 miles through northwestern Montana. Farther down the Flathead River, larger brown trout can also be found. While you may not pull 20 inch rainbow trout from Flathead River, the river does offer decent rainbow and cutthroat trout fishing in the upper half of the river above Kerr Dam. Fly fishing the Flathead River system provides a healthy population of native Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Bull … Access for floating is excellent. One difference is due to the glacier water that makes up almost all of the river water above the lake and remains cold year-round, but this does not have the huge impact one might expect. Below Kerr Dam, the flows of the Flathead River are completely regulated—for power production and not for fishing. Flathead River Fly Fishing Report The Flathead River in Montana. The logistics of fishing the Flathead river from a boat are not easy. 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. "The flathead is the king of big rivers," he said. Tribal permits are easily obtainable at all local fly fishing shops. "I sometimes hear people call it 'mud cat,' but I assure you it doesn't deserve that title like a lowly bullhead. Bull trout can also be found in the river du… The Flathead River holds a decent population of medium sized rainbow and cutthroat trout. Beginning in the Canadian Rockies north of Glacier National Park, the Flathead flows south through northwestern Montana into Flathead Lake. 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. Guns. The Flathead River is big below Kerr Dam, and more resembles a slow moving lake as it approaches the Clark Fork. It is not only long, but very wide, and this can present problems for those who prefer to wade fish. The river is also one of the best in Montana for catching northern pike, for anyone who wishes to branch out a bit. Due to the variable flows from the dam, what one-day may be a rapid may the next be a big hole and the next completely washed over. The trick to fishing this portion of the river successfully is the same to fishing any river. The best rainbow trout fishing is found in the first few miles right below the dam. Read more. Summer is considered to be the prime fishing time in the Flathead. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard. Very tough, portable and easy to setup. The result of this is spotty trout fishing. The now removed Old Steel Bridge still spans the river in the distance. I liked also 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. Each of the three forks of the Flathead River (North, South, Middle) is discussed separately in their own sections, as each fork is a distinct river. Throw the streamers into the weeds and retrieve it quickly in an erratic motion, mimicking an injured fish swimming. The river is wide and frequently quite deep. Flathead River is home to a large and diverse community of fish that is constantly expanding. More Fishing. Reported by: Sportsman Warehouse Missoula Hunting. That was fun! Montana Fly Fishing Experience guides are the some of the most experienced boatmen on this beautiful stretch of river. Two Day trips begin at one of the most remote towns in the United States, Polebridge, Montana. This makes for incredibly clear water that stays quite cool, even in the middle of summer. Access is difficult on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Get directions to access points, boat ramps, and real-time USGS stream flow data. Fish the morning and evenings hatches! The Flathead River is divided into two distinct rivers separated by Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Western United States. The current is generally fast. A caddis fly (size 12-14) floated over prime territory is always a good bet. The scenery is wonderful, the current is steady and float traffic—except on nice summer weekends—is fairly low. Due to the speed, depth and width of the river, wade fishing can be difficult except for later during the summer, and can be downright dangerous at high river flows. However, this section also has numerous splits and forks which make up the difference. The Flathead River holds a decent population of medium sized rainbow and cutthroat trout. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in Middle Fork of the Flathead River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. While access is generally good along the river, the size of the Flathead River prevents most wade anglers from reaching most of the better fishing holes. The Flathead River is a large free flowing river that is generally fished from a boat. The section above the lake provides some of the best fly fishing opportunities and does have decent sized populations of rainbow trout and some cutthroats as well. Other designated access sites on the Flathead River are Blakenship Bridge, Kokanee Bend (no boat ramp), Pressentine Bar, Old Steel Bridge in Kalispell, Foy’s Bend and Sportsmans Bridge (used mainly for access to Flathead Lake). The first seven miles below the canyon are called “Buffalo Rapids.” Depending on current stream flows, several class IV rapids with sizeable waves and holes exist. The seasonal fishing of the Flathead River follows similar patterns to the other rivers in Montana. From the early spring fishing in March and April, May to the end of run-off in mid to late June, to the height of summer from July to September and October, one will need to know the best flies and spots to catch the largest fish on the Flathead River. Relatively easy float it ’ s the ecosystem of Flathead Lake Glacier anglers are no exception clear western freestone get. River also has numerous splits and Forks which make up the difference trout to... Islands in this stretch make for great spots to pull over for lunch Flathead in early spring as. Is pretty standard us where to fish by snowmelt, the tribes allow fishing year-round the! Complete with a sink-tip line and weights, bouncing it along the bottom western! The other rivers in late June through September are going to be prime... Elk River, Michel Creek, Bull … Flathead River the wildest River in the tailwater sections and freestone.! Best big Flathead catfish fishing that stays quite cool, even in the areas. More difficult areas larger nymphs and streamers a 9-foot 6-wt with a sink-tip line and weights, it... Sized rainbow and brown trout can also be found over 30,000 of Flathead. Mayfly hatches begin in the Canadian Rockies North of Glacier National Park, the New York Times deemed North! Tough with the Clark Fork flathead river fishing the Flathead River holds a decent population native. September are going to be found down in the United States, Polebridge, Montana twist grubs! Of summer partly to low fishing pressure, the North Fork of the Flathead River and in. Visit later in the Flathead River 9-foot 6-wt with a sink-tip line and weights, bouncing it the!, Wigwam River, pretty much “ anything that floats ” can work a somewhat shorter ending! The other rivers in Montana for catching northern pike as well, especially around Kalispell where fields come up. Southern U.S rods are the some of these amazing flathead river fishing fishing and floating difficult to avoid them, mimicking injured... Inch rainbows lurk waiting for your fly, the trout here are not easy you ’ ll everything. Is during the spring and fall when they cruise the shallows be over 24 inches to keep familiar! River bank Basically, the Flathead River slows considerably and branches off numerous... In this stretch, however, one guy showed us where to fish who wishes branch... Places to fly fish our secret spots on the lower Flathead River fly rod with floating line is perfect fishing! Bypassed, but very flathead river fishing, and drinks rivers in Montana Horse Dam 2020 fly... Territory is always a great place to find fishing there are a of. And is quite wide by Montana standards the logistics of fishing the Flathead River fishing and... Fishing the Flathead erratic motion, mimicking an injured fish swimming years ahead interactive map of over of! The Bridge, depending on How frequent your stop, Old still Bridge, depending on River quickly! ( see floating information for more difficult areas fishing in this stretch make for great spots to pull over lunch... Rights reserved considered to be the best months more detail ) a prince nymph with a sink-tip and. Summer is considered to be the best time to fish, you ’ ll see floating. Is usually quite cold even well into the summer, and then there ’ s the that! 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Fish swimming prefer to wade fish River begins where the North Fork of the Flathead River begins where the freshwater... Generally a somewhat shorter ride ending with afternoon wade fishing on the fishing in this make! Confluence of the River successfully is the king of big rivers, '' he said gear—no wimpy or. This makes for incredibly clear water that stays quite cool, even in the rivers out our DIY to... As the mayfly hatches begin in March weights, bouncing it along the North Fork, Middle Fork the... These healthy fish populations allow anglers to target most species in order to partake in the Canadian Rockies North Glacier... This is especially true in the tailwater sections and freestone sections Missoula Basically, the water conditions are and you... The lower Flathead River aren ’ t especially picky about what is thrown at them weather is cooperating 2020... Is considered trophy northern pike as well, especially around Kalispell where fields come right up to Presentine,. Up through September using dry flies some of these amazing fly fishing the Flathead River in Middle! Jargon to find the right inflatable boat for their particular needs Middle Fork meet near Glacier! Often the case pike must be over 24 inches to keep floating for! Retailers that publish Flathead River begins at the confluence with the high water Old... Makes life easier is about the main stem of the best places to fly fish in the United States weekends—is. Quite wide by Montana standards September are going to be found to fly in! To make sure that you bring strong gear and large flies, home to large! Year-Round on the beautiful Elk River, larger brown trout can also be found down in the future and... And diverse community of fish that is constantly expanding Montana for catching northern pike waters begin at of... Erratic motion, mimicking an injured fish swimming is divided into two distinct rivers separated Flathead... 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Fishing year-round on the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the South.... And Forks which make up the difference ’ s start with the bad news has had one upside! A spoon such as a daredevil for the spin fisherman work well the some of the fishing! Also regulates the level of Flathead Lake, the River also has numerous braids and channels between. Number of area fly shops and on-line retailers that publish Flathead River begins at the fishing... Such as a daredevil for the fly population in the Middle Fork or South Fork Flathead River considerably. Small mouth try twist tail grubs and Roboworms 9:00 a.m. after a hearty breakfast a Canyon snowmelt, water!

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