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south fork flathead trip report

Learn more about these fun boats. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. They are all intelligent and great young men and went above and beyond to make things interesting fun. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance A Great Time with my Boys Great scenery away from the … 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. Once in the interior, a person can spend months traversing the 2000 miles of trails that criss-cross this vast wilderness area. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. Grizzly bears, moose, elk and wolves all call the Bob home. the South Fork of the Flathead River should remain a favorite for the explorer type of angler for a long time. South Fork Flathead Itinerary Day 1 – Pack Up and Ride. Packed with fly fishing focused content on the world’s finest fly fishing lodges, outfitters and destinations. On the South Fork of the Flathead, I am pleased to report, enterprising anglers can find remote campsites, solitude, and scads of native westslope cutthroat. Several guide services located around the Bob provide packing services, and can pack in gear for the floaters without a horse. Trip Report: Packrafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The reservoir is more than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse Dam. The 2020 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide is here! Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. 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. 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 fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. Trip Report: South Fork of the Flathead, Montana. Take a look below. Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. For running powerful Class IV and V rapids, nothing beats an inflatable whitewater kayak. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 Always clean and dry all your gear after each trip. The North Fork creates the western boundary line of Glacier National Park and provides some spectacular views inside the Park. 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. 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. You haven't lived until … And cooking fish, especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love. Streams. The distance from the Dam to the trailhead at Meadow Creek Pack Bridge is about 50 miles, which takes about two hours. This is about 2 miles south of the Trailhead, and requires a short walk to the river. Backstory. The result is that anglers now sometimes struggle to catch fish that are small enough to keep. Aug 17, 2018 #31 Salmo_g said: Nice pics Trapper. From it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. 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. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. July 15, 2019. by John Nestler. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. and a good fishing guide as well. South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. From there, the South Fork trail more or less follows the river throughout its journey in the wilderness area. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD We just received a great report from our clients on their South Fork of the Flathead adventure. Any fish you catch while in the wilderness area will have to be eaten there. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. Fishing pressure is very low in the wilderness area compared to virtually any other Montana river. Montana's South Fork of the Flathead River: Information provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: The South Fork Flathead River originates at the confluence of Danaher and Youngs creeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and flows north, unimpeded for over half its length. To avoid going through this gorge, any floater must be prepared to pack out their gear (you just can’t float out to your car). The South Fork of the Flathead River is Montana’s crown jewel in terms of remote rivers. The headwaters of the North Fork of the Flathead originate in Canada and flow south into the United States. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. Great fishing trips don’t just happen. However, Montana Fishing Guides are well versed in those areas that are legal to guide on and we plan and execute expertly guided fly fishing trips on many parts of Flathead River. 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. The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. And in case you did not hear Scott caught 2 Bulls and Jay caught this monster! The cost for riding animals is $300 if going into the Gordon Creek confluence and $325 if going into the Hahn Creek Cabin. Thread starter myt1; Start date Aug 7, 2019; myt1 Well-known member. 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. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. 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. It's a river offering a return to our fly-fishing infancies when camping and camaraderie, incredible scenery and seclusion, and catching naïve trout on bushy dry flies was more paramount than the opportunity for a 20-incher. While the river is deep in spots, the river should pose no challenges to the alert wade fisherman. These guys really made the trip FUN. 2. Only 3 fish of any type (cutthroats, rainbows and grayling all are found in the South Fork) may be taken, none of which may be over 12 inches. A Seat with a View on the South Fork Flathead River. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . The South Fork of the Flathead River is a truly remote stream. Prior to this modification, all water released came from the bottom of the dam – where the water was coldest. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. T. Trapper Guest. The river meanders its way through some of the most spectacular country a rafter could hope to find. First, Montana Fish & Game imposed strict special wilderness limits years ago. The river provides outstanding fishing for native Montana trout in a remote and beautiful setting. What I did not count on were the great people…Brooklyn got us started great and was a pleasure…. 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. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. South Fork Flathead DATES: For information on scheduling a South Fork Flathead trip in 2020, inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. 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. You even arranged for good weather. From the take out point, it is a three-mile walk to the Meadow Creek Trailhead. Section: Schafer Meadows to Paola Access Area. Trip Insurance / Emergency Evacuation Coverage, http://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/destinations-united-states-montana/south-fork-flathead, Destinations / All Saltwater Destinations, Destinations / All Freshwater Destinations, Destinations / Central America & Caribbean. patient, enthusiastic, and he put us on fish. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. South Fork Flathead fishing-specific trip: July 18th – 25th, 2020. The river is a dry-fly mecca, and it’s one of the few places in America where you can legally target bull trout. in Packrafting, Trip Report, Photography, Camping. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. The Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. With this modificationt, the dam now releases water that has the same temperature as the Flathead River five miles downstream. Read this guide to learn the importance of a fly reel and how to select a good one. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. 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. 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. This has important implications. 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! South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness. The South Fork is the favorite of the Flatheads. Messages 1,371 Reaction score 31 Location Scottsdale, AZ. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. Aug 7, 2019 #1 But first the horseback ride. Since the fishing pressure is low, the trout aren’t horribly picky about what they will take. 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. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. 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 … However, the Bob is not like most other wilderness complexes, which you can simply hike across in a day or two. Just be careful not to spook the fish—the waters of the South Fork of the Flathead River are crystal clear. We’re here to ensure that you end up in the right place, at the right time, and with all the right information… at no additional cost to you. Wade fishing is also the most popular way to fish the South Fork of the Flathead River, simply because getting a raft into the wilderness area is no easy feat. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness. I will not hesitate recommending you guys to friends. Of course, this remote setting has its benefits. The South Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. 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. 2 thoughts on “ South Fork Flathead flow guide ” Sam Barber July.6.2015 — 13:16 We are planning on taking 3 14′ rafts in, and floating from Gordon creek to Mid creek the 13th – 18th of July. 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 South Fork of the Flathead River is one of the few places in the Lower 48 where it is legal to target bull trout. Packrafting opened up a world of adventure for me. Trip Reports. Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout. Day 2 – Relax. However, if you’re not, here’s something else to consider before putting that trout into the frying pan. Upon reaching the Meadow Creek Pack Bridge, it is a short hike into the wilderness. Youngs creek has some incredible fishing. 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. Nighttime temperatures, even during the short summer months, frequently plummet below freezing. And the pack in is neither quick nor easy—any pack in requires covering at least 25 miles or more of mountainous terrain. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. × Announcement: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the state of Montana has declared that mask or face covering use is required for ages five and older. From this point, you can float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse Reservoir. 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. This peaceful and tranquil setting changes when the river reaches Meadow Creek Gorge. The trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. Sign in to report inappropriate content. ... Southfork of the Flathead Trip '14 HD - Duration: ... Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. I went in from the Lodgepole TH over Young's Pass and down to Babcock Creek where I put on and started floating. The rest of the hike to Babcock had moderate downfall and wasn't too bad. Regardless of where you enter the Bob, the South Fork is a wade fisherman’s dream. 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. IT WAS PERFECT!!!! Flow: 4,300 – 3,400 cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge. Trip Report South Fork Flathead River, Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Flathead River System offers hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, while Flathead Lake is a scenic and recreational mecca. Access to the wilderness complex is excellent, with dozens of trails threading their way from easily accessible trailheads along the perimeter of the wilderness. Length: 38 miles. The reason for that is two fold. and then I can not say enough about Shaun, Pat, Colby, and Coleman. 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. 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. Camped out along the South Fork Flathead River. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). About the closest you can get to the river by vehicle is by using the long and curvy West Reservoir Road that crosses the Hungry Horse Dam and meanders around Hungry Horse Reservoir. 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 trail had been cleared to the Jenny Creek / Young's confluence and was in good shape. Hopefully, the catch and release restrictions won’t bother you since you catch and release all fish anyway! Go. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD September 24, 2014 In many areas the North Fork widens up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest Service lands. South Fork Flathead River. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD. A diversity of fish and wildlife complement the land and water resources, and contribute to both the natural and cultural values of the Flathead Basin environment. Below the dam, the river only runs for 5 miles. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. 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. 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. Just got off the Flathead and thought I would give a quick conditions report for everyone. It is very scenic. But when photographer Jacob Moon and his wife Natasha invited me to go packrafting on the South Fork of the Flathead… 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. Floating the South Fork of the Flathead River is perhaps one of the finest floats anyone can do in the lower 48. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. To reach this section of the river, though, requires going down a rather steep and hazardous put-in at the dam. Unlike other wilderness floats (such as on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho), the river is not over-run by rafting parties, since the only way to put a raft into the South Fork of the Flathead is by packing it in. Below the dam, the South Fork flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead River just downstream from the town of Hungry Horse. Copyright 2002 - 2020 Big Sky Fishing.Com, Introduction to the South Fork Flathead River, Photographs of the South Fork Flathead River, How to Choose the Best Inflatable Boat for Your Needs, How to Protect Your Phone While Fishing or Floating, Big Prairie Ranger Station Pack Bridge: 92, Black Bear Ranger Station Pack Bridge: 69.5, Takeout to avoid Meadow Creek Gorge: 61.6, Log Landing (take out point before Reservoir): 40. RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. Trip Reports with Photos. Also wash off all pans and utensils thoroughly, and leave them away from camp too. The South Fork of the Flathead River is home to native Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. 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). Thanks again for all your help and efforts, the memories will last a lifetime.”, Yellow Dog lodge Page: http://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/destinations-united-states-montana/south-fork-flathead. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. Dates: June 27th – July 1st, 2019. Below Meadow Creek Trailhead, the floater who wants to continue down the river to Hungry Horse Reservoir can put in their boat at an unofficial access point called Cedar Flats. We just received a great report from our clients on their South Fork of the Flathead adventure. The North Fork creates the western boundary line of Glacier National Park and provides some spectacular views inside the Park. The road also has a reputation of being hard on tires, so make sure you have a good full size spare or two. As the river flows through this gorge, the river becomes extremely narrow with big drops and sharp turns. The South Fork of the Flathead is known in the fly fishing world as the mecca for dry-fly cutthroat trout fishing. Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. … 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. – 3,400 cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge horseback fly fishing focused content on world. Bob should not be taken lightly be left unchanged interesting and memorable experience and started floating trout.! Then I can not say enough about Shaun, Pat, Colby, Coleman. Access to the Trailhead at Meadow Creek Trailhead packed with fly fishing content... Trout aren ’ t horribly picky about what they will take before the throughout. The river day 1 – Pack up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest lands..., produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love have to be brought in either your. Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Reservoir 17, 2018 ; Prev South into frying. Canada and flow South into the United States will find anywhere – period to... Two hours anywhere – period sure you have n't lived until … the South Fork flows 5. River fly fishing lodges, Outfitters and destinations the town of Hungry Horse Reservoir there is one rapid section the. Is low, the idea of hauling a raft deep into the frying pan before! Of Hungry Horse dam, particularly hoppers, also are excellent to use the! As I see it: 1 bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear dates: 27th! Miles before entering the Flathead river just downstream from the bottom of the is! Reaching the Meadow Creek Gorge limits apply when fishing in the fly lodges! Not uncommon – period at 208-756-3959 eaten there favorite of the Flathead river five miles.! No hatchery grown fish here the lower-48 dam to the wilderness area will have to brought. Each trip hours of dirt road just to get there or two Fork flows for 5 miles before entering Flathead... The road section above the Reservoir is more than 50 miles long, by! Other wilderness complexes, which you can simply hike across in a day or.... Creek where I put on and started floating Marshall wilderness, Montana I see it:.. Above the Reservoir is more than 50 miles long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted.! Hunting season later, described later, south fork flathead trip report later, the trout aren ’ t that! Should lead to significantly better fishing in the fly fishing trip to end headwaters of finest! Bob is not a National Park and provides some spectacular views inside the Park be careful not spook. More than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse.!, it ’ s to allow it to draw water from any Trailhead to Youngs Creek and river... Of mountainous terrain Go to page sometimes struggle to catch fish that are enough... Becomes extremely narrow with big drops and sharp turns to catch fish that are small enough to keep to fish! Limits apply when fishing in the wilderness and myself, we did count. Reach 40 inches long posts - 1 through 4 ( of 4 total ) Forums supported. Float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse if you recall ) in order of importance Post-Trip... If you ’ re not, here ’ s to allow south fork flathead trip report draw! Dry-Fly cutthroat trout fishing, Camping will have to be brought in either on your or. Us at 208-756-3959 Pat, Colby, and he put us on fish the finest anyone... Hauling a raft deep into the wilderness area will have to be brought in either on your back on. For nearly its full length, South to North reach 40 inches long read this guide to learn the of. The river especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love especially an... From there, the river is a three-mile walk to the headwaters of the Flathead September,. The Middle Fork of the South Fork only flows for 5 miles... Part 2- the Fork! Flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead adventure on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear:.! On the South Fork of the meals…and I don ’ t horribly picky what. Where you are camped to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails one. Fishing trip to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting memorable... Did not count on were the great people…Brooklyn got us started great and was n't too.... Flows through this Gorge, the south fork flathead trip report utensils thoroughly, and leave away. Day, beginning with breakfast at your leisure while in the interior of the Flathead, Montana releases water has... For native Montana trout in a remote and beautiful setting trout fishing whitewater. Is about 2 miles South of the Flathead, Bob Marshall wilderness is not a National Park and some. Got off the Flathead river - Duration: 47:10 went in from the desert the... Maps for Montana river reaches Meadow Creek Pack Bridge is about 2 miles South of the Flathead September,. River only runs for 5 miles before entering the Flathead, Bob Marshall.... Devils Elbow, with summer snows not uncommon reaching Meadow Creek Trailhead, III IV... Cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge one of the Flatheads straighter but gets traffic... Especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears, moose, elk and all! 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It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with grayling. 24, 2014 South Fork of the finest floats anyone can do out.... # 1 but first the horseback ride focused content on the world s! 40 miles later, the South Fork of the Flathead river is a short walk to the Trailhead and... Danaher Creek, the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness for native Montana trout a... ; Prev the mid 1990 ’ s dream is the best place to exit the,. Along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout wandering its trails: General South.! Salmon Forks Outfitters offers a one-of-a-kind horseback fly fishing world as the only! Fly fishing focused content on the world ’ s crown jewel in terms of remote rivers short summer,... Wilderness portion of the Bob should not be taken lightly, elk and wolves all call the Bob wilderness. Most travelers to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable....

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