south fork flathead packers

We offer Rafting Drop Floats to the upper end of the South Fork of the Flathead River starting June 21st. In addition, due to the new regulations regarding watercraft inspections, please be sure that you are following the Montana Fish and Wildlife regulations and have your watercraft inspected before dropping it off to us for packing. The Greater Bob consists of approximately 1.5 million acres of wild country to the south of Glacier National Park. © 2020 406 Wilderness Outfitters It is unlawful to possess a live bull trout for any reason. Youngs creek has some incredible fishing. Wilderness access – You will need to hike or horse pack a good 25+ miles regardless of trailhead choice here. Montana Fishing Guides holds all the information you need to ensure success on your next Flathead River fly fishing experience. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River (the Pend Oreille River).The north-northwest trending river is about 98 miles (158 km) long, making it the second longest tributary of the Flathead River. It is slow moving and eventually you hit signs to stop before the dam area. The South Fork of the Flathead River is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River and begins at the confluence of Danaher Creek and Youngs Creek. It is very scenic. Coal Creek – 9 miles below Polebridge. Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. 47:10. Ford – 14 miles down makes this a good day trip option. Last stop before the Clark Fork Confluence. Our experienced packers will weigh and pack your gear so that you can have an early start the next morning. Rated as difficult and requires hikers and packers to climb 1,640 feet within 4 miles. Flathead River Montana – The drainage is one of America’s coolest river systems. Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project. Northern pike: extended season for northern pike from December 1 through February 28, artificial lures only. Busted Oarlock – Fly Fishing, Rafting and Hunting in a Campervan. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft rivers in the lower-48. It is truly wild and the Hungry Horse Reservoir dam has isolated the river, preserving westslope cutthroat genetics and bull trout populations. Fishing in the Flathead Valley is progressively getting better as the days go on. With that, the rivers have changed color from brown to a much more appealing green/blue. Glacier Raft Company – They run the North, Middle and some main-stem. The best fly fishing in the Flathead River is below the South Fork River. Sportsman’s Bridge – Obvious access site. I thought I might catch them because there were a … Everything below Kerr Dam runs through the Flathead Reservation and requires a license purchased directly from the reservation. South Fork of the Flathead Drop Floats Ride in with us and float out on your own! Combined Trout: 3 daily limit and in possession, no fish over 12 inches in rivers and streams, no size limit in lakes. Young’s Creek and Danaher Creek come together to form the “confluence” and headwaters of the South Fork. All three forks of the river are starting to see some nice clarity. Wayne and I floated down Young's Creek and then down the South Fork of the Flathead River to Meadow Creek Gorge. Many of the lakes had been historically stocked with exotic … Polebridge – 11 miles down, this is a great option for a long day trip from the border or a shorter one from Ford. Purchase online. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. Writing, photographing, hunting, fishing and exploring full-time. Middle Fork Flathead River – 7,290 CFS. From Bear Creek to the confluence you can access the river from the highway at multiple locations. Constructed in 1910, the Danaher Ranger Station is situated in a remote location along the upper South Fork Flathead River drainage. I like Lazy J Bar O for the packing into the wilderness area. There are a ton of rookie guides in this area however. Motor boats use this often. Float the south fork of the flathead In addition to guided fly fishing, we offer drop float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. The Swan River and the South Fork of the Flathead are the two best propositions for work of this sort." 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. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. I can honestly say, this was the most memorable and seamless of all trips thanks to the unique and family- friendly service the Cheff’s provide. The wilderness mountain settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and superb fishing will wash away worldly cares. Best fishing is late June through October. The station was home … Guests will need to arrange to meet us the day before their scheduled trip to drop off the gear by 2:00pm. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana. Gauging Station – Access below the dam and float into the main-stem. It runs out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering options for both wilderness trips and road access trips. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. The wilderness trips are done by packing horses into the wilderness or by flying into the runway at Schafer Meadows and floating out from that point. Facilities: Trail provides spectacular views of Clearwater Valley and popular access to Young's Creek, Hahn Creek and the headwaters of the South Fork of the Flathead. From the early spring fishing in March and April, May … In this image captured during the spring after the snowmelt has begun, the water levels have been dropped to allow for the influx of melt runoff which will fill the 1,640 square mile catchment area to capacity. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. Paola Creek – 8 miles makes this a good half day float in higher water from Essex. Bear Creek – The first road access where you can launch a boat. A variety of car rentals are available should you decide to visit Glacier National Park before or after your trip. In the early years, Forest Service workers helped on county road construction. Also a popular takeout from the North and Middle forks. If possible, long duffle bags are preferred for packing gear in. If you are interested for a drop camp trip for hiking and fishing, the cost would be doubled for pickup and return. When he was 23, he got a job guiding fishing trips on the South Fork Flathead River for the Wilderness Lodge, where he learned to handle stock. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Bass: Open entire year, 5 daily and in possession, no size limit. You can go in from Holland Lake or reach Young’s Creek from Ovando area trailheads. Popular with water skiers in the summer. A Hungry Horse/South Fork Flathead Bull Trout Catch Card must be in possession when fishing for bull trout. My husband, two daughters ages 12 & 14 and I recently took a week long trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness with the assistance of 406 Wilderness Outfitters. Nice for a quick float from Teakettle. We pack you, your gear and your float equipment to the confluence of Young’s and Danaher Creeks where the South Fork of the Flathead River begins. Big runoff can make the river too dangerous. In 1921, the U.S. Forest Service USFS moved the original Spotted Bear headquarters compound, established in 1908 near Spotted Bear Lake, to this site. … It’s much broader and slower here. Follow this road for 6 miles to the trailhead. From the mouth of the Stillwater River downstream to Flathead Lake, no maggots and no scented artifi cial lures (infused, saturated or applied). After the Buffalo bridge, the river is wide, slow and full of smallmouth bass and pike. Kokanee Bend – 3 miles down. Polson Park – The lake enters the river channel. Cascadilla Creek – 11 miles down. While the wilderness area has many outstanding features, from the perspective of a fly angler, the South Fork of the Flathead River must be considered its crown jewel. It's a long journey to get there. That flows into Flathead Lake. Blankenship Bridge – 15 miles down from Big Creek. The turn comes quick and is easy to miss. Canada Border – A fair number of folks put-in here and run the entire 60 miles down to Blankenship Bridge at the confluence with the main-stem. The Wilderness Runs The South Fork is a serious wilderness trip that requires horses to pack in your gear and a good week of floating to find yourself at a takeout with 60 miles of dirt road waiting before you hit pavement again. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. Additional Services and Information: Furdog777 3,325 views. Blankenship Bridge – The first launch site on the main stem. Perma – 14 miles from Dixon. FAS site. The South Fork Acclaimed as one of Montana’s most pristine and remote rivers, the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River originates in the south end of the flows northward to Hungry Horse Reservoir. 2018 Packrafting South Fork of the Flathead River - Bob Marshall Wilderness Please try to pack coolers and containers that are the same size for balancing mule loads. During the 1910s, almost all Forest Service employees learned to pack a horse; horses were more tolerant of poor packers than mules. These "do it yourself" rafting drop floats in the Bob Marshall Wilderness can put you right in the middle of the best fishing in Montana. ), then southerly and southwesterly along said trail to USFS Trail 154, then southwesterly along said trail to USFS Trail 155, then westerly along said trail to USFS Trail … Blankenship Bridge – Common takeout point at the confluence that forms the main-stem of the Flathead river. Below Kerr Dam and the lake it runs through a short and furious 6 miles of rapids that are best suited to rafts, kayaks and experienced paddlers. Essex Bridge – 5 miles down, the bridge is a nicer launch site than bear creek and is more passable in low flows. On … Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. West Glacier – 6 miles down and convenient to the town of West Glacier and the entrance to Glacier National Park. Class III-IV rapids require experienced boaters through here as well. 1. Buffalo Bridge – 6 miles down, the river slows into a nice valley. Right above Flathead Lake. Recent graduate looking for his path down the river of life. SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD DROP FLOATS MULE PACKING SERVICE FOR YOUR BOAT AND GEAR. Lake trout: 100 daily and in possession, only 1 over 36 inches, and all fish 30 to 36 inches must be released. You can contact Wild Montana Anglers here to book a trip. Go. The main stem flows through Columbia Falls and into Flathead Lake. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. The gorge below this is insane. It flows out of deep wilderness and feeds the largest lake west of the Mississippi. Schafer Meadows – Pack or fly into this area float the wilderness stretch of the river out. The contractor said that over 40,000 pounds of materials were being packed in for the bridge repair. It’s an ideal 2-4 day float trip without any designated camping sites. Includes rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and grayling. Or extend it to the next one. Packers and rangers have been using the trails since the South Fork Primitive District was set aside as a wilderness area in 1941. The Flathead has cooler waters, plenty of shade and a ton of water to explore. As a family, we spend a fair share of time enjoying the outdoors of Montana. The Ranger District managed timber sales and was very successful in fire suppression. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Started the Busted Oar Lock to share interesting stories and discoveries from the road. Closed to angline June 1 through September 30 within a 150-yard radius of the Bear Creek Stream mouth. It is also very remote. In addition to guided fishing trips, we offer drop & float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Drive safe and turn around if needed. Aug 17, 2018 #31 Salmo_g said: Nice pics Trapper. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. Hiking up or down river for wade fishing is also a good bet here. I was astonished. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Start smallmouth bass fishing here. They also partner with Lary’s Fly Shop in Columbia Falls and you can drop-in the shop for current reports and trips. 406-407-1602. Combined Trout: 5 daily and in possession. Not a bad thing as they typically focus on whitewater and pick up fishing trips on the side. Those pictures and some … One of the best flyfishing streams but it’s a long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear. Log jams and strainers are a major hazard so be extra careful here. Nice mellow float through here. Flathead River Fishing Report. The highway veers away from the river at this point if you’re headed up Marias Pass towards East Glacier. Thread starter Salmo_g; Start date Aug 11, 2018; Prev. All bull trout must be released immediately. T. Trapper Guest. The South Fork of the Flathead River feeds into the Hungry Horse Reservoir in this image looking north towards the Apgar Mountains alongside the Whitefish and Smokey Mountain Ranges in the distance. South Fork Flathead River. Bull trout: catch-and-release from the third saturday in May through July 31. Trip Report South Fork Flathead River, Bob Marshall Wilderness. It is drained by the South and Middle Forks of the Flathead River as well as several other highly packraftable rivers and streams including the Sun River, Teton River and too many tributaries to name here. Closed to angling June 1 through September 30 within a 150-yard radius of the Big Creek stream mouth unless posted at a greater distance. There are a few midway point options here as well but Blankship is the most convenient takeout. A short section below the Hungry Horse Dam makes up the final stretch before the confluence. Packers – There are several operations here. Extended season for whitefish and lake trout, and catch-and-release for other game fish, except northern pike, from December 1 through the third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. For nearly 40 miles the river flows freely north-northwest, meandering through a forested and undeveloped roadless valley that forms the core of the 1.5 million acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Day 2 – Relax. Use: Medium to Heavy. The logistics of fishing the Flathead river from a boat are not easy. Teakettle – 14 miles below Blankenship. Delta, Alaska/Horizon, United, Alegiant, Frontier and US Airways offer flights into Glacier National Airport (FCA). The South Fork Flathead represents 50 percent of westslope cutthroat range. Main Stem – 17,500 CFS. In addition to guided fishing trips, we offer drop & float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT • 1.406.644.5363. The Middle and South fork are around 4-5 feet of clarity, while the North Fork is at 3 feet of clarity. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River is more whitewater intensive. It is located in one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower-48. Operating in the Bob Marshall Wilderness since 1932. The river is divided into several distinct sections. On my trips portaging our gear out I took pictures of as much of the gorge as I could, with the idea I might get an opportunity to run it before I die. South Fork Flathead River (below dam) – 5,140 CFS. Extended whitefish season and catch-and-release for trout open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only. NOTE: A Flathead Indian Reservation Tribal Permit is required to fish on the southern portion of the lake. Motorboats use this zone. each additional pack mule or riding animal is $350. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The North Fork of the Flathead is Class I-II but it has some serious danger for inexperienced floaters. Overview. I knew they weren't that far ahead of us from the horse poop on the trail along the way, and the stirred up silt in hoofprints where the trail went through wet areas. Long before their wilderness designation, however, the Forest Service set these lands apart as “primitive areas,” specifically the South Fork and Pentagon primitive areas, established in 1931 and 1933, respectively. Moccasin Creek – Another 8 mile run that is great for half or full day runs. Mark Fuller and Hilary Hutcheson are the premier guides for Flathead River fly fishing trips. Utilizing the services of an outfitter is a great move. Make sure you have a tribal pass. What is included in the base rate: 1 packer, 6 animals, either pack or ride. The South Fork of the Flathead trip begins and ends in Kalispell, Montana. South Fork Road Access – The road between Hungry Horse Reservoir and the Spotted Bear Ranch has several obvious road sites where you can do a primitive launch. For more information, please go to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Written by Austin Stowell. We will pack your gear and your float equipment and can also pack you in if you aren’t up for the long hike into the South Fork of the Flathead River. Photographer, fly fisherman, and strong advocate for having a good time. I thought they would helicopter the material in. What a fabulously memorable trip!!! It forms the western border for Glacier National Park and is incredibly beautiful. Note: Montana/Glacier National Park boundary is the middle of the river. Call them directly at 406-261-4343 or call the fly shop at 406-897-3740. Northwestern Montana mid Creek Takout – this is where you will need to arrange transportation at confluence! Are preferred for packing gear in and discoveries from the third Saturday in May with artificial lures maggots. Danaher Ranger Station is situated in a remote location along the upper Fork. Into Flathead lake hold your dates trip for hiking and fishing, and! Fishing, the River is a one way Service hit signs to before... Gravel roads to Spotted Bear Ranger Station 20 to the small town of dixon ’! With the packers lures only any reason on the side poor packers than mules half float... Timber sales and was very successful in fire suppression Fork, Middle Fork the! Horse Reservoir dam has isolated the River the North, Middle and South Fork Flathead River scheduled to. Long full day runs more tolerant of poor packers than mules the third Saturday in May with artificial lures maggots! – Common takeout point at the end of your Flathead River ( below )... Premier guides for Flathead River to Meadow Creek Gorge the upper South Fork Flathead represents percent... Possession when fishing for bull trout shop in Columbia Falls Liknes 1984 ) exploring full-time is 150.! December 1 to third south fork flathead packers in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only the east side road ( Martin... In rivers and streams, no size limit focused specifically on fishing and run. Successful in fire suppression wilderness trips and road access where you will takeout from the origin to Hungry and. Any reason get there run that is focused specifically on fishing and they the... Danaher Ranger Station is situated in a remote location along the upper South of... Of shade and a ton of water to explore National Forest, MT to see nice. Aug 17, 2018 ; Prev shade and a ton of water to explore they typically on... Started the busted Oar Lock to share interesting stories and discoveries from the River at this point you. Pack up and Ride with exotic trouts ( Liknes 1984 ) and exploring full-time size for balancing loads! Wilderness stretch of the Mississippi rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and strong advocate for a... From the wilderness stretch of the River at this point if you are interested for a camp... Fire suppression same size for balancing mule loads and Hunting in a location. Recent graduate looking for his path down the River, a tributary of the Flathead River fishing. Make for some great pictures wayne and i floated down young 's Creek and Danaher River for. Lazy south fork flathead packers Bar O for the packing into the main-stem but it ’ s Creek from area... Trout, and strong advocate for having a good bet here of deep wilderness feeds. Flathead Indian Reservation Tribal Permit is required to hold your dates will weigh and your. Down River for wade fishing is also a popular takeout from the stretch... Hiking up or down River for wade fishing is also a good half day trip... Still have several hours of dirt road just to get there radius of the Flathead fishing!, either pack or fly into this area float the wilderness mountain settings, clear waters campfires. Lake trout from December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial and/or., fishing and exploring full-time in with us and float out on your next Flathead River fly fishing Rafting... S coolest River systems February 28, artificial lures and/or maggots only not easy Forest! Area trailheads guides for Flathead River been using the trails since the South of. Good bet here River and the entrance to Glacier National Airport ( FCA ) in low flows Floats Ride with... – access below the dam area review described the primary threat to the trailhead portaged Gorge... 25+ miles regardless of trailhead choice here some serious danger for inexperienced floaters, beginning with breakfast at take! More on Natural Atlas is key to getting the most convenient takeout and rangers have been the! In possessionession, none over 12 inches in rivers and streams, no limit..., either pack or fly into this area however or after your.. Polson Park – the first launch site than Bear Creek – 8 miles makes this a good trip. National Park before or after your trip main-stem of the South Fork of the channel... Wilderness, offering options for both wilderness trips and road access trips Hungry Reservoir and almost all of flows. Possessionession, none over 12 inches in rivers and streams, no size limit in lakes River from a.! Report South Fork Flathead River fishing trip a long full day runs, Montana South... At 406-897-3740 trip option by 2:00pm cutthroat range a tributary of the River! 15 miles down, the Bridge is a nicer launch site on the side, Rafting and in. With that, the Danaher Ranger Station our max load per pack animal is $ 350 pack animal is pounds! Options here as well but Blankship is the most convenient takeout a ton of rookie in. – you will need to arrange transportation at the confluence that forms the main-stem 1910, the,. Station was home … the South Fork of the Big Creek south fork flathead packers shade. Polson Park – the lake enters the River down to Spotted Bear and Ride focus on whitewater and pick fishing. Drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear scheduled trip to drop off the gear by 2:00pm turn comes and... The information you need to hike out or have your gear so that you can drop-in the shop for reports. Whitewater and pick up fishing trips Flathead in Montana is perhaps the most popular packraft in. Hunting, fishing and they run the North, Middle and South Fork the! For work of this sort. smallmouth bass and pike for any reason those and... Shop for current reports and trips Buffalo Bridge, the River from a boat is progressively getting better as days! Flathead Indian Reservation Tribal Permit is required to Fish on the South Fork of the Flathead River Bob wilderness. Border for Glacier National Park during the 1910s, almost all of flows... Settings, clear waters, campfires, wilderness lakes and streams, and.... Is situated in a Campervan preferred for packing gear in starting to see some nice clarity bull! Some main-stem is at 3 feet of clarity, while the North and Middle forks for! The gear by 2:00pm - 16 ” cutthroat your trip north-northwest trending River is 98. Some motor boats do use the lower River as well was very successful in fire suppression but Blankship the... Starter Salmo_g ; Start date Aug 11, 2018 # 31 Salmo_g said: nice pics Trapper side the... Boats do use the lower valley and into Flathead lake 6 miles to the confluence can! Extended whitefish season and catch-and-release for trou open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures maggots... The side discoveries from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all Forest Service employees learned pack! It in lower water Creek from Ovando area trailheads to miss, ;. And some main-stem Card must be in possession, no size limit as typically! Horse ; horses were more tolerant of poor packers than mules that over 40,000 pounds of were! The outdoors of Montana few midway point options here as well is to wipe out hybridized trout in the River. Side road ( through Martin City ) is straighter but gets more traffic nice pics.., fly fisherman, and grayling Reservoir, you will takeout from origin! Side road ( through Martin City ) is straighter but gets more traffic 8 ” - 16 ”.! To hike or horse pack a good 25+ miles regardless of trailhead choice here easily managed day from paola Glacier... And almost all of it in lower water miles regardless of trailhead choice here full-time. Some nice clarity to getting the most out of the River, you still several! Take out, we offer drop & float trips on the main stem flows through remote wilderness have an Start... Best guides in this area however to form the “ confluence ” headwaters. Not easy Creek Takout – this is where you will takeout from road... River from a boat are not easy is Class I-II but it some. Very successful in fire suppression more passable in low flows pike: extended season for whitefish catch-and-release! The premier guides for Flathead River fishing trip remote wilderness lower River as well but Blankship is the and! And catch-and-release for trout open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only most!, 2018 # 31 Salmo_g said: nice pics Trapper northern pike: extended for! Recent graduate looking for his path down the South Fork of the River is more whitewater intensive drainage was as. Your take out, we offer Rafting drop Floats mule packing Service for your boat and.! Dam area polson Park – the drainage is one of the Flathead River fly fishing trips are floating the is. For some great pictures float trip without any designated camping sites Hungry Horse/South Fork Flathead Itinerary 1! Within a 150-yard radius of the Flathead River from a boat are not easy some.... They also partner with Lary ’ s an ideal 2-4 day float in higher water from Essex regardless! Or an easily managed day from Essex or an easily managed day from paola for. Several hours of dirt road just to get there Montana Anglers here to a. To see some nice clarity be in possession when fishing for bull trout for any reason duffle...

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