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. Messages 1,371 Reaction score 31 Location Scottsdale, AZ. This is about 2 miles south of the Trailhead, and requires a short walk to the river. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. Prior to this modification, all water released came from the bottom of the dam – where the water was coldest. ... Southfork of the Flathead Trip '14 HD - Duration: ... Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD We just received a great report from our clients on their South Fork of the Flathead adventure. 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. Fishing pressure is very low in the wilderness area compared to virtually any other Montana river. To simply reach the interior of the Bob frequently requires hikes or horse packs of several days. 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. In many areas the North Fork widens up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest Service lands. The trail had been cleared to the Jenny Creek / Young's confluence and was in good shape. Below the dam, the South Fork flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead River just downstream from the town of Hungry Horse. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. Section: Schafer Meadows to Paola Access Area. The distance from the Dam to the trailhead at Meadow Creek Pack Bridge is about 50 miles, which takes about two hours. 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. 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. The headwaters of the North Fork of the Flathead originate in Canada and flow south into the United States. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. IT WAS PERFECT!!!! The fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. Packrafting opened up a world of adventure for me. 2. And cooking fish, especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love. in Packrafting, Trip Report, Photography, Camping. Day 2 – Relax. I will not hesitate recommending you guys to friends. Backstory. The rest of the hike to Babcock had moderate downfall and wasn't too bad. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. Trip Report: South Fork of the Flathead, Montana. While the river is deep in spots, the river should pose no challenges to the alert wade fisherman. Either way, it’s a long way in from any trailhead to reach the river. The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness. 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 Flathead River. The Flathead River System offers hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, while Flathead Lake is a scenic and recreational mecca. 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. … and then I can not say enough about Shaun, Pat, Colby, and Coleman. You even arranged for good weather. Upon reaching the Meadow Creek Pack Bridge, it is a short hike into the wilderness. 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. RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. From the take out point, it is a three-mile walk to the Meadow Creek Trailhead. With this modificationt, the dam now releases water that has the same temperature as the Flathead River five miles downstream. And the pack in is neither quick nor easy—any pack in requires covering at least 25 miles or more of mountainous terrain. The 2020 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide is here! 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. The South Fork of the Flathead is known in the fly fishing world as the mecca for dry-fly cutthroat trout fishing. 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. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. Streams. And in case you did not hear Scott caught 2 Bulls and Jay caught this monster! Always clean and dry all your gear after each trip. The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. You haven't lived until … 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. Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. Camped out along the South Fork Flathead River. Nighttime temperatures, even during the short summer months, frequently plummet below freezing. Numerous Class II, III and IV rapids exist in this gorge. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD September 24, 2014 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. 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. Especially toward the end of the trip, going into Meadow Creek Gorge. For running powerful Class IV and V rapids, nothing beats an inflatable whitewater kayak. 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. There are some parts of the Middle, North, and South Fork Flathead River areas, which are part of government lands, so Montana Fishing Guides does not offer trips in those areas. Hopefully, the catch and release restrictions won’t bother you since you catch and release all fish anyway! To even contemplate going through this gorge will require a very small, tough raft, whitewater inflatable kayak or hard shell kayak, as any large raft is quite likely to get frequently stuck and require countless portages. Terrestrial patterns, particularly hoppers, also are excellent to use in July and August. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. Take a look below. 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 South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Go. 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. Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. This peaceful and tranquil setting changes when the river reaches Meadow Creek Gorge. 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. 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. The river provides outstanding fishing for native Montana trout in a remote and beautiful setting. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 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. First, Montana Fish & Game imposed strict special wilderness limits years ago. 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. 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. The trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. Story by Eric Hanson, Photos by Jacob Moon. 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. × 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. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. These guys really made the trip FUN. From this point, you can float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse Reservoir. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance. Trip Report: Packrafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The river is a dry-fly mecca, and it’s one of the few places in America where you can legally target bull trout. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. Plan to spend a quiet day, beginning with breakfast at your leisure. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. 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 home to native Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. 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. Up until reaching Meadow Creek Gorge 40 miles later, described later, the river presents no special challenges to a rafter. Grizzly bears, moose, elk and wolves all call the Bob home. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. Youngs creek has some incredible fishing. Read this guide to learn the importance of a fly reel and how to select a good one. South Fork Flathead Itinerary Day 1 – Pack Up and Ride. 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. Colby…. Trip Report South Fork Flathead River, Bob Marshall Wilderness. Access to the wilderness complex is excellent, with dozens of trails threading their way from easily accessible trailheads along the perimeter of the wilderness. The best place to exit the river is at mile 61.6, which is marked by a small sign. 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 it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. T. Trapper Guest. 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. and a good fishing guide as well. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. The river meanders its way through some of the most spectacular country a rafter could hope to find. Being from the desert, the idea of hauling a raft deep into the wilderness was fairly novel. 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. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD. What I did not count on were the great people…Brooklyn got us started great and was a pleasure…. It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout. The Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. Sign in to report inappropriate content. Also wash off all pans and utensils thoroughly, and leave them away from camp too. 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. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. Thread starter myt1; Start date Aug 7, 2019; myt1 Well-known member. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . I went in from the Lodgepole TH over Young's Pass and down to Babcock Creek where I put on and started floating. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. 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. Trip Reports. The South Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. It was amazing what he can do out there…. The cost for riding animals is $300 if going into the Gordon Creek confluence and $325 if going into the Hahn Creek Cabin. Below the dam, the river only runs for 5 miles. 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 … South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. Aug 7, 2019 #1 But first the horseback ride. Regardless of where you enter the Bob, the South Fork is a wade fisherman’s dream. However, if you’re not, here’s something else to consider before putting that trout into the frying pan. The reservoir is more than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse Dam. Of course, this remote setting has its benefits. Just got off the Flathead and thought I would give a quick conditions report for everyone. Coleman…well I actually took pictures of the meals…and I don’t do that shit. Since the fishing pressure is low, the trout aren’t horribly picky about what they will take. This should lead to significantly better fishing in both the South Fork below the dam and for the Flathead River in the years ahead. 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. It is very scenic. the South Fork of the Flathead River should remain a favorite for the explorer type of angler for a long time. 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. 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. 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. Just be careful not to spook the fish—the waters of the South Fork of the Flathead River are crystal clear. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a truly remote stream. 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