south fork flathead trip report

The South Fork only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. Up until reaching Meadow Creek Gorge 40 miles later, described later, the river presents no special challenges to a rafter. Since the fishing pressure is low, the trout aren’t horribly picky about what they will take. … Go. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Any fish you catch while in the wilderness area will have to be eaten there. Flow: 4,300 – 3,400 cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge. 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. And cooking fish, especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love. Story by Eric Hanson, Photos by Jacob Moon. The fishing in this stretch, however, has a chance to become a much better fishery in the years ahead. The river is a dry-fly mecca, and it’s one of the few places in America where you can legally target bull trout. From this point, you can float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse Reservoir. The trail had been cleared to the Jenny Creek / Young's confluence and was in good shape. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. The reservoir is more than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse Dam. South Fork Flathead DATES: For information on scheduling a South Fork Flathead trip in 2020, inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. Packed with fly fishing focused content on the world’s finest fly fishing lodges, outfitters and destinations. I will not hesitate recommending you guys to friends. It has plenty of good size cutthroat and rainbow trout along with some grayling and some fully protected bull trout. Great fishing trips don’t just happen. Regardless of where you enter the Bob, the South Fork is a wade fisherman’s dream. 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. July 15, 2019. by John Nestler. This should lead to significantly better fishing in both the South Fork below the dam and for the Flathead River in the years ahead. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance A Great Time with my Boys Great scenery away from the … T. Trapper Guest. 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! and then I can not say enough about Shaun, Pat, Colby, and Coleman. One of the best flyfishing streams but it’s a long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear. It was amazing what he can do out there…. Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. Below the dam, the river only runs for 5 miles. 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. There are 3 main reasons for this as I see it: 1. ... Southfork of the Flathead Trip '14 HD - Duration: ... Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. 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. Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). Several guide services located around the Bob provide packing services, and can pack in gear for the floaters without a horse. 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. Hopefully, the catch and release restrictions won’t bother you since you catch and release all fish anyway! Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. We just received a great report from our clients on their South Fork of the Flathead adventure. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. To reach this section of the river, though, requires going down a rather steep and hazardous put-in at the dam. IT WAS PERFECT!!!! The result is that anglers now sometimes struggle to catch fish that are small enough to keep. 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 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 … × 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. This is about 2 miles south of the Trailhead, and requires a short walk to the river. A Seat with a View on the South Fork Flathead River. But when photographer Jacob Moon and his wife Natasha invited me to go packrafting on the South Fork of the Flathead… Thread starter myt1; Start date Aug 7, 2019; myt1 Well-known member. The headwaters of the North Fork of the Flathead originate in Canada and flow south into the United States. 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. The deep green water and the canyons make for some great pictures. 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. 2. 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. And the pack in is neither quick nor easy—any pack in requires covering at least 25 miles or more of mountainous terrain. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. Colby…. Fishing pressure is very low in the wilderness area compared to virtually any other Montana river. in Packrafting, Trip Report, Photography, Camping. 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). The cost for riding animals is $300 if going into the Gordon Creek confluence and $325 if going into the Hahn Creek Cabin. And in case you did not hear Scott caught 2 Bulls and Jay caught this monster! Length: 38 miles. Camped out along the South Fork Flathead River. 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. Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Below the dam, the South Fork flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead River just downstream from the town of Hungry Horse. 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. 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. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. 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 River begins deep in the heart of Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, one of the nations largest designated wilderness areas. This has important implications. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. 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 Report: Packrafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. Access to the wilderness complex is excellent, with dozens of trails threading their way from easily accessible trailheads along the perimeter of the wilderness. From the take out point, it is a three-mile walk to the Meadow Creek Trailhead. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. 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. Access to the South Fork is by foot or horseback. 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. 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. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance. Aug 17, 2018 #31 Salmo_g said: Nice pics Trapper. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness. You haven't lived until … Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. 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. 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 South Fork of the Flathead River is Montana’s crown jewel in terms of remote rivers. Take a look below. Learn more about these fun boats. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. Streams. Aug 7, 2019 #1 But first the horseback ride. 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. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. 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. Either way, it’s a long way in from any trailhead to reach the river. Fly reels do more than just hold line. Trip Report: South Fork of the Flathead, Montana. 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. 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. For running powerful Class IV and V rapids, nothing beats an inflatable whitewater kayak. Numerous Class II, III and IV rapids exist in this gorge. 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. From it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. What I did not count on were the great people…Brooklyn got us started great and was a pleasure…. RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. 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. Backstory. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD September 24, 2014 With this modificationt, the dam now releases water that has the same temperature as the Flathead River five miles downstream. The road also has a reputation of being hard on tires, so make sure you have a good full size spare or two. Day 2 – Relax. Being from the desert, the idea of hauling a raft deep into the wilderness was fairly novel. 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. Coleman…well I actually took pictures of the meals…and I don’t do that shit. South Fork Flathead fishing-specific trip: July 18th – 25th, 2020. Floating the South Fork of the Flathead River is perhaps one of the finest floats anyone can do in the lower 48. South Fork Flathead River. Plan to spend a quiet day, beginning with breakfast at your leisure. Trip Reports with Photos. Upon reaching the Meadow Creek Pack Bridge, it is a short hike into the wilderness. South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. Just got off the Flathead and thought I would give a quick conditions report for everyone. The rest of the hike to Babcock had moderate downfall and wasn't too bad. South Fork Flathead River Fly Fishing is the best you will find anywhere – period. Also wash off all pans and utensils thoroughly, and leave them away from camp too. In many areas the North Fork widens up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest Service lands. As the river flows through this gorge, the river becomes extremely narrow with big drops and sharp turns. Terrestrial patterns, particularly hoppers, also are excellent to use in July and August. 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. Dates: June 27th – July 1st, 2019. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD. The best place to exit the river is at mile 61.6, which is marked by a small sign. 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. 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. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 Read this guide to learn the importance of a fly reel and how to select a good one. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. The 2020 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide is here! Thread starter Salmo_g; Start date Aug 11, 2018; Prev. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness. Take a look below. 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