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south fork flathead trip report

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. The South Fork of the Flathead is known in the fly fishing world as the mecca for dry-fly cutthroat trout fishing. This peaceful and tranquil setting changes when the river reaches Meadow Creek Gorge. 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. Fishing pressure is very low in the wilderness area compared to virtually any other Montana river. RATES: General South Fork Flathead trip rates: inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. Always clean and dry all your gear after each trip. 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. Hungry Horse Dam was modified in the mid 1990’s to allow it to draw water from any depth of the reservoir. Take a look below. These guys really made the trip FUN. They are all intelligent and great young men and went above and beyond to make things interesting fun. 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. The trail had been cleared to the Jenny Creek / Young's confluence and was in good shape. The road also has a reputation of being hard on tires, so make sure you have a good full size spare or two. The 2020 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide is here! View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. 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 only flows for 5 miles below Hungry Horse Dam before the river ends at the confluence of the Flathead River. The South Fork of the Flathead River is home to native Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. 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 Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. Flow: 4,300 – 3,400 cfs @ MF Flathead West Glacier Gauge. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD September 24, 2014 Since the fishing pressure is low, the trout aren’t horribly picky about what they will take. As the river flows through this gorge, the river becomes extremely narrow with big drops and sharp turns. 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). ... Southfork of the Flathead Trip '14 HD - Duration: ... Part 2- The South Fork Flathead River - Duration: 47:10. Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total) Forums are supported by our merchant partners . 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. 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. Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. Speaking for Trent and myself, we did not want the trip to end. Just got off the Flathead and thought I would give a quick conditions report for everyone. Any fish you catch while in the wilderness area will have to be eaten there. While the river is deep in spots, the river should pose no challenges to the alert wade fisherman. in Packrafting, Trip Report, Photography, Camping. Up until reaching Meadow Creek Gorge 40 miles later, described later, the river presents no special challenges to a rafter. 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. Streams. 65 miles from the origin to Hungry Reservoir and almost all of it flows through remote wilderness. Trip Reports with Photos. “My hopes for the trip were (if you recall) in order of importance A Great Time with my Boys Great scenery away from the … Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Great fishing trips don’t just happen. The best place to exit the river is at mile 61.6, which is marked by a small sign. 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. 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. 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. Access to the South Fork is by foot or horseback. July 15, 2019. by John Nestler. One of the best flyfishing streams but it’s a long, dusty 50-mile drive on bumpy gravel roads to Spotted Bear. 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. Take a look below. Backstory. Hopefully, the catch and release restrictions won’t bother you since you catch and release all fish anyway! Trip Report South Fork Flathead River, Bob Marshall Wilderness. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a different beast. Story by Eric Hanson, Photos by Jacob Moon. Aug 7, 2019 #1 But first the horseback ride. The trout are all wild—there is no hatchery grown fish here. And in case you did not hear Scott caught 2 Bulls and Jay caught this monster! Numerous Class II, III and IV rapids exist in this gorge. Sign in to report inappropriate content. You even arranged for good weather. Fly reels do more than just hold line. Packed with fly fishing focused content on the world’s finest fly fishing lodges, outfitters and destinations. The cost for riding animals is $300 if going into the Gordon Creek confluence and $325 if going into the Hahn Creek Cabin. Section: Schafer Meadows to Paola Access Area. South Fork Flathead River upstream from Hungry Horse Reservoir. However, if you’re not, here’s something else to consider before putting that trout into the frying pan. The reason for that is two fold. 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. Trip Report: South Fork of the Flathead, Montana. However, the Bob is not like most other wilderness complexes, which you can simply hike across in a day or two. South Fork Flathead Itinerary Day 1 – Pack Up and Ride. Nighttime temperatures, even during the short summer months, frequently plummet below freezing. Learn more about these fun boats. It is very scenic. With this modificationt, the dam now releases water that has the same temperature as the Flathead River five miles downstream. From the take out point, it is a three-mile walk to the Meadow Creek Trailhead. Camped out along the South Fork Flathead River. Any rafts will need to be brought in either on your back or on horse. Pretty much any caddis fly or mayfly imitation in size 10-14 works just fine. Just be careful not to spook the fish—the waters of the South Fork of the Flathead River are crystal clear. Colby…. And cooking fish, especially over an open fire, produces a powerful aroma—an aroma that grizzly bears just love. 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. T. Trapper Guest. 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. Below the dam, the river only runs for 5 miles. From there, the South Fork trail more or less follows the river throughout its journey in the wilderness area. Length: 38 miles. To access the road section above the reservoir, you still have several hours of dirt road just to get there. 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! Leave from Benchmark Trailhead to Youngs Creek and Danaher River confluence for 2 nights. 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. The distance from the Dam to the trailhead at Meadow Creek Pack Bridge is about 50 miles, which takes about two hours. Below the dam, the South Fork flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead River just downstream from the town of Hungry Horse. Messages 1,371 Reaction score 31 Location Scottsdale, AZ. South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience. Dispose of all entrails and uneaten portions far away from where you are camped. Prior to this modification, all water released came from the bottom of the dam – where the water was coldest. and then I can not say enough about Shaun, Pat, Colby, and Coleman. The river is a dry-fly mecca, and it’s one of the few places in America where you can legally target bull trout. 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. The South Fork has good numbers of 8”- 16” cutthroat. Trip Report: Packrafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Regardless of where you enter the Bob, the South Fork is a wade fisherman’s dream. Upon reaching the Meadow Creek Pack Bridge, it is a short hike into the wilderness. Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. Floating the South Fork of the Flathead River is perhaps one of the finest floats anyone can do in the lower 48. 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. I will not hesitate recommending you guys to friends. 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. Also wash off all pans and utensils thoroughly, and leave them away from camp too. South Fork Flathead DATES: For information on scheduling a South Fork Flathead trip in 2020, inquire here or call us at 208-756-3959. the South Fork of the Flathead River should remain a favorite for the explorer type of angler for a long time. Thread starter myt1; Start date Aug 7, 2019; myt1 Well-known member. Grizzly bears, moose, elk and wolves all call the Bob home. The east side road (through Martin City) is straighter but gets more traffic. The result is that anglers now sometimes struggle to catch fish that are small enough to keep. 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. What I did not count on were the great people…Brooklyn got us started great and was a pleasure…. There is one rapid section below the dam called Devils Elbow, with two short Class IV rapids. 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. 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. Aug 17, 2018 #31 Salmo_g said: Nice pics Trapper. Terrestrial patterns, particularly hoppers, also are excellent to use in July and August. … Thread starter Salmo_g; Start date Aug 11, 2018; Prev. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. I went in from the Lodgepole TH over Young's Pass and down to Babcock Creek where I put on and started floating. The South Fork is the favorite of the Flatheads. Day 2 – Relax. In many areas the North Fork widens up and braids in between Glacier National Park and National Forest Service lands. 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. Dates: June 27th – July 1st, 2019. You haven't lived until … 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. patient, enthusiastic, and he put us on fish. This should lead to significantly better fishing in both the South Fork below the dam and for the Flathead River in the years ahead. 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. 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). Horses and mules transport us, our boats and gear 20 to 26 miles (depending upon which trail we take in and the itinerary). This has important implications. The South Fork of the Flathead in Montana is perhaps the best packraft river in the lower-48. 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 Flathead River System offers hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, while Flathead Lake is a scenic and recreational mecca. A Seat with a View on the South Fork Flathead River. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness. 8-Day South Fork Fly-fishing Trip ~ $5900.00 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. 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. 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. Go. Of course, this remote setting has its benefits. The bull trout is a threatened species and can reach 40 inches long. CLIENT REPORT | SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD. 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. South Fork Flathead fishing-specific trip: July 18th – 25th, 2020. 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 natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. We just received a great report from our clients on their South Fork of the Flathead adventure. 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. This gin-clear river runs through the Bob Marshall Wilderness for nearly its full length, south to north. From this point, you can float another 18 scenic miles to Hungry Horse Reservoir. From it’s beginning near Danaher Creek, the entire South Fork is floatable except during low water. Packrafting opened up a world of adventure for me. 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. Coleman…well I actually took pictures of the meals…and I don’t do that shit. 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. 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.

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