There is a proposal to protect one-third of British Columbia's Flathead River by adding it to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Reclusive Moose is the best in Montana Cabins. Other than the small community of Polebridge (which has no electricity), the North Fork Flathead River passes through no towns for its entire length. These holes make wonderful fishing holes for the intrepid angler who can reach them. Another longer float is between Polebridge and Big Creek – just be prepared for a long, bumpy ride up to Polebridge, as the road is not paved for much of its length and not very well maintained. Related : Photographs of the North Fork Flathead River. [10], Fur traders employed by the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company entered the Flathead Valley in the early 19th century. Only about three percent of Earth’s water is freshwater. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! In the 1940s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sought permission to build Glacier View Dam on the North Fork of the Flathead River that serves as the western boundary of Montana’s Glacier National Park. We had already gotten some good info about the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana from a good friend of ours who grew up taking family trips down the section. We live right by the river. While fishing for cutthroats, especially if an angler is using a larger wet fly or streamer, the possibility of hooking a large bull trout exists. Energy development once threatened the North Fork, which was deemed the "wildest river in the continental United States" by The New York Times in 2004. The entire river in Montana is essentially floatable, although the area above Ford access site can have some slow floating and some dragging of the raft during low water. There are plenty of access points along the way and unless the water is very high, the river usually provides a relatively easy float through some of the most gorgeous scenery you will find anywhere. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in North Fork of the Flathead River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. They are easy to catch on various caddisfly and mayfly imitations, floated around submerged and partially submerged structure, such as rocks and downed trees. 1968 was the year of the National Wild and scenic river act. Other than the small town of Polebridge, which has no electricity, the North Fork does not pass through a town of any size for it’s entire length. The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead Lake. Additionally, logjams on the river form each year, in various places. Wet flies also work well, especially in the numerous deep pools. Currently, several log jams on the North Fork are found between Polebridge downstream to the Camas Road Bridge. With the passing of the Moose Fire, which burnt both sides of the river in the vicinity of Big Creek in the summer of 2001 and then the Robert Fire and Wedge Canyon Fire elsewhere on the river in 2003, floating trees and downfall are even more of a hazard than it has in the past. It starts at the Canadian Border and flows south to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. These fish, which travel up from Flathead Lake on a somewhat unpredictable basis to spawn in the north fork tributaries, aren’t picky eaters. DURATION: We spent 3 days on the river. The river is not afforded any protection in British Columbia. The river itself is moderately wide and flows quickly. Upstream of Big Creek, the North Fork Flathead River has a “scenic” designation, meaning no motors are allowed. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. One excellent float is between Big Creek and Glacier Rim, a float of about 13 miles. The North Fork of the Flathead River is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It’s an ideal 2-4 day float trip without any designated camping sites. Access is easy, with numerous designated access sites, and countless unofficial access sites. North Fork Flathead River Enabling legislation for Glacier National Park established the northwestern park boundary as the middle channel of the North Fork of the Flathead River. It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River. I’m using a Sea Eagle Motormount inflatable raft on this trip, which works well. North Fork Flathead River is a stream located just 8.3 miles from Columbia Falls, in Flathead County, in the state of Montana, United States, near Coram, MT. DISTANCES: The North Fork of the Flathead from the Canadian/U.S Border to Blankenship Bridge is 58 miles. The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. Typically, we start fishing both rivers … As there are no dams on the North Fork Flathead River to regulate its flow, it runs fast during high water, with huge trees floating down like little twigs. Other than those words of caution, the North Fork Flathead River is a wonderful river to float. The Flathead River (Salish: ntx̣ʷetkʷ, ntx̣ʷe),[5] in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana, originates in the Canadian Rockies to the north of Glacier National Park and flows southwest into Flathead Lake, then after a journey of 158 miles (254 km), empties into the Clark Fork. However, while access is good, fly fishing from along shore can be very difficult due to steep hillsides, rocky terrain and dense vegetation. That said, between the eager cutthroat fly fishing, the beautiful scenery and the wonderful float trips that can be taken on the North Fork, this river ranks as one of Montana’s finest rivers and is worthy of a visit by someone on a Montana fly fishing trip. Photo of a river. An inexperienced canoeist may have difficulty at times keeping the boat pointed down river in some of these rapids and waves. Senators praise Canada’s commitment to protect flathead valley : Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Flathead River, "USGS 12389000 Clark Fork near Plains MT", "Flathead Wild and Scenic River, Montana", BP Drops Coal-Bed Methane Exploration Project North of Glacier Park, http://www.nwcouncil.org/fw/subbasinplanning/flathead/plan/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flathead_River&oldid=990035943, Wild and Scenic Rivers of the United States, Articles containing Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Confluence of North Fork and Middle Fork Flathead River, near mouth, at Perma, MT; max at Polson, MT, This page was last edited on 22 November 2020, at 12:22. After flowing through the dam the river turns south and meanders through the Flathead Valley west of the Mission Mountains, and at Dixon it is joined by the small Jocko River. Beyond these rapids, it is smooth, quick flowing water until the confluence with the Flathead River at Blakenship Bridge. The water, which primarily comes from snowmelt, is cold and very clear. The river brings with it the rugged remoteness that one would expect from the Canadian Rockies. Forming the western and southern borders of Glacier National Park, the Flathead River is a hidden gem of Montana with spectacular scenery, unsurpassed fishing and excellent wildlife viewing. [7][8] Near West Glacier the North Fork combines with the Middle Fork to form the main Flathead River. Trading posts were established north of Flathead Lake. One cannot build houses on its banks you cannot build any dams or divert the water for irrigation. Due to the cold, clear, low nutrient water, fly fishing in the North Fork Flathead River can be spotty. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana. However, with all the rapids, twists and turns and gravel bars, any floater or fisherman is highly unlikely to see any boat with a motor on it. Fly fishing the North Fork Flathead River is best done from a drift boat. Canoes, inflatable rafts and inflatable kayaks all work well for a float down the North Fork of the Flathead River. The North fork is very protected river. North Fork Flathead River – Overview & Introduction. North Fork Homesteaders in 1910 -NPS. The North Fork Flathead is undeniably … Down stream from Big Creek, the river has a “recreation” designation, with a maximum speed of 10hp. During high water is not the time to float this river. Overall, the North Fork Flathead River may not appeal to the angler in search of large, trophy sized trout. Access for the wade fisherman is generally easy, as the North Fork Road closely parallels the river for much of its length, although some bushwhacking is required to reach the better spots and deeper holes. During the summer months, numerous smaller cutthroats in the 8-12 inch range cruise the river. The majority of the Class III rapids are located within a 12 mile section between Big Creek and Glacier Rim, just above it’s confluence with the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Map of the Flathead River, its tributary forks and downriver connection to the Columbia River via Clark Fork and the Pend Oreille River. More info about Sea Eagle Motormount rafts at Sea Eagle. The scenery along the North Fork Flathead River is absolutely awesome. The North Fork is sometimes considered the main stem of the Flathead River. Below Ford river access, the river can be floated pretty much all year. Of that, only about 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water; the rest is locked up in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost, or … The river is Fully licensed and insured. Magnificant views of Glacier Park are found on many sections of the river and along the road that roughly parallels the river from Columbia Falls to the Canadian border. In 2003 Parks Canada requested the province of British Columbia to take part in a park feasibility study. [3][9], Near Polson the river leaves the natural basin of Flathead Lake, but first passes through Kerr Dam, which maintains the level of Flathead Lake artificially. Alternate names for this stream include Flathead River - North Fork, North Fork of Flathead River and North Fork of the Flathead River. The North Fork Flathead River in Montana is designated a National Wild and Scenic River. The North Fork area has attracted visitors for well over a century. The North Fork, considering the rugged and mountainous terrain it flows through, is a relatively tame river for floating. That said, there are a couple of things to watch out for when floating the North Fork Flathead River. Senators from Montana.[15]. These rapids have scattered large waves with lots of conflicting and swirling currents. The rugged area includes the landscapes of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas. We can help on the North and Middle Forks on Glacier Park's border rivers. The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. British Columbia has yet to agree to this. There are no major rapids from Ford until reaching the Glacier Northern Flats area, where several small Class II and one Class III rapid exist. The North Fork Flathead River also has numerous deep, clear pools, tucked away among its many twists and turns. TE Lewis I would like to respectfully suggest to those interested in the NF Flathead River – if newer to river recreation in NW Montana the wild and scenic North Fork Flathead River is a more technical float. As one might guess, flowing through such wild country, the local fauna is also quite diverse. The North Fork of the Flathead River valley is a broad, meandering valley that sits up against the dramatic backdrop of the peaks of Glacier National. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana! Available data for this site Click to hide station-specific text (About shift-adjusted ratings). Available data for this site Click to hide station-specific text (About shift-adjusted ratings). Even though the river flows through very mountainous country, the North Fork itself is relatively tame, offering only a couple of smaller rapids of Class II or Class III, depending on river flows. These pools often exceed fifteen feet deep, although the bottom is often seen due to the exceptional clarity of the water. The remoteness is what brings people to this part of Montana and … The North Fork of the Flathead River is mostly Class I-II with a few Class III rapids. The first settlers began arriving in the 1860s. North Fork Flathead River is a river in Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, MT. This north-northwest trending river is about 98 miles (158 km) long, making it the second longest tributary of the Flathead River. It is also low in nutrient content, and as a result, a fly fisherman will not find monster rainbows or cutthroats lurking in the river. The dam would have inundated some 25 miles of river and submerged nearly 20,000 acres of the park. Copyright 2002 - 2020 Big Sky Fishing.Com, Photographs of the North Fork Flathead River, More info about Sea Eagle Motormount rafts at Sea Eagle, Blakenship Bridge (confluence of the Flathead River): 0. Here at Glacier Anglers, we fish both the Middle and North Forks. The Flathead River provided plenty of fresh water, fish, timber, and animal trapping. Throughout it’s length in Montana, it forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park. The main part of the Flathead River begins where the North Fork and the Middle Fork meet near West Glacier. While the road is nearby, the river frequently flows down in a steep canyon, making road access difficult. [14], On February 9, 2010, the British Columbia government announced that it would not permit mining, oil and gas development and coalbed gas extraction in British Columbia's portion of the Flathead Valley, which was praised by environmental groups and the U.S. To get the proper depth, a sink tip line or weights are often needed, since these pools can be quite deep. Find the perfect north fork flathead river stock photo. Other than the small town of Polebridge, which has no electricity, the North Fork does not pass through a town of any size for it’s entire length. The US Forest Service (USFS)/Flathead National Forest (FNF) has administrative authority on the Flathead Wild and Scenic River including the North Fork. It is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Flathead River. In this section, the river cuts through several mountain ridges. Flathead River rafting can be found on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. Grizzly bears and moose are not uncommon along the river. Just outside of Columbia Falls, on the west edge of Glacier National Park, the North Fork Road accesses this incredible valley where timbered mountains, creeks and valleys form a very special place in Montana. We completed 43 miles from the Border to Big Creek. The river is part of the Columbia River drainage basin, as the Clark Fork is a tributary of the Pend Oreille River, a Columbia River tributary. Just remember, it is illegal to intentionally fish for or keep a bull trout. A raft floats past a towering cutbank while floating the upper North Fork of the Flathead River in late July. Montana Fishing Books - View detailed fishing guide books for Montana. We camped at the put-in and take-out, so we took 5 days and 5 nights overall. 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