|Home > River Fishing > Northwest Montana > Flathead River > Floating Information||Search Site|
The Flathead River
Floating & Rafting
the Flathead River
|Photo Use Guidelines|
Access for floating is excellent. Tea Kettle FAS in Columbia Falls is an excellent site, complete with a nice boat launch. Other designated access sites on the Flathead River are Blakenship Bridge, Kokanee Bend (no boat ramp), Pressentine Bar, Old Steel Bridge in Kalispell, Foy's Bend and Sportsmans Bridge (used mainly for access to Flathead Lake).
One of the nicest floats on this section of the Flathead River is between Columbia Falls at Tea Kettle FAS and Old Steel Bridge FAS in Kalispell. The scenery is wonderful, the current flows quickly and there is not much floating traffic. Float times for this section are about 4 hours or so, depending on number of stops. Also, all the islands in this stretch make for great spots to pull over for lunch.
Below Kerr Dam, the Flathead River flows through a canyon. The first seven miles below the canyon are called "Buffalo Rapids." Depending on current stream flows, several class IV rapids with sizeable waves and holes can exist. Be smart! Before entering these rapids, be sure to scout them out first. Due to the variable flows from the dam, what one day may be a rapid may the next be a big hole and the next completely washed over. The Flathead River is big below Kerr Dam, and more resembles a slow moving lake as it approaches the Clark Fork.
Listed below are selected river miles for the Flathead River in Montana. You can get more detailed information about some of these fishing access spots at the Montana FWP Website.
Blakenship Bridge (confluence of North and Middle Forks): 158.3
Confluence of the South Fork (Hungry Horse): 148.7
Tea Kettle FAS in Columbia Falls: 143.6
Kokanee Bend FAS: 141.2
Pressentine Bend FAS: 136.2
Old Steel Bridge FAS: 128.5
Foys Bend Access Site: 122
Sportsman Bridge FAS just above Flathead Lake: 107.5
Kerr Dam: 72
Buffalo Bridge (end of Buffalo Rapids): 65
Jocko River: 25
Perma Bridge: 11.3
Clark Fork : 0
Next Page : Photographs of the Flathead River