The North Fork Flathead River begins in British Columbia, and travels
for 47 miles before spilling over into Montana. Throughout it's length
in Montana, it forms the western boundary of Glacier
National Park. Upstream of Big Creek, the North Fork Flathead River
has a "scenic" designation, meaning no motors are allowed.
Down stream from Big Creek, the river has a "recreation" designation,
with a maximum speed of 10hp. 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.
The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana's wild streams.
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 river itself is moderately wide and flows quickly. The water, which
primarily comes from snowmelt, is cold and very clear. 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 scenery along the North Fork Flathead River is absolutely awesome.
Magnificant views of Glacier Park can be obtained on many sections of
the river and along the road that roughly parallels the river from Columbia
Falls up to the Canadian border. 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
The North Fork Flathead River also has numerous deep, clear pools, throughout
it's length, tucked away among it's many twists and turns. These make
wonderful fishing holes for the intrepid angler who can get to them.
These pools often exceed fifteen feet deep, although the bottom can still
be seen due to the exceptional clarity of the water.
As one might guess, flowing through such wild country, the local fauna
is also quite diverse. Grizzly Bears and Moose are not uncommon along
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