Montana Fly Fishing
North Fork Flathead River

North Fork Flathead River

North Fork Flathead River

North Fork Flathead River
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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.

North Fork Flathead River near Polebridge, Montana
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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 river flows.

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 the river.

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