Montana Fly Fishing
South Fork Flathead River

North Fork Flathead River

South Fork Flathead River

Salmon Forks Outfitters / Wilderness Fly Fishing : Fly fish the South Fork Flathead. Horseback into our Wilderness fishing camp, five & seven day fishing trips, very remote, great fishing, no crowds. Outfitter #1990.

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. 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. Grizzly Bears, Moose, Elk and Wolves all call the Bob home.

Access to the wilderness complex is excellent, with dozens of trails threading their way from easily accessible trailheads along the perimeter of the wilderness. However, the Bob is not like most other wilderness complexes, which you can simply hike across in a day or two. To simply reach the interior of the Bob frequently requires hikes or horse packs of several days. Once in the interior, a person can spend months traversing the 2000 miles of trails that criss-cross this vast wilderness area.

Due to the fact that the South Fork of the Flathead River starts deep in the wilderness area and flows for more than 40 miles through the heart of the complex, simply getting to the South Fork is an adventure in itself. Backpacking gear will be 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.

The natural elements in the Bob should not be taken lightly. Weather is highly changeable, with summer snows not uncommon. Nighttime temperatures, even during the short summer months, frequently plummet below freezing. This is in addition to the local wildlife that can make any trip an interesting and memorable experience.

Most travelers to the wilderness complex do not come here to fish. The heaviest use in the Bob occurs in the fall, during hunting season. Summer also registers a fair amount of backpacking and horse packing visitors, although a person is unlikely to see more than a couple parties of people once away form the popular day hiking trails on the edge of the wilderness area. The Bob is not a National Park, where a traveler is likely to bump into countless hordes of people wandering its trails. 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.

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 reservoir is more than 50 miles long, created by the 460-foot Hungry Horse Dam. Below the dam, the South Fork flows for 5 miles before entering the Flathead River in the town of Hungry Horse.

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