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
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the South Fork Flathead River
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