Montana Fly Fishing
The Thompson River

Thompson River

The Thompson River

Thompson River Valley 
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The Thompson River begins at the outlet of Upper Thompson Lake and almost immediately flows through two more lakes, Middle Thompson Lake and Lower Thompson Lake. The river then cuts through a marshy area before continuing on for another 50 miles before ending at its confluence with the Lower Clark Fork River.

The Thompson River is a gentle river, with slow to moderate current except during the highest of waters. In its upper stretches, it flows through private property which is owned by timber companies. Once it leaves the timber companies property, the Thompson River enters public land, in which it remains until near the rivers end.

The Thompson River is very narrow in its upper reaches, resembling more of a creek than a river. As it moves downstream, it picks up width and volume from a number of tributary streams, making it more friendly for float fishing.

Despite the intense logging operations, the river is surprisingly clear. Even during spring run-off, the Thompson River remains relatively clear, allowing it to be fished when many other Montana rivers are blown out by high, muddy water.

Lower Thompson River 
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The region is heavily wooded - and logged. Logging roads on each bank closely follow the river from the rivers beginning all the way to its end, allowing for easy access. The riverbanks are an appealing mix of grass, brush and forest.

The Thompson River is quite isolated, and does not flow through any towns during its journey to the Clark Fork. Despite the isolation, the Thompson River receives a fair amount of fishing pressure, especially in areas that are right next to the road.

Next Page : Fishing the Thompson River

Related Article : The Thompson River Backcountry Drive


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