The Whitefish River begins at beautiful Whitefish Lake, in the town of Whitefish, Montana. The river flows slowly for twenty-five miles through the middle of the Flathead Valley to the confluence with the Stillwater River near Kalispell, offering excellent views of the surrounding mountains. The banks of the river are a combination of forests and fields.
The Whitefish River is not destined to become the next destination river for fishing. Fishing on the river is fair at best. The warm, slow moving waters of the river provide adequate fishing opportunities for pike and whitefish. Some cutthroat trout can also be found near the inlet at Whitefish Lake.
While the river is not prime fishing water, it offers a number of recreational opportunities. It is a pleasant river to float, particularly between Whitefish Lake and the Highway 40 bridge crossing, although the slow waters make it best for canoes and inflatable kayaks. During late summer during low water, parts of the river become very shallow, requiring some easy portages. Downfall also can pose challenges during certain years.
The Whitefish River has very good access due to numerous road crossings. In Whitefish, a nice park and bike/walking trail parallels the river and has a number of floating docks that provide a fine place for kids to fish and play.
Whitefish River Miles
- Whitefish Lake Outlet: 25.5
- Whitefish City Park (Baker Street): 24.4
- Highway 40 Bridge: 19.2
- Half Moon Bridge: 15
- Rose Crossing: 6
- Confluence at Stillwater River: 0