Copyright 2017 James Marsh
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Fly Fishing North Fork Flathead River
Montana
Before we get started, understanding the Flathead River
and its three forks can be a little confusing for those that
are not familiar with it. There are three other Flathead
Rivers that are completely separate rivers even though
they are connected together. They are the
Middle and
South Forks of the Flathead River and the Main Stem
which is just called the Flathead River. Each of these
three other rivers are covered in a separate section of
our Perfect Fly Stream section. Make sure you are
reading about the one you plan to fish.

The Main Stem of the Flathead River is formed by the
confluence of the North Fork of the Flathead River and
the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The South Fork
of the Flathead River enters the Main Stem of the
Flathead about five miles below Hungry Horse Dam that
forms the big Hungry Horse Reservoir on the South
Fork. This river's drainage is huge, including a large
part of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall
Wilderness Complex.

The North Fork Flathead River flows from British
Columbia, Canada, for a length of about 45 miles south
into the Montana where it helps form the Main Stem of
the Flathead River. It's overall length is 153 miles. Its
section that lies in the U. S. is a designated National
Wild and Scenic River. It forms the western boundary of
Glacier National Park. It is a true wilderness river. It's
also a very wide and cold river, fed mostly by melting
snow. Fly fishing the North Fork Flathead River is a real
adventure. It winds through beautiful mountains with
great views of the Glacier National Park.

The river has rainbow and cutthroat trout, the majority of
which are smaller sizes, but they are plentiful and fairly
easy to catch. The river also host some big Bull Trout
but they should be released unharmed. The river has
little to no pressure from anglers. Access is easy and
plentiful. The North Fork Road follows fairly close to the
river for a majority of its length in the Montana.

Fly fishing the North Fork Flathead River is best done
from a drift boat. There are plenty of access points
along the way and unless the water is very high, the
river usually provides a relatively easy float through
some of the most gorgeous scenery you will find
anywhere. It can also be fished by wading in many
places. It is just that you can cover a lot more water by
drifting the river.

Seasons:
Seasons follow the general Montana fishing season.
Spring:
Late springtime has some fishing opportunities except
during runoff.
Summer:
The Summer would be best time for fly fishing the North
Fork Flathead.
Fall:
Early Fall can be good.

Fly Fishing Gear Tackle and Trout Flies
Type of Stream
Freestone Stream

Species
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat
Bull Trout (must be released)

Location
Northwestern Montana

Size:
Large, about 153 miles long

Nearest Towns
West Glacier, Montana

Season
3rd Sat of May through Nov 30th.

Access:
Very Good

Non-Resident License
State of Montana

Weather
National Weather Service Link

USGS Stream Flow Data:
Near Columbia Falls

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle & Trout
Flies
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
North Fork Flathead River Fishing Report:

02/10/16  The seasons is currently closed on the North Fork Flathead River. Even so, it is
never too early to start planning your next fly fishing trip. We have taken samples of the
aquatic insects on many occassions from the North Fork using professional entomology
equipment and know what aquatic insects and other foods are present. We don't go by trial
and error in selecting flies or what Joe Blow caught yesterday. Let us help you plan your next
trip there: Send us an email at:
sales@perfectflystore.com.
North Fork Flathead River Fishing
Report: September 27, 2017
(see bottom of page)
06/16/16 The levels are falling fast and down to where it can be fished. We are not sure if this
is the end of the runoff, or the effects of the colder weather.
08/09/16 We are getting some very good reports from customers. There are lots of PMDs,
two caddis species and little Yellow stones hatching. Some Goldens are still in the higher
part of the stream. Terrestrials are also beginning to work.
08/16/16 No reports from anyone fishing but conditions remain very good. Good stream
levels and lots of insects hatching.
08/23/16 Lots of insects are hatching but they depend greatly on the section of the river,
more specifically the elevation. Send us an email for a list of flies. The address is just above.
09/06/16 The stream levels are in good shape and several insects are hatching. Our
customers reported some good catches during the past holiday weekend. The weather and
water temperatures are down lower and that is helping as well.
09/13/16 We set three different groups of guys up with flies and gear taking multi-day trips into
the North Fork. All three had very good catch reports. Catching trout is rarely a problem there.
10/26/16 We get very few reports from the N.F Flathead. Few anglers venture to fish it but
those that do usually catch plenty of trout. We did get a very good report last week. The
upper headwaters will be turning very cold, very soon.
11/09/16 The stream levels are still to high to safely wade. They are dropping and there
may be some good opportunity before the end of the month when the season closes.
11/30 The trout fishing season ends today.
12/14/16 It is never too early to start thinking about that next fly fishing trip. Let us help you
plan it. Send us an email at:
sales@perfectflystore.com.
12/28/16 Happy holidays. It won't be long before a new season begins.
01/25/17 The river is still closed to trout fishing but it isn't to early to send us an email and let
us help you plan your next trip to the Flathead. Just let us know the dates you plan to fish.  
02/22/17 Just a note to tell you that we are waiting on your email to help you plan that 2017
fishing trip. We outfit several customers each year with flies and gear for it.
03/01/17 Let us help you plan that next North Fork Flathead adventure. Send us and email.
04/19/17 It isn't long before the new fishing season begins. Send us an email and let us help
you plan that next fly fishing trip.
06/11/17 The river is still rolling high from runoff. It should be getting near the peak and start
07/07/17 Lost part of the reports from computer problems.
07/12/17 The river is in good shape with good levels and clear water. We are getting some
good reports from customers. There are Pale Morning and Evening duns, Callebaetis, Salmon
flies, Golden stones and little Yellow stones hatching. There Spotted and Green sedge caddis.e
07/26/17 Two good reports from the lower end of the river. There are some very good
hatches taking place. We do not have any reports from the upper wilderness sections.
08/23/17 We are recently getting good reports from all sections of the river. The water is still
fairly cold and hatches are far behind most other streams. Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening
duns, Golden stoneflies, Little Yellow stoneflies and Spotted sedges and other insects are
hatching.
09/06/17 More good reports are coming in. There are still some nice hatches. The water is
cooler than most anywhere else in the state. We didn't receive any reports from the
uppermost section. Let us hear from you if you fish that part recently.
09/27/17 The hatches are changing some. Currently, Mahogany duns, Blue-winged olives,
October Caddis, Spotted sedges, Dark Red Quills and Little Sister caddis are hatching.
10/19/17 Good numbers of rainbows and cutthroats are being caught. There are lots of
Blue-winged olives hatching. Conditions are good for drift boat fishing.