About Us |  Contact Us | Outdoor News | 

Montana Rivers: South Fork of Flathead River
Montana's South Fork of the Flathead River
Information provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
The South Fork Flathead River originates at the confluence of Danaher and Youngs creeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and flows north, unimpeded for over half its length. Noted for the extreme beauty of its setting and course, the South Fork runs its first 40 miles within the Bob Marshall between the Continental Divide on the east and the Swan Range on the west. From its headwaters to the Spotted Bear River, it is classified a Wild River under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Access to float the South Fork requires quite a commitment—packing in gear by foot or horseback for 20 miles to begin this wilderness float and the same when the ride is finished. The beauty, fishing, and serenity of the float make it worth the effort. Many backpackers and horse parties enjoy portions of the river as well. An abrupt change in the river results from Hungry Horse Dam, 5 miles above the mouth, which creates the 35-mile-long Hungry Horse Reservoir. Completed in 1952, the dam has served two oppositional purposes for the fisheries of the South Fork—blocking upstream fish migrations from Flathead Lake and effectively isolating the drainage from that fishery, while above the dam maintaining the most intact native fish ecosystem remaining in western Montana.

Fishing Regulations: The standard fishing regulations for the fishing district(s) apply. Please check your copy of the regulations, or visit the site(s) linked above for more information.

Exceptions: All Waters Upstream From Hungry Horse Dam, Including Hungry Horse Reservoir And Tributaries Except Meadow Creek Section (See Below)
Combined Trout: 3 daily and in possession, no fish over 12 inches in rivers and streams. Includes rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and grayling.
Mainstem Upstream From Hungry Horse Reservoir (From Crossover Boat Ramp South And Upstream To The Confluence Of Youngs And Danaher Creeks)
Bull trout: catch-and-release from the third Saturday in May through August 15. A Hungry Horse/South Fork Flathead Bull Trout Catch Card must be in possession when fishing for bull trout. See Special License requirements for application information. All bull trout must be released immediately. It is unlawful to possess a live bull trout for any reason.
Meadow Creek Bridge To Spotted Bear Foot Bridge And Tributaries
Catch-and-release only.
Artificial lures only.
Hungry Horse Dam Downstream To Devil's Elbow And Tributaries
Closed entire year.
Devil's Elbow Downstream To Mouth And Tributaries
Catch-and-release for cutthroat trout.
Extended season for whitefish and catch-and-release for trout open December 1 to third Saturday in May with artificial lures and/or maggots only.


Outdoor News  |  Recreational Classifieds  |  Advertising  |  Sun & Moon Data

© 2004 Angler Guide, All Rights Reserved.