North Fork of the Flathead River
Few rivers in Montana offer the remoteness, wildlife, and scenery of the Flathead River’s North Fork, which runs southward from the Canadian border along the western edge of Glacier National Park. The river promises adventurous floating with lots of megafauna — i.e. grizzlies. It also has good dry fly-fishing for Montana’s native cutthroats and the occasional bull trout, which can be huge. The river’s cold water and rapid spring flows make for poor insect hatches, but small cutthroats will rise willingly to a yellow humpy or a parachute Adams. Pull a big streamer through deep holes for a chance at a bull trout, which must be released immediately. The grandeur of the North Fork is best appreciated by boat. The section between Ford Creek Ranger Station and Polebridge is a good day’s float, and the Polebridge Mercantile offers fresh baked goods that are a nice treat when you take out. Stop by Arends Fly Shop in Columbia Falls for flies and suggestions.
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