Glacier Park Collection
A woman reels in a fish standing on a boat.

North Fork of the Flathead

The North Fork of the Flathead River originates in Canada before flowing south into Montana. Glacier National Park lies to the east of the river, and the Flathead National Forest, state lands and private lands border the west side. The river flows 58 miles through Montana before its confluence with the Middle Fork. Peak water is in early June, with low water by mid-August. Whitewater ratings range from class I-II.

The North Fork provides prime habitat for fish, with a variety of water conditions to drop your line in, be it drifting a fly across a deep slow-moving pool or laying out along the tail of a fast-moving riffle.

Westslope cutthroat trout serve as the primary fish in the Flathead River, making it one of the few fisheries for this unique species in the world. There are also some rainbow trout, lake trout and whitefish in the rivers.

The North Fork of the Flathead River is famous for its spectacular views, crystal clear waters and an abundance of wildlife. Bald eagles and osprey are common, and floaters often spot black bears, moose, grizzly bears, elk and deer by the riverside.

North Fork of the Flathead Fishing Report

A railway bridge from below.

Middle Fork of the Flathead

The Middle Fork of the Flathead River originates in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness and flows northwesterly to form the southern border of Glacier National Park.

In the spring and early summer, there is thrilling whitewater on the Middle Fork, with class III rapids at its peak. By late July, the rapids have moderated to fun-filled class II-III sections.

Like the North Fork, you’ll find excellent fishing conditions on the Flathead’s Middle Fork, with westslope cutthroat trout acting as the primary fish. You’ll also find rainbow trout, lake trout and whitefish in the Middle Fork’s waters.

The Upper Middle Fork is accessible only by air, horse or hike. Unlike other great rivers that have been dammed, the flow of Upper Middle Fork is regulated only by nature. It and all its free-flowing splendor is part of the nation’s Wild and Scenic River System.

Middle Fork of the Flathead Fishing Report

Two men float down a river with green and red rocks.

Great Bear Wilderness

In 1978, the Great Bear Wilderness Area was established as a corridor linking the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park. Combined, these wilderness areas total approximately 3 million acres — the largest tract of wilderness lands in the lower contiguous United States.

Flowing for nearly 50 miles through the heart of this rugged and beautiful landscape, the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River carves its way through the glacial valleys and lush forests of northwest Montana. Known as Montana’s mightiest river, this upper section of the river is one of the most protected rivers in the United States.

Renowned for its exciting whitewater, the Middle Fork also features excellent fishing, spectacular beauty and abundant wildlife. Glacier Anglers is proud to be the only Montana outfitter permitted to operate float trips on this portion of the Upper Middle Fork. This is truly some of the best fly fishing the United States has to offer.

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