On February 21, 2008, BP announced to drop plans to obtain drilling rights for coalbed methane extraction in the river's headwaters. Due to the cold, clear, low nutrient water, fly fishing in the North Fork Flathead River can be spotty. The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. 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. Boating - Non-Motorized Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized: It is one of the three main forks of the Flathead River, a tributary of the Clark Fork River. Energy development once threatened the North Fork, which was deemed the "wildest river in the continental United States" by The New York Times in 2004. The river is part of the Columbia River drainage basin, as the Clark Fork is a tributary of the Pend Oreille River, a Columbia River tributary. For the spin fisherman, small spoons (hopefully with the barbs removed), fished around the rocks and pools will pull in these cutthroats as well. The rapids in the North Fork Flathead River are far from severe, certainly nothing like on the Middle Fork Flathead River. One cannot build houses on its banks you cannot build any dams or divert the water for irrigation. The river is a Class I river in Montana for purposes of recreational access. Thankfully, conservationists prevailed, and in 1976 the North Fork was designated a National Wild and Scenic River alongside its kindred South Fork and Middle Fork. Fly fishing the North Fork Flathead River is best done from a drift boat. The Reclusive Moose is the best in Montana Cabins. Senators from Montana.[15]. The scenery along the North Fork Flathead River is absolutely awesome. North Fork Homesteaders in 1910 -NPS. The river is not afforded any protection in British Columbia. There are no major rapids from Ford until reaching the Glacier Northern Flats area, where several small Class II and one Class III rapid exist. Copyright 2002 - 2020 Big Sky Fishing.Com, Photographs of the North Fork Flathead River, More info about Sea Eagle Motormount rafts at Sea Eagle, Blakenship Bridge (confluence of the Flathead River): 0. The North Fork, considering the rugged and mountainous terrain it flows through, is a relatively tame river for floating. The river itself is moderately wide and moves quickly. An inflatable raft, inflatable kayak, pontoon boat or other boat is particularly helpful to reach the “hidden pools” between Big Creek and Glacier Rim River Access. Of that, only about 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water; the rest is locked up in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost, or … These holes make wonderful fishing holes for the intrepid angler who can reach them. After the river leaves the canyon it flows into the broad Flathead Valley and arcs southwest, passing Columbia Falls and Kalispell, before it is joined by the Stillwater River and its Whitefish River tributary, and then empties into Flathead Lake, where the Swan River joins. While the road is nearby, the river frequently flows down in a steep canyon, making road access difficult. Access for the wade fisherman is generally easy, as the North Fork Road closely parallels the river for much of its length, although some bushwhacking is required to reach the better spots and deeper holes. Upstream of Big Creek, the North Fork Flathead River has a “scenic” designation, meaning no motors are allowed. We camped at the put-in and take-out, so we took 5 days and 5 nights overall. Beyond these rapids, it is smooth, quick flowing water until the confluence with the Flathead River at Blakenship Bridge. [3] The river then flows westwards to join the South Fork and cuts between the Whitefish Range and Swan Range via Bad Rock Canyon. Trading posts were established north of Flathead Lake. USGS 12355500 N F Flathead River nr Columbia Falls MT. These fish, which travel up from Flathead Lake on a somewhat unpredictable basis to spawn in the north fork tributaries, aren’t picky eaters. During the summer months, numerous smaller cutthroats in the 8-12 inch range cruise the river. We completed 43 miles from the Border to Big Creek. That said, there are a couple of things to watch out for when floating the North Fork Flathead River. Overall, the North Fork Flathead River may not appeal to the angler in search of large, trophy sized trout. This north-northwest trending river is about 98 miles (158 km) long, making it the second longest tributary of the Flathead River. While an inflatable raft or inflatable kayak should have absolutely no problems, inexperienced canoeists may run into problems. The designated river includes the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork above Hungry Horse Reservoir and features recreation, scenery, historic sites, unique fisheries and wildlife such as grizzly bears and wolves. An inexperienced canoeist may have difficulty at times keeping the boat pointed down river in some of these rapids and waves. TE Lewis I would like to respectfully suggest to those interested in the NF Flathead River – if newer to river recreation in NW Montana the wild and scenic North Fork Flathead River is a more technical float. As there are no dams on the North Fork Flathead River to regulate its flow, it runs fast during high water, with huge trees floating down like little twigs. Additionally, logjams on the river form each year, in various places. The Flathead River system is a unique fishery located around Glacier National Park and is made up of three forks which eventually drain into Flathead Lake. While fishing for cutthroats, especially if an angler is using a larger wet fly or streamer, the possibility of hooking a large bull trout exists. [7][8] Near West Glacier the North Fork combines with the Middle Fork to form the main Flathead River. The river itself is moderately wide and flows quickly. [10], Fur traders employed by the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company entered the Flathead Valley in the early 19th century. The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. In 2003 Parks Canada requested the province of British Columbia to take part in a park feasibility study. Currently, several log jams on the North Fork are found between Polebridge downstream to the Camas Road Bridge. Other than those words of caution, the North Fork Flathead River is a wonderful river to float. As one might guess, flowing through such wild country, the local fauna is also quite diverse. More info about Sea Eagle Motormount rafts at Sea Eagle. Flathead River rafting can be found on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. North Fork RoadResurfacing from the Whale Creek Bridge approximately eight miles north of Polebridge for 7.7 miles (MP 42.3 to 50.0) to provide a 22-foot wide roadway;Reconstruction from the end of the resurfacing section for 5.1 miles to the Canadian Border (MP 50.0 to 55.15) to provide a 22-foot wide roadway;Reconstruction/slope stabilization at an area of erosion along the The North Fork Flathead River is truly one of Montana’s wild streams. Excellent boats for a float down the North Fork include inflatable kayaks, pontoon boats, catamaran kayaks, inflatable canoes and inflatable rafts of varying sizes. Just remember, it is illegal to intentionally fish for or keep a bull trout. To get the proper depth, a sink tip line or weights are often needed, since these pools can be quite deep. The largest tributary is the North Fork, which runs from the Canadian province of British Columbia southwards. These pools often exceed fifteen feet deep, although the bottom is often seen due to the exceptional clarity of the water. However, while access is good, fly fishing from along shore can be very difficult due to steep hillsides, rocky terrain and dense vegetation. The North Fork of the Flathead River is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Grizzly bears and moose are not uncommon along the river. They are easy to catch on various caddisfly and mayfly imitations, floated around submerged and partially submerged structure, such as rocks and downed trees. Here at Glacier Anglers, we fish both the Middle and North Forks. We live right by the river. The North Fork of the Flathead River is mostly Class I-II with a few Class III rapids. The South Fork of the Flathead River is a major river in Northwestern Montana. The Flathead River (Salish: ntx̣ʷetkʷ, ntx̣ʷe),[5] in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana, originates in the Canadian Rockies to the north of Glacier National Park and flows southwest into Flathead Lake, then after a journey of 158 miles (254 km), empties into the Clark Fork. North Fork Valley, Flathead National Forest: Address, North Fork Valley Reviews: 5/5. The remoteness is what brings people to this part of Montana and … In-depth articles help anglers and recreational floaters sort through the jargon to find the right inflatable boat for their particular needs. Find the perfect north fork flathead river stock photo. Available data for this site Click to hide station-specific text (About shift-adjusted ratings). A raft floats past a towering cutbank while floating the upper North Fork of the Flathead River in late July. The Flathead River provided plenty of fresh water, fish, timber, and animal trapping. There is a proposal to protect one-third of British Columbia's Flathead River by adding it to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. North Fork Flathead River – Overview & Introduction. Always be on the lookout for a logjam partially blocking the river. This one section of the river is still massive and is separated in two parts by the largest freshwater lake in the western United States, the Flathead Lake. The North Fork of the Flathead River valley is a broad, meandering valley that sits up against the dramatic backdrop of the peaks of Glacier National. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. We guide rafting trips on Glacier Park's rivers, the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead - wild and scenic and lots of fun! The dam would have inundated some 25 miles of river and submerged nearly 20,000 acres of the park. It’s an ideal 2-4 day float trip without any designated camping sites. However, the Cline Mining Corporation still intends to start a mountaintop-removal coal mining project. Forming the western and southern borders of Glacier National Park, the Flathead River is a hidden gem of Montana with spectacular scenery, unsurpassed fishing and excellent wildlife viewing. North Fork Flathead River is a stream located just 8.3 miles from Columbia Falls, in Flathead County, in the state of Montana, United States, near Coram, MT. The river starts in Canada and flows along the west edge of Glacier National Park. The river brings with it the rugged remoteness that one would expect from the Canadian Rockies. In the 1940s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sought permission to build Glacier View Dam on the North Fork of the Flathead River that serves as the western boundary of Montana’s Glacier National Park. [3][9], Near Polson the river leaves the natural basin of Flathead Lake, but first passes through Kerr Dam, which maintains the level of Flathead Lake artificially. 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