Monday, April 1st, 2013

Trip of the Week – Multi Day Glacier Fly Fishing

We’re getting pretty excited about the upcoming summer and want to share our excitement with you. Every week until our season starts, we’ll share one of our river trips with you. So be sure to tune into our blog each week to find out about each of our trips and find the perfect one for you and your friends or family!

Our sixth trip is a Multi Day Glacier Fly Fishing Trip:


Montana is legendary for its great natural wonder and outstanding fishing. At least once, you should treat yourself to an extraordinary fishing adventure in this “last great place.” The rivers we fish, the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River, border Glacier National Park, one of the most sensational natural settings on earth.

Both rivers are catch and release and boast large populations of native Westslope Cutthroat trout. The North Fork is famous for its spectacular views, crystal clear waters and abundance of wildlife. With its headwaters starting in Canada, the North Fork flows south, forming the western boundary of Glacier National Park. This majestic river provides prime habitat for fish with a variety of water conditions. You can drift a fly across a deep, slow-moving pool or lay your line out along the tail of a fast-moving riffle while taking in unfettered views of Glacier’s Livingston mountain range, home to many of the park’s tallest peaks.

The Middle Fork of the Flathead starts in the heart of the Bob Marshall-Great Bear Wilderness Complex and flows northwesterly until it reaches the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. While being renowned for its exciting whitewater, the Middle Fork also offers excellent fishing, spectacular scenery and many species of wildlife. If you are looking for the one wilderness-fishing trip that offers it all, the upper 32 miles of the Middle Fork in the Great Bear Wilderness is it (see 4-7 day Great Bear Wilderness Fly Fishing itinerary for more information).

What to expect

These rivers have one of the nation’s largest remaining populations of native Westslope cutthroat trout, along with other fish like rainbow trout and mountain whitefish. After an exciting day of fishing, as your guide is preparing a hearty gourmet dinner, you can relax around the campfire and tell a few tales. If your arm isn’t worn out from casting all day, you can wander down to the bank for a little evening fishing. After a delicious dinner and sitting under the stars, the soothing murmur of the river will lull you to sleep.

When planning your trip, keep in mind that both of these rivers are classified Wild and Scenic. That means they are not dam-controlled and the river levels depend upon the previous winter’s snow pack and rainfall. Because of this, the fishing usually doesn’t start until after spring runoff and the water has cleared up, which is normally late June or early July. From July through September, though, the fishing is exceptional.

Our trips include 2 fishermen and 1 guide per boat. All of our guides will have a good supply of flies, leaders, tippet and quality rods and reels. If you use their equipment, it is your responsibility to reimburse them if you break or lose anything, as most of them provide this service out of their own pocket. If you have your own gear, we recommend you bring it.

What to bring

Fly Fishing : We recommend a 5 weight/9 foot rod or smaller with a weight forward floating line, several leaders (4x or 5x leaders work well), and a good variety of western trout patterns including the Chubby Chernobyl in pink or purple, Army’s Ant in natural or black, red and yellow Humpies, Royal Wulff, caddis patterns (especially the Elk Hair), Parachute Adams and Stimulators. Although the fishing is primarily from a boat, you may want to throw in your waders. If you have questions on what to bring or would rather wait to pick up your equipment when you arrive in Montana, we have a full service fly shop to assist you.

Spin Fishing : We recommend small ultra-light rods and reels set up with 6 lb. test line. For lures, the small 1/8 to 1/4 oz. spinners seem to be the best. Mepps lures in red and white, silver, and gold, Panther Martins in a variety of color patterns (especially orange), and blue foxes are the most popular.

Custom Glacier National Park fishing made for you

We would be happy to custom design a trip for you and your friends that would best suit your needs and time. We can design trips for all levels of fishing ability, from beginning instructional to the seasoned fly-fisherman (or woman). All our guides are experienced, licensed professionals who share the passion for fishing that only other fisherman can understand.

Our trips don’t have a rigid structure. We try to design them to best suit your interests and desires. Our goal is simple: to give you the best fishing experience possible. We like to keep our trips small, but can accommodate groups if needed. Our friendly and knowledgeable guides will help you polish your fishing techniques and teach you some new tricks. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of time to kick back, read, and take photos of the breathtaking beauty around you.

Make plans to come join us in Montana. It will be an experience you will never forget!

All fishing trips depart from Glacier Outdoor Center. Check in 30 minutes prior to trip departure.

A Montana Fishing License is required for Fly Fishing Trips. Licenses can be purchased at Glacier Outdoor Center prior to departure.

Departs: 8:30am
Adult: $425 per person per day
Gear Boat included
Price does not include 7% service fee.
Trip Length: 2-7 Days
Departure Dates: Daily, July through September
River Rating: Class I-IV 
River Miles: 22-32 miles
Age Limit: 8-10 in June, 6-7 by mid August (Dependent on weather and water conditions)
License: $25 for 2-day license (includes required Montana Conservation License and State Lands License)
$15 for additional 2-day license.
$60 for season license.

Customize your trip with our North Fork Heli Fly-In Float-Out Fly Fishing
Access the North Fork of the Flathead by helicopter!


Begin your multi-day fly fishing trip with a scenic flight over Glacier National Park. What a spectacular way to see parts of Glacier Park not accessible by trail or road! You will land at the launch site for your fishing trip where your guides and fishing boats await. Call for pricing quote.

North Fork Fly-In Float-Out Testimonial
“If you are going to come this far to fish, this is the way to do it.” Gerry Corrigan while flying in a helicopter for the first time to access the put in on the North Fork of the Flathead River.

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