Native Bull trout and Westlope Cutthroat navigate the beautiful waters flowing from Glacier to Flathead Lake. Over 300 species of aquatic insects, including 105 different stonefly species inhabit the area. It’s no wonder why Kalispell is so popular for its fly fishing. Birds, bugs, and fish are bountiful here, making Kalispell, Montana fly fishing the best that can be had anywhere. Nestled in between other gorgeous small towns such as Bigfork to the southeast and Whitefish just north, Kalispell and its surrounding areas are truly magical almost any time of year.
Since Flathead River is fed primarily by snowmelt and mountain lakes, the water stays quite cold even well into summer and again in the fall, keeping the wild cutthroat trout hungry for dry flies. The latter part of the summer is typically terrestrial fishing with ants and hoppers as the temperatures warm. Though the fish in this river are not as bountiful as in other rivers and streams in Montana, the fly fishing in Kalispell is often better due to less pressure on the population and therefore more acquiescent fish. Finding a trusted Kalispell Fly Shop can help the novice or expert to be prepared with the best flies or bait appropriate for the time of year.
Flathead River has two very excellent conditions aside from the lower pressure; fly fishing in Kalispell on the Flathead River does not require as much skill or specific flies like other areas of the state. The native Westslope Cutthroat trout and rainbow in this area are not nearly as picky, making it much easier to catch them when fly fishing near Kalispell.
Because of the breadth, depth, and speed of the Flathead River, wading can be often dangerous, so it much more effective, and safe, to fishing from a drift boat than from shore. Hiding in the deep water next to banks, in the many riffles and runs or along waist deep boulder gardens the fish of the Flathead River love to eat dry flies.