Autumn in the Flathead Valley Offers World-Class Fishing and Scenery

Autumn in Montana is a spectacular season to be under the big sky. The Flathead Valley boasts some of the most stunning scenery anywhere during the fall months, thanks to the glowing golden larch trees and groves of colorful quaking aspens. In addition to the ripe landscape, the fly-fishing is in prime condition now that the snowmelt has worked its way down the river and the temperatures are cooling from the summer heat. Fishing zealots can be found in all corners of the Flathead Valley stalking fish with fervor.

The three stems of the Flathead River all lay at the doorstep off Kalispell and all offer different fishing experiences. The North Fork runs down the western border of Glacier National Park and is one of the few wild and scenic designated rivers left in the lower 48. Additionally it is a healthy bull trout habitat.

With its lively pool-drop Class II-III rapids and amazing fishing, the Middle Fork is a family-floating favorite. Don’t forget to stop at the Goat Lick and view mountain goats perched precariously on the sheer face near the Essex put-in.

The South Fork originates deep in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, offering a glimpse into this stunning and seldom-visited portion of Montana. And the fishing is nothing short of superb for west slope cutthroats.

Warm your bones after a long day of wading or floating the river with a hearty meal in Kalispell. Scotty’s Winchester Steak House offers some of the finest Montana steaks around, and Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern’s pretzel-crusted trout will offer inspiration for another day on the river. Rest your casting arm at familiar hotels such as the Hilton Garden Inn or Holiday Inn Express, or make yourself at home in one of the luxuriously appointed Glacier Ridge Suites.

The vibrant city of Kalispell is the gateway to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Whitefish and all of the recreation, art, shopping and adventure that northwestern Montana has to offer. Plopped in the center of the Flathead Valley, it’s an easy drive to the park entrance, the art galleries of Bigfork or the water sports mecca of Flathead Lake and well-equipped with affordable, comfortable lodging, great dining and a range of shopping from one-off boutiques to price-conscious large-format retailers. For more information, visit  

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Back to stories list >