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Fly out trips in Alaska and even Maine are fairly old hat. But now they are growing in popularity in the Rocky Mountains. The twist is, the fly out’s now being offered out West at least those The Angling Report knows about are actually Fly in, Float Out trips. The plane serves merely to get you and a raft, plus your fishing equipment, into an exciting backwater, where a traditional float trip commences.
The trip I just heard about is into the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River that’s in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and it is offered by Glacier Raft Company (*). Prices start at $495.
The trip is offered only in June and, if water levels permit, in early July; so you’ll have to jump on this in a hurry. It offers great angling, of course, but it also provides a bit of whitewater excitement on stretches with memorable names such as Rock and Roll and Lover’s Leap.
Bull trout over 10 pounds are a big draw of the trip. They will be heading up the Middle Fork to spawn at this time, providing a chance to fight (and release!) some truly large and rare salmonids. A brief side trip of just over a mile will take you to some out of the way mountains lake for even more variety.
Everything except sleeping bags and wet suits (and you can rent both, with the latter optional) is provided by Glacier Raft. Warm clothing, rain gear and sunglasses are musts. Any fly rod that will handle "normal" western conditions will work. Bring along various streamers, Royal Wulffs, Adams, Goddard Caddis, Hopper pattern and Soft Pillows.
Delta Airlines flies into Glacier International Airport, less than 30 minutes from West Glacier. A good place to stay there is Grouse Mountain Lodge (*). Enjoy! John Holt.