Welcome to Flathead Lake
A river runs to it…
To be accurate, there are actually two rivers, the Flathead and Swan rivers supply clean fresh water to Flathead Lake year-round. Created by Ice Age glaciers, almost thirty miles long and fifteen miles across at it’s widest point, Flathead lake is the largest natural lake in western U.S. A 160 mile shoreline and water covers nearly two-hundred square miles of Montana – and at 300 feet deep, you’d better restring your fishing reel with some extra line.
Did you watch the whitewater races in Bigfork?
Held every year in late May, the Bigfork Whitewater Festival is the first big event of the spring. Typically it seems to rain and is chilly for these water sports, but in 2013 we had great weather and a spectacular event.
Whitewater rafting is a fun family experience and there are a number of companies in the Flathead Valley that offer rafting trips on a number of rivers in the area. The best time to ride the rapids in in spring and early summer to take advantage of the snow melt and raging rivers.
You MUST experience a fishing charter this year!
If you like to fish and the idea of landing a HUGE Lake Trout sounds appealing, you need to think about adding a fishing charter to your ‘bucket list’. There are a number of fishing charter companies that operate on Flathead Lake, but the best is Captain Norm. This video shows what you might expect from the Captain. Visit this website to learn more about fishing charters on Flathead Lake or Lake Koocanusa.
Welcome to the Flathead summer of 2012
If you ask the locals they’ll tell you that we just had the longest winter in recent memory and the coolest and wettest spring. We are SO ready for summer and ready to have fun on the lake. If you are vacationing here and the weather is not cooperating, there is still a lot to do and experience in NW Montana. Check out the ‘Attractions‘ tab and choose a great family activity.
Flathead fishing ‘reeling it in’
Fishing Flathead Lake and the rivers that feed it is an experience that few fishermen get to experience in their lives. If you are new to fishing in Montana, you will want to brush up on the regulations. Also, be sure to see our recommended fishing tips, see Flathead fishing essentials…
Plenty to see and experience!
Flathead Lake lies in the shadows of Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain ski resort to the north. Two scenic highways parallel the lake. On the west side, US Highway 93, and Route 35 on the east wind along the curving shorelines offering majestic views of the lake, mountains and the scenery that made Montana famous. On my first visit to this valley many years ago, when I crossed over the hill above Polson and got my first glimpse of the lake. . . I felt like I had discovered it (see photos below). As a matter of fact, any view of Flathead Lake is a spiritual experience.
The perfect day drive
Driving around the lake is a dreamlike experience extending twenty-eight miles north to south. Surrounded by mountains on both sides of the lake, you will cruise down US Highway 93 on the west to Polson and Route 35 on the east. This beautiful lake is the result of ice-age glaciers that cut the Flathead Valley and carved this magnificent lake.
This just posted…
When the temps reach the mid 70′s to low 90′s, boating weather is in full swing on the Flathead. Join us as we put in at Somers Bay and take our video camera along. For those of you who have never experienced the Lake close-up, this is your chance to join us for a boat ride around the lake. A marvelous day with beautiful weather and snow still clinging to the peaks of the Mission mountain range. Climb aboard and join us for a boat trip across the Flathead, click here to see the video.
Climb aboard for a cruise & dinner at the ‘Sitting Duck’
Join us for a cruise from Somers Bay down to Woods’ Bay for dinner at the famous “Sitting Duck Saloon“. The Duck changed hands a couple years ago and the restaurant became a casualty of the renovation. The new owners eventually made the right changes and brought the food and service up to par. Today, this is an excellent place to tie-up, enjoy some ‘adult beverages’ and have a great meal.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Fishing Reel
Fishing, like most sports, requires specific equipment. One of the most important parts of your equipment is the fishing reel, and it is available in a wide variety of styles and sizes, from a variety of manufacturers. Reels can also vary from cheap to very inexpensive, so how do you choose? See my article about fishing reels here…
About the name – Flathead
The Flathead valley gets its name from the Salish (Flathead) Indians who inhabit the Flathead Indian Reservation, which is located at the southern end of the lake. A few small islands dot the lake and the largest is Wild Horse Island, which is also a state park. The lake is populated by native Bull and Cutthroat trout, and huge Lake trout (Mackinaw), along with perch and whitefish. Note, if you plan to fish Flathead, you may need an additional license if your trip will take you to the southern portion of the lake. Any license provider will be able to assist you with this. To learn more about Montana’s fish variety, go here.
The Flathead valley is blessed with a remarkably mild climate for a region located so close to Canada. The thermal effect of the lake and the shelter of the Mission mountains and Salish range create a milder climate similar to western Pennsylvania.
Flathead shapes our local weather
The lake holds on to the summer’s warmth and usually prevents killer freezes during the winter. This lake effect shields the entire Flathead valley from Montana’s legendary brutal winters. Year-round weather conditions are comparable to what one would find in western Pennsylvania.
Fifty pound Macs (Mackinaw trout) swim the lakebed and offer sport fishing second to none. Learn to identify Montana’s fish, see a color chart that pictures every species of fish found in the Flathead and other parts of MT. And be sure to see our short video about ice fishing on Flathead Lake.
The ultimate Montana tourist T-shirt
There is a “tongue-in-cheek” website called Montana Sucks. The purpose is to try to convince tourists not to visit Montana by spreading the rumor that Montana sucks. This is a hilarious and entertaining spoof using a Smokey Bear look-alike saying, “Only you can prevent tourist tires” (from entering Montana). Check out Montana Sucks. See the article published in the Hungry Horse News.
We have a blog about our favorite part of the USA, NW Montana. This blog talks about what to do, see and experience while visiting Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. Visit our new blog!