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South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness on 08/20/2010 11:29:49 MDT Print View

Last weekend (Friday-Sunday) I took three full days and traversed the Bob Marshall via the fastest and easiest route: hiking in from the Lodgepole TH near Ovando over Youngs Pass, down Youngs Creek and the South Fork, packrafting as much as possible, and fishing along the way. Here is the (high concept, ohhh!) video summary:

It was an amazing, amazing trip. The Bob is just incredible country, and showed itself well, with epic rains the night before, and lots of fog, clouds, and drizzle for the first two days. The central Bob creates its own weather, and it sure rains a lot.

youngs creek

At the last minute on Thursday night I checked the forecast and added clothing, which was good as for most of Saturday I wore everything I brought. Sitting in a packraft is chilly, especially compared to walking. I wasn't going faster in the boat than walking, due to the twisty river and many gravel bars, but got to see the country in a totally new way. It was mesmerizing and intense.

south fork cobbles

The fishing was the kind I enjoy; easy, with lots of trout that regardless of their size fought like crazy. I kept some of the smallish ones to eat.

The last day was cold starting off, as the now deep river canyon hid the sun until 1030. By then I took out at Mid Creek to walk around the (very impressive) Meadow Creek Gorge. By noon I put the boat back in below the gorge, and with the sun high I was able to finally strip down to shorts and enjoy more gorgeous scenery and great fishing as I langorously floated down to the Spotted Bear ranger station over 4.5 hours.

I took quite a while to get used to the idea of being back home in town.

The Bob is a remarkable place, I'd encourage everyone to try to go there at least once.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness on 08/22/2010 14:52:36 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing you vison of The Bob with us. The video was great to watch.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness" on 08/24/2010 07:21:06 MDT Print View

Love your trips David, always. Thanks for sharing.

** missed the video link the first time around. That was a minute well spent for me, very creative, summed it all up quite well. Beautiful and challenging country you ramble.

Edited by Eugeneius on 08/24/2010 07:24:49 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: "South Fork of the Flathead, Bob Marshall Wilderness" on 08/27/2010 08:08:21 MDT Print View

David- nice vid! :) I haven't spent a lot of time on the South Fork, but used to work in the Middle Fork (both the Bob and the Great Bear). We used to joke w/ the folks working out of Big Prairie about getting ready to harvest their oranges while we were still shoveling snow :)

Fishing sounds like it was great- I remember fishing the S Fork once reeling in a small cutthroat only to have it gobbled by ~ 8 lb bull trout, my 4 test didn't last long! :)