Best time to visit Glacier National Park, MT

Fly Fishing in Glacier National Park in Glacier National Park, MT

Glacier National Park is among top destinations in Montana for fly fishing

Best time: mid-May–November

Fly Fishing in Glacier National Park
Fly Fishing in Glacier National Park
Quartz Lake

Spending a hot summer day in silence and solitude, surrounded only by the mountains and crystal clear turquoise waters, is a dream that can come true in Glacier National Park. Being one of the best angling destinations in the state, Glacier National Park allows fishing without a license. However, only one rod per person is permitted, and fishermen have to release all native fish they catch. This specifically relates to the famous Montana bull trout, which is now considered to be an endangered species. Other native species include westslope cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, suckers, northern pikeminnow, lake trout, northern pike, lake whitefish, and mountain whitefish.

Fly fishing season for Glacier National Park rivers runs from the third Saturday of May till the end of November. Meanwhile, fishing in the lakes is possible year-round.

The most popular fishing spots in Glacier National Park are located on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. The area boasts incredible views, transparent waters, and a substantial population of trout, in particular rainbow and brook. The Big Creek Campground is a good place to stay when fishing on the Flathead River.

Many park's lakes allow fly fishing, however, some of them lack nutrients for the fish to thrive, so it's best to stick to those that have proved to be rich with trout species. For example, Trout Lake has definitely got its name for a reason. It's a good place to fish for westslope cutthroat trout. Trout Lake can be reached via Trout Lake Trail that starts near Lake McDonald. Flathead Lake is another great fishing destination in proximity to the southern part of the park. It is famous for lake trout and kokanee salmon.

Those anglers who bring the boat to the Glacier National Park will need to purchase a license. If you wish to keep and cook fish, check the park's guidelines and regulations.

Practical info

When can visitors go fly fishing in Glacier National Park?

Visitors to Glacier National Park can go fly fishing in streams and rivers from May until November. You can also fish in the park's lakes year-round. It's important to check the latest fishing regulations as they can change from time to time. Show more

Which fishing spots in Glacier National Park are popular?

Glacier National Park's North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River are popular fishing spots. They offer stunning scenery, clear water, and trout populations such as rainbow and brook trout. Visitors can also try fishing at Flathead Lake, located in the southern region of the park, which is known for lake trout and kokanee salmon. Show more

What are the fish species available in Glacier National Park?

Westslope cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, northern pike, lake whitefish, suckers, northern pikeminnow, and Montana bull trout are among the native fish species that can be found in Glacier National Park. The Montana bull trout is an endangered species that must be released if caught. Visitors must adhere to the fishing guidelines and regulations to help preserve the park's ecosystem. Show more

Is it allowed to keep fish caught in the park?

Visitors can keep up to five fish as long as they are non-native species, with the exception of Montana bull trout, which must be released. Visitors who want to keep their fish should refer to the park's guidelines and regulations. These rules may be subject to change, so visitors should check for the latest regulations before their trip. Show more

Are there regulations for bringing boats into Glacier National Park for fishing?

A license is required for visitors who bring boats for fishing in Glacier National Park. Boats must also be inspected for invasive species and quagga mussels at park inspection stations. Renting a boat or fishing from the shore does not require a separate license. Visitors must follow the park's boating guidelines and regulations to avoid any penalties. Show more

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