Glacier Outdoor Center Blog

Posted: May 16th, 2014 by Jeff

With the 2014 Flathead River spring runoff well on its way it saddens us to wave goodbye to another year of incredible spring fishing.  It’s time to take off your wading boots, pack up your rod and wait out the brown, dirty water until it returns to its majestic blue color…..or is it?

Just because the Flathead River is blown out and looks more like Willy Wonka’s chocolate river than anything else, it doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other places teeming with hungry fish. If you don’t want to wait out the river, check out some of these other great alternatives during high water.

Mission Lake

Mission Lake is located just off U.S. Highway 2 between Browning and Cutbank on the Blackfeet Reservation so make sure you pick up your tribal license before you leave town. When spring begins to melt the ice from Mission Lake, the Rainbows move to the shoreline to begin their annual spawning. Less than a stone’s throw from the shore will be some beautiful 3 to 8lb Rainbows hungry for scud, egg, worm and prince patterns. Also, don’t be afraid to throw out some leeches and small buggers.  If you are looking for some red hot fly fishing for Rainbow Trout, head to Mission Lake between mid-April until the end of May on a nice day. When going over to the east side, always be prepared to deal weather changes and high winds

Rogers Lake

Rogers Lake is located roughly 30 minutes west of Kalispell and is just under 250 acres. It has a great population of Grayling along with some Cutthroat Trout.  Grayling are a unique fish from the salmon family, range from 10 to 16 inches in length and have quite the history with anglers throughout the world. They were once highly pursued to suppress their numbers because they were thought to have impeded trout from inhabiting certain areas of rivers and streams. Later research showed Grayling and Trout actually have different diets and inhibited different micro sections of rivers, streams and lakes. Enough with the history lesson though. Let’s get down to business. You can access Rogers Lake with a drift or small motored boat. Callibaetis mayfly patterns, Prince nymphs and Damsel nymphs will all work well. Like the other waters in this article, Rogers Lake is a great option for when the local rivers are blown out. It also has the added benefit of being very user friendly for anglers just getting into the game.

Fly Fishing, Rogers Lake, Grayling, Montana

Lower South Fork Flathead River

The Lower South Fork of the Flathead River is not quite as renowned as its counterpart above the Hungry Horse Reservoir but when the rest of the Forks and Main Stem of the Flathead River are all blown out, the Lower South Fork has the one benefit of being dam controlled which keeps the river fairly clear even when the others are muddy.  Because the water is pulled from the bottom of the reservoir, you’ll want to wait for a warmer sunny afternoon to raise the water temperature a few degrees. After a few weeks of high water, the Trout start getting better acclimated and begin feeding more aggressively.  Look for slow moving water along the banks to throw your mayflies and prince nymphs or a large rubber-leg.     

Posted: September 24th, 2013 by kali

old bridge fall

With cooler mornings and shorter days, we can already tell that fall is in the air. This is one of our favorite times of the year in Glacier Country. There’s great wildlife viewing, diminishing crowds and more time to enjoy the natural beauty all around. It’s a great time to see Glacier National Park before it gets ready for winter. Our beautiful log cabins are discounted to low season rates starting September 16 and there are still plenty of activities including fishing with Glacier Anglers. Plan to join us!

Posted: September 10th, 2013 by kali


Whichever way reviews come, we love them all!  Check out a few of our latest reviews -

Glacier Anglers Trip Advisor
We had a 3 person 4 day fly fishing trip on the Upper Middle Fork with Marc. Best fly fishing trip ever. The equipment was all in good shape. Marc knows the river like the back of his hand, pointing out an innumerable number of good places to catch fish. We were killing them! In addition, we got some class 4 & 5 whitewater on the trip and he was masterful with the raft. Great places to camp and great weather just capped off a wonderful trip.

Glacier Raft Co Facebook
Never went rafting before but am now PUMPED! Ryan, our river guide, had an impressive resume as son of folks who own a rafting company in W. Virginia…and a history of rafting himself since he was a kid! OK, I’m old (68) and a woman whose interest in adventure takes a slow downhill slide on a yearly basis. What I loved at West Glacier was that our river run was both tranquil, exciting and WHOO HOO exhilerating from time to time. This was an occasion that fit our family group–grandma, kids, and grandkids–without being TOO Tame…and has convinced me to push the envelope next time. FANTASTIC experience wrapped up with a super steak dinner at the end. Ah, the Huckleberry Cheese Cake was to DIE FOR! THE BEST ADVENTURE FOR THE MONEY IN GLACIER NAT’L Park!

Glacier Outdoor Center Cabins
At the end of June our family of 4 adults and 2 young kids were doing a quick tour of Glacier National Park. Idea was to stay in a different location each night and explore the area each day. Our first stop was West Glacier and we decided to stay at the Glacier Outdoor Center Cabins this time to try and avoid a little of the congestion in West Glacier and Apgar Village. We were overwhelmed by how nice, clean and BIG the cabins were! It was shoulder season so we got a 2-story new construction cabin with sleeping room for at least 10 people for the same price we would have paid for a tiny/outdated/thin walled room or cabin in Apgar. There was a full kitchen with all the necessary utensils/plates/coffee/sugar etc. There were gas fire places downstairs in the “family room” and upstairs in the kitchen. We used the fireplace at night for the down stairs as it was a bit chilly. Cabin had 2 full bathrooms, 2 queen beds in each of the 2 bedrooms and 2-3 sofa sleepers. There was a great upstairs balcony with outdoor seating just off the kitchen and separate entrances on both levels. There was even a bbq, wish we had known- would have stopped at the grocery store on the main highway on the way in to get something to grill! There was nothing we needed…but more time! After seeing the lovely cabin with such comfortable accommodations we wished we had booked a longer stay- one night was not enough! The grounds were beautiful, grassy areas to play, a pond with geese within a short walk from our cabin, sand volleyball court, huge towering pines and cottonwood trees (that were “snowing” when we were there!) Location is perfect- t was literally a 3 min drive to West Glacier shops/restaurants and the entrance to GNP. And as an added bonus we got a discount on our white water rafting trips just for staying with them. Now that we know about this secret location, we will definitely be back and next time we will have to stay longer and have more time to explore and enjoy the area.

Posted: September 10th, 2013 by kali

whitewater rafting montana

What a great season!  As we wrap up our 37th year here in West Glacier, we are thankful for a summer that provided us with incredible weather and river levels.

In case you didn’t get a chance to see them while you were in Montana, check out your trip photos. You can order them online or give us a call at 800-235-6781 to order digital photos!

We appreciate being a part of your 2013 vacation.  We hope we provided you with awesome, unforgettable memories.  As always, we enjoyed our guests and sharing this wonderful place with you all.

Have a fun winter and come see us next year!

Posted: September 10th, 2013 by kali


This past weekend, Glacier Anglers hosted Northwest Montana’s 3rd annual Casting for Recovery retreat! The retreat is for Montana women in various stages of breast cancer treatment and recovery. Glacier Anglers taught them how to fly fish, they relaxed in nature and were with others who understand their experiences.


The Casting for Recovery Montana Glacier Country included the opportunity for participants to meet psychosocial counselors, fly fishing instructors, and volunteers from the community who trained to be part of the Casting For Recovery program.

Sometimes there’s no better therapy than being out on the river, casting a line and taking in the gorgeous scenery of the Flathead Valley.

Other Casting for Recovery retreats are held throughout the country–so if you don’t live here, you can find one in your area.

Posted: September 6th, 2013 by kali

casting for recovery

Glacier Outdoor Center and Glacier Anglers are proud to host the 2013 Casting for Recovery Retreat in West Glacier.  This is the 3rd year Glacier Outdoor Center has hosted this retreat.  We are ecstatic that these women get to have this experience here in Glacier National Park.

casting for recovery montana

casting for recovery glacier

Posted: August 15th, 2013 by kali


Looking to hit all the stops in Glacier Park for your family vacation?  Glacier Park Inc. has you covered.  Check out their Great Glacier Adventure Tour which will have you staying at many of the Park’s lodges, enjoying day hikes and traveling around in an iconic Red Bus.  And not to mention you have a day full of casting and rafting with Glacier Anglers and Glacier Raft Co!  You start with a 2 hour fly fishing lesson from one of our great guides and then hit the river for a half day of whitewater rafting.  This tour is a great way to experience what Glacier Park has to offer without having to plan everything separately.



Posted: August 13th, 2013 by kali

great bear wilderness fly fishing

The waning days of summer mean just one thing for Glacier Anglers — great fishing! Both the Middle and North Forks of the Flathead are fishing really well. A full day guided fishing trip will get you to the stretches of the river where the pressure is minimal. We’ve had a lot of fun accessing the North Fork by helicopter this summer for multi-day fishing trips, avoiding the bumpy North Fork Road. It’s not too late to plan an amazing custom fishing trip with Glacier Anglers! Fishing will be good well into October.

westslope cutthroat trout

fly fishing montana glacier park

Posted: August 5th, 2013 by kali

Hopper Season Has Arrived!

With temperatures in the 80′s Hopper Season is now in Full Swing in West Glacier.  It’s the time of the year to dig deep and find the large foam dry flies.  Whether they are in purple, red, orange or yellow, all colors seem to be working these days.

North Fork

It always seems that the water gets clearer every day, and with that fish can look up and see your dry fly.  We’ve been taking trips all the way from the Canadian Border down to the confluence with the Middle Fork, and the North Fork has been very productive dry fly fishing.   We’ve had the opportunity in the last few weeks to teach a number of people how to fly fish and they all have had very successful days on the North Fork.  Try smaller dries in the morning and then move to larger hoppers in the afternoon.
fly fishing montana
Middle Fork

Without rain, Montana is getting dry and the water is visibly dropping.  The Middle Fork is starting to get “skinny” which means low water and exposed rocks.  Be careful floating the upper stretches. It seems to have concentrated the fish, and we are seeing some great “eats” by fish on our dry flies.

The days on the Middle Fork have been productive and we are seeing a number of quality fish caught.    Don’t be scared these days to start thinking about fishing 5x tippet, and smaller dry flies.  Hoppers, Caddis, and smaller stoneflies are still working well, but a refusal may been seen occasionally.  Think perfecting your drag free drift and switching to 5x tippet to remedy this.
westslope cutthroat trout

Posted: July 29th, 2013 by kali

Fishing just keeps getting better and better! The high runoff is over and the river has been on a steady decline. Visibility has greatly improved and the fish are really starting to look up.  Watching a Cutthroat swim six feet up to eat your fly can really distract you from setting a hook! Let Glacier Anglers take you to the fish!

fly fishing montana