• Flathead River


  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout

  • Bull Trout

  • Cold, Clean, Clear and Connected

  • Flathead Fishing

  • History as our guide



We use our current email list to alert members of important events or news about our FVTU chapter activities. Lately we have been getting a lot of bounced emails, mostly for invalid email addresses. If you have changed your email address in the last year or so, or feel that you have not been getting our regular email announcements, please contact flatheadtu@gmail.com, or dylan@flatheadtu.org with your current email address. We will try to keep our list as current as possible. You can also use this address to let us know if you would prefer to not receive information via email. Thanks for your help.

sportshow Time once again for the annual Montana Sportsman’s Expo and, as always Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited will be part of the fun. The Montana Sportsman’s Expo is returning to Kalispell, Feb. 26-28 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited will have a booth at the show.

We will be tying flies and talking fish, fishing, habitat and conservation with all the great people at the expo. We will also have our raft package to be raffled during our Spring banquet in May on display and will be selling raft raffle tickets. You can help out by volunteering to staff the booth for a couple of hours, and/or tie some flies. You don’t need to be a chapter member to volunteer and it’s always a fun time. If you would like to help, please visit our Expo page and signup for a shift or two.

flytyingFly Tying Classes – INFO

Here’s a handy video for our fly tiers. Bob Clouser and Lefty Kreh demonstrate how to do a whip finish by hand and using a tool. This segment is from the DVD “50 Years Behind the Vise,” the best introduction to to fly tying techniques ever produced. Enjoy.

Also, here’s a good video on Vimeo by Tim Flagler on using a whip finish tool


wotfLogoDon’t forget to join Women of the Flathead on the Fly for their monthly fly tying night on the second Tuesday of each month through the winter. Contact Kim at 406-885-3228 for the next event, or check out their Facebook page.


Catch and Release – It only makes sense

Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited produced the following short video public service announcement on proper Catch and Release techniques.

If you would like to use this video in either 30 or 60-second versions, you can download the following files;

30-second PSA version

60-second PSA version

If you would like HD versions of either video, please contact Flathead TU

Illegal Introductions: Stupid people do stupid things.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Whether it is Smallmouth bass in Seeley Lake, Walleye in Noxon Reservoir and Swan Lake, Perch in Rogers Lake, or Northern Pike in the Stillwater Lakes, illegal fish introductions in Montana’s waters do irreparable harm to our state fisheries. Montana has documented 600 illegal introductions of fish in 300 of Montana’s waters. More than 25% of those incidents have occurred in the past 10 years. Recently, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks introduced new rules for dealing with unlawful bucket biology. Offenders are now liable for a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 and can be made to pay the cost of remediation, which can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The new rule requires FWP to investigate reports of unauthorized fish plantings within 30 days of learning about them, followed by an action plan to deal with the introduction. Flathead Valley TU supports the intent and implementation of these new rules and encourages the public to be aware of illegal actions that can drastically hurt our fishing opportunities. A recent article in the May-June issue of Montana Outdoors Magazine highlights the damage that these stupid people are inflicting on our precious fisheries resources.

Montana Trout Unlimited along with its affiliated statewide chapters have offered a reward of up to $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally dumping fish into our waterways to help stem the increasing tide of illegal introductions. Along with the TU reward, other angling organizations have put up an additional $4,200 and the Montana TIP-MONT program will chip in another $1,000. Altogether, you could be eligible for more than $15,000 for your help in catching and convicting unlawful bucket biologists. The money will be available through  FWP’s TIP-MONT program

“Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money, but when you consider lost fishing opportunities, economic cost to local communities and the cost of getting rid of invasive species, this is an important investment,” said Montana TU Conservation Director Mark Aagenes.

It’s time to get tough on those few jerks who think they can better manage our fisheries through unlawful actions than can our professional resource managers. These selfish folks need to understand that there are serious consequences to their actions. Please support the new bucket biology rules by reporting these criminals.

EBCFlathead Valley Trout Unlimited is currently supporting the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in their effort to reduce the overabundant population of lake trout in Flathead Lake in order to benefit native fish species and enhance the fishery in the Flathead River system. The CSKT published a final Environmental Impact Statement on their plan to suppress the lake trout population in Flathead Lake using a variety of methods and strategies that support the Co-Management plan developed by CSKT and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Read the CSKT Final EIS: Proposed Strategies to Benefit Native Species by reducing the abundance of lake trout, Flathead Lake, Montana.

Please read comments by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the proposed EIS along with detailed rebuttal by CSKT

Press Release: CSKT Tribal Council Recommends a Preferred Alternative

Flathead TU Comments on the Draft EIS

Montana TU Comments on the Draft EIS

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Comments on the Draft EIS

CSKT 2014 Implementation Plan for the Flathead Lake and River Fisheries Co-Management Plan

For more information on the plight of our native fish, read Facts About Flathead Lake and the NEPA Process


Lake trout removed from Quartz Lake

Glacier National Park

In addition to efforts at Flathead Lake, other projects throughout the basin are addressing the problem of invasive nonnative fish. In Glacier National Park, lake trout have invaded nine of twelve lakes on the west side of the park and have placed important native fish populations at risk. In several of the infested lakes, the native bull trout populations are in imminent danger of extinction.

The Park Service is charged with protecting native species in our national parks for the enjoyment of future generations.

“It’s a huge ecological health issue,” said Clint Muhlfeld, a Glacier-based fisheries scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “A lot of the populations are functionally extinct in the park right now.”

Glacier National Park has taken on the large job of protecting and restoring its remaining native fish populations. In 2009, they began a project of gillnetting lake trout in Quartz Lake and recently released a plan to add a restoration effort on Logging Lake. Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited is fully supportive of this effort. Follow the links below for more information on these and other projects by the National Park Service to protect the genetic integrity of our native species.

Preservation of Threatened Bull Trout in Glacier National Park.

Char Wars  MSU scientists wade into fight against invasive lake trout in Montana’s national parks Large-Scale Removal of Lake Trout in Quartz Lake – Environmental Assessment Environmental Assessment for Continued Lake Trout Suppression on Quartz Lake & Lake Trout Removal and Bull Trout Conservation in the Logging Lake Drainage.

Swan Lake  and Swan River Native Fish Restoration Efforts2013 Swan Lake

Swan Valley Bull Trout Working Group

2014 Summary Report (pdf)

From Montana TU 2013 Summary Report (pdf)

2012 Summary Report (pdf)