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Clark Fork River - St. Regis to Paradise Montana

9717 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Panhandle
Has anyone ever floated this area?
From what I've managed to dig up so far is it's about 15 miles and there is a campground about the 10 mile mark. What I hope to find is a map the shows areas for drift boat launch sites and take outs and camping info in this area. We are planning on floating this area in three weeks on our way to the Missouri River for the Hopper hatch and some browns. My wife is with me so loading up the camping gear and river side camp out is probably not going to work, but if there is an area where we can set up and then float to in the evening would be ideal. So if anyone has knowledge of this area of the river it would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in avance
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One of the most popular floats is "14 mile." From St.Regis to roughly the 14 mile marker. There are some camping areas right around the take out vicinity. There is also a lodge and hot springs just a few miles north of the takeout. Real nice accommodations, food, and nice pools.
Do you by chance know the name of the lodge or the camp grounds, and is this a slow water float or is there any rapids?
The wife gets a little shaky sometimes and this is our first trip together where she's showing interest in flyfishing.
I would talk to Clark Fork Trout and Tackle in St. Regis. It's their home waters. I always stop there on the way to Kelly Creek and the St. Joe. They are always very helpful.


It is a no brainer float. No rapids and great water. She can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Quinns Hot Springs. Awesome place. My wife always looks forard to out float trips because of the lodge.
+1 for Quinns. I've been by, but never stayed. Looks nice, and I've heard good things.

As for maps, there may be more out there, but I have come to like these http://www.worleybuggerflyco.com/booksvideoscds/montana_afloat_maps.htm "These maps contain official public access points, river mileage, major landmarks, places of interest and general information about each section of the river." There are other places to buy them, but this came up first on Google. You can probably pick them up in St Regis too.
This is all great beta...:thumb:
The river is mellow down to 14 mile take out and there is camping on the east side of the river in a few places. I did this float a couple of years ago and spent a night on the way.

There is a rapid that could be a bit trickier just below 14 mile take out (although I haven't seen it in years cause we always take out above) I heard from somebody that it has eaten drift-boats at higher water w/somebody making mistakes on the sticks. I think it is just above Cascade Campground?? could be wrong/and or it could be a mellow riffle at low water... :confused:check it.
I have to differ slightly with the above info. There is a rapid just below Tamarack Creek at river left that could be a bit unsettling for your wife . It's not major but it would be a surprise if you didn't know about it. Their are three lodging choices in St. Regis, Quinns, as already mentioned. Joe Cantrells at www.joecantrelloutfitting.com, and Donn Dales. Google him. If you have a camper there is a ok camp site just above the pull out at 14 mile but be forewarned, ANY camp along this end of the river is also adjacent to the railroad and the 3am train will blow you right out of your tent. Personally, I would look at water further upstream around and above Superior. You lose nothing en rout to the Missouri as the best rout is up Hwy 200 and this water is right along the way. There is a quiet little camp ground at Forest Grove that is also a put in that would prolly suit you fine, the water above and blow fishes great, although the short float above from Tarkio down has some technical rowing. DO NOT GO NEAR THE GORGE, serious white water. feel free to pm me for more info
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There are a couple of areas on 14 mile that if on the worng bank could be a bit tricky if not paying attention just like Jake mentioned. There is one like he said just below Tamarak creek and you want to stay to the far right side, you can go down the left but a few very large boulders with some serious hydraulics behind them you just have to pick the right line, but if your wife is light hearted stay to the right. Also about a mile below the power lines that cross the river about mid way though the float there is a small wave train in the center of the river just keep the boat nose down and slightly more to the right bank which you definatley want to fish as you go through just make sure she is in the knee locks not a very difficult spot but if sideways or too far to the left could cause some problems. And the float below the 14 mile takeout to Paradise the rapid is called Cascade, a very large wave train with standing waves in the middle of it, at normal summer flows it is much more defined and much more technical, at the current flows it is still technical but more washed out and the waves are not as tall still a very powerful set of waves and definatley something you might not want to take your wife down if she dosent like a thrill. Take Jakes advice the upper floats around Superior, Dry creek, Sloway, Forrest Grove are on the way to the Missouri and pleny of good camping along the way.
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Sonja runs shuttles there. The fly shops have her phone number. She is affordable and reliable.
the 14 mile float is a beauty, can get kinda hairy when windy, the dry creek-stregis float is fun, especially in the afternoon. Quinns hot springs is a good place to stay and eat and dirnk and soak, and you can scout the cascades and see if it's for you....it's not for me though high flows would be a maybe. great advice on shuttles, I've used clark fork trout and tackle, my favorite shop in the world. Have fun.
Superior to Sloway is my favorite.
It misses the non productive (at least for me) water from Sloway to St Regis.
Brooks at the Clark Fork Tackle will take care of your needs.
Funny how I ve seen lots of posts from guys not liking the Sloway to Regis float, you guys just arnt holding your mouth right. Nothing wrong with ending the day right at the confluence right as the caddis are comming off, suppose timing might have something to do with success on that stretch. might want to wash off the Bonners ferry or Spocompton stink off your boat prior to floating that stretch...just saying ( no offense Jake). Sounds kinda like slight of hand a bit I guess, sorta like reading the Kingfishers report all the time telling everyone how good the lower Clark Fork is when they have some incredible water 10 minutes away, seems like they are trying to spread guys out a bit...which is a good thing, but just because you have a bad day or 3 on a stretch dont' give up keep beating your head until it bleeds and then you will start catching some fish. But hey what do I know...It says Im new to the board.
I will never float Dry Creek to Regis again. Maybe its just me, but everything but the train wreck hole sucks. Forest Grove to Dry Creek is another story. By the way, if can't row 14 mile with your eyes closed you have no business owning a boat. :}

Tyler, I should be seeing you in a couple weeks on the CW, eh?
Adam,Adam,Adam..... never say never, like I said you need to wash the Bonners Ferry stink off your boat, or mabye you are hanging out with the wrong crowd? I've had some epic days on that float, you just need to pick your days right. Yeah 14 mile is not a difficult float especially for a Jedi, salty , sage Clark Fork guide like your self but I guess not everyone is as bad ass as you. Yeah I should be on the Clearwater soon but why would you want to bother with those fish I don't think they are bright enough for you? EH?
Tyler, I have a fan site. "ThePanhandleblog" Sounds like you could sweat it hard over there. I only fish the CW mid July- August 7th. After that they're spent.
I drove past that stretch last Sunday and it was really high a low visibility. I'd recommend a call to the local shops for an accurate assessment before heading out in the next few weeks. Later in July is better.
Just re-read original post, 3 weeks out might be perfect.
Its dropping daily. Anything below 16,000cfs is money.
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