Stillwater River (NW)

The Stillwater is just that - still. The mid-section often abuts Highway 93, and access points are found at bridge crossings, pullouts and dirt roads. Slow water and willow-lined stream banks reportedly provide good populations of brook trout, rainbows and cutthroats. Some sections are floatable.




MM= Mileage Marker signs

MM 129: Whitefish Lake State Park. 1.1 miles from Highway 93 in the town of Whitefish. Shaded and beautiful, the campground is close to a golf course as well!

MM 132: Tally Lake See MM 139.

MM 135: Beaver Lake: Four miles

Little Beaver Lake, Murray Lake, Rainbow Lake, Woods Lake, Dollar Lake

Beaver Lake is a beautiful lake with just a small turn-around provided by the state. The lake is bordered by private property. The access site has one picnic site. Canoeists will have to slide their canoes down an embankment to the lake. Beaver Lake is a popular lake for rainbows. Coming into the area, you will find a sign showing the location of all of the little lakes. The roads are bumpy and narrow, and some of them, like the road to Little Beaver Lake, definitely need the high clearance of a truck. Little Beaver Lake has one public access spot to launch a boat, but you will probably need a 4X4 vehicle, especially in the early summer.

I personally would pass up Little Beaver Lake, as the last two-tenths of a mile is on a rutted, boggy road, and when I pulled up to the lake there were already two families camped in a one-family site. I walked down to Dollar Lake and met a teenage boy and his friend who said the lake has always fished well for them, but some of the lakes have been over-populated with Flathead minnows and as such are scheduled for rehabilitation. I would stick with Beaver Lake if you have a car-topper boat, a canoe or a belly boat.

MM 139: Tally Lake Campground, Sheppard Creek, Sylvia Lake Campground. Take the Star Meadow road about 10 miles to the turn-off to Tally Lake. Tally Lake is a large 1,300-acre lake, and it is the deepest lake in Montana at 492 feet. Tally Lake is a recreation lake and popular with water skiers. The campground is on the north shore and has 39 campsites, water, toilets, and boat launch as well as an RV dump station and a swimming area. Fee area.

If you continue to Star Meadows, consult the Flathead National Forest Visitor's Map for mileage.

Sheppard Lake and Sylvia Lake. On the way to Sylvia Lake, you will pass Sheppard Creek, a brushy little creek holding typical creek-size trout. Sylvia Lake is a 20-acre lake, and it is stocked with grayling.

MM 144.2: Good Creek, Martin Lake, access to the Stillwater River. The road to Good Creek is an easy drive to a good creek. At four-tenths of a mile, you will cross a bridge over the Stillwater River, which provides fishing access. At 3.2 miles there is a turn-off road to Martin Lake, which is a fair fishing lake for smaller rainbows. The pavement ends at 6.1 miles, and there is a turn-off to Star Meadows at 15 miles and Sylvia Lake at 23 miles.

At 8.6 miles Good Creek is not visible, but the distance to the creek is less than a mile. At mile 9.3 you will have your first sighting of the creek. Further up the road the creek meanders through thick willow and tag alder. The creek holds lots of small brook trout and cutthroats.

MM 145.6: Upper Whitefish Lake and Red Meadow Lake. Both lakes can be driven to on a fairly good dirt road. The first lake, Upper Whitefish Lake, is 13.5 miles.

Upper Whitefish Lake is in the Stillwater State Forest and offers a campground and fishing for small cutthroats. Red Meadow Lake is about six miles further and offers camping on a picturesque 19-acre lake, which provides fair fishing for cutthroats and grayling.

MM 151.5: Upper Stillwater Lake and Lagoni Lake. Upper Stillwater Lake is unseen from the highway, but it is only 1.3 miles away. This 630-acre lake offers a campground and fair fishing for brook trout, pike, perch and the occasional cutthroat. Above Upper Stillwater Lake is Lagoni Lake, a small 20-acre lake offering the same type of fishing.

MM 158.8: Bull Lake and Stryker Lake (Fish Lake). Both lakes lie side-by-side just a few miles from the community of Stryker and offer good fishing for cutthroat and brook trout. These are native trout, but be sure you have a Montana State Land Permit before you fish!

MM 159.8: Picnic spot on South Dickey Lake Day use only.

MM 161: Dickey Lake

Dickey Lake is a summer recreation lake with a potpourri of species offerings, none of which get very big.

MM 163.3: Dickey Lake Campground

25 campsites, 50-foot trailer spaces, toilets, water, boat launch, fee area.

MM 165.1: Murphy Lake Ranger Station

MM 165.8: Murphy Lake

Murphy Lake is a popular 163-acre, warm-water fishery for largemouth bass, perch and pike. Murphy Lake also offers camping.

MM 170.2: Grave Creek and Campground, Blue Sky Creek, Weasel Lake, Therriault Lakes (Little and Big) and the Ten Lakes Scenic Area

For fishermen and campers in the Eureka area, this is your access! Grave Creek has the largest volume of water of any creek in the area. Just a few miles from the highway, Grave Creek Campground offers a number of campsites right on the creek, but the campground is not practical for larger RVs or trailers. In fact, I found only three sites suitable for smaller trailers. The short access road into the campground makes a tight turn, and the road is bumpy. Grave Creek, a tributary of the Tobacco River, is a good fishing creek for 10- to 12-inch rainbows and cutthroats. The bottom section is private, and there is a small area of private land near the campground, but above the campground is National Forest land with a number of miles of creek to fish.

Above Grave Creek is Blue Sky Creek, a tributary of Grave Creek. The creek is small and the small fish are plentiful, but the creek is closed to protect spawning runs of cutthroats and bulls as of July 31. Before you reach Therriault Lakes, the road goes by Weasel Lake. Weasel Lake is a pretty little lake with small fish.

Therriault Lakes are about 28 miles from the highway. Both lakes offer camping and good fishing for 10- to 12-inch cutthroats. The big lake is 55 acres, and the smaller lake 26 acres. Little Therriault Lake is the trailhead for the Ten Lakes Scenic Area.

When I spoke to Bill Myra, owner of Green Mountain Sports Center in Eureka, Bill became passionate in describing the Ten Lakes Area. Having spoken about my home waters with the same enthusiasm, I know I will have to spend a couple of days exploring the region on my next trip. Bill said to plan on a full day hike to these high-elevation lakes, where you can expect great beauty and feisty 10- to 12-inch native trout. Some of the lakes are barren, so you might want to check in with Bill to plan your hike.

MM 174: Glen Lake Glen Lake is surrounded by residences, and the fishing is fair to poor.

MM 178: Eureka, Montana.

MM 180: Junction with Highway 37 to Libby via Lake Koocanusa.