It may not be quite time to dust off the fishing pole and cast it into the Flathead River, but while the sun is out and before it gets too busy with boat trailers, wander down to the Teakettle Fishing Access site in Columbia Falls.
Offering tables and ample space for picnics, the state fishing access site is perfect for a quick afternoon getaway. The water is currently low enough to create an easily navigable beach of rounded river rock to stroll between budding trees and the crystal clear water of the Flathead River.
Stop and enjoy a bit of history by viewing a salvaged steel paddle wheel shaft from the 1892 steamer “Oakes,” a stern-wheeler steamboat that was used to retrieve coal for the railroad from the North Fork of the Flathead River near Coal Creek. Read about the “Tragedy on the North Fork” and the events that led to the capsized steamer.
The concrete boat ramp is well maintained and is a popular launch spot for fisherman and floaters during the summer. The float from Teakettle toward Kalispell is flanked by beautiful scenery. The current is quick and there’s not much boat traffic.
How to get there: Go east on MT Highway 40 from U.S. Highway 93. Highway 40 intersects with U.S. Highway 2. Continue east on Highway 2 through Columbia Falls. Access is on the southwest side of the bridge near mile marker 7.
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