All manner of watercraft, including sea kayaks and canoes, can be rented from Absolute Water Sports (406/883-3900 or 800/358-8046, www.absolutewatersportrentals.com) at the KwaTaqNuk Resort marina.
The lower Flathead River, considered to be Montana’s warmest river, has spectacular badlands scenery and some thrilling rapids just below Kerr Dam.
The Buffalo Rapids are a challenging stretch of white water for experienced rafters. Those with less-than-expert white-water skills should get on the river at the Buffalo Bridge, about 10 miles below Kerr Dam, or sign on with the Flathead Raft Company (50362 Hwy. 93 N., 406/883-5838 or 800/654-4359, www.flatheadraftco.com, half-day trips $42 adult, $36 senior, $34 child 8–12), which has a branch at Riverside Park in Polson that operates tours of the lower Flathead River, including Buffalo Rapids. The raft company also offers white-water kayak instruction and trips and sea kayak tours of Flathead Lake (half-day $79 adult, $69 child).
Polson’s 18-hole golf course (111 Bay View Drive, 406/883-8230) is east of downtown on the lake side of Highway 93.
Because the southern half of Flathead Lake is on the Flathead Reservation, anglers need a tribal permit, which can be purchased at tribal headquarters in Pablo or at the Ace Hardware or Wal-Mart in Polson. Although the number of kokanee salmon in the lake has decreased sharply in recent years, there are still lake trout (many topping 20 pounds), whitefish, and some cutthroat trout throughout the lake, as well as largemouth bass and perch in warm shallow spots, such as Polson Bay.
Fishing Flathead Lake requires some thought about water depth and temperature—the big guys live deep. Although the lower Flathead River doesn’t have much in the way of trout, there are plenty of big pike.
There are cross-country ski trails about five miles north of Polson, west of Highway 93.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition