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Handkerchief Lake

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Handkerchief Lake is a Lake in Flathead, Montana.

Have you fished Handkerchief Lake? Help your fellow anglers out by giving a fishing report, some fishing tips or general information about Handkerchief Lake.

Do you have a question about Handkerchief Lake, ask it here.

Handkerchief Lake is a 51 acre lake that rests in Graves Creek in the South Fork Flathead River drainage. It’s surrounded by avalanche chutes in an otherwise forested setting. The current state record grayling, a 3 lb. 4 oz. beauty, was caught from this lake in 1994.

Fishing Description: 

Species Present: Arctic Grayling and Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Note that the grayling are not native to this part of Montana.

Seasons: Lakes are open year round in Western Montana. This lake can be reached by snowmobile in winter, but the best time is right after the ice goes out in late May. Limit is a combined 5 fish (grayling and cutthroat) daily limit with 10 in possession.

The current state record grayling, a 3 lb. 4 oz. beauty, was caught from this lake in 1994.

Fishing Cover / Structure: 

Fish from the reservoir cannot access the lake due to a waterfall near the reservoir.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Fishing can be hot at times for arctic grayling and Westslope Cutthroat Trout especially when the Callibaetis mayflies are emerging.

Recreational Activities: 

Just above the lake you can find Graves Creek Trailhead (Trail #1) that will take you to the splendors of the Jewel Basin Hiking Area and to the many high mountain lakes that dot the landscape.


There is a rustic campground on Handkerchief Lake that is made for tent camping. The steep bank down to the lake from the road limits the number of flat spots, so please don’t expect a KOA.

Boat Ramp: 

This lake is made for float tube or canoe fishing. It is difficult to get a heavier boat in and there is no boat ramp. Fish can be caught from shore but you’ll be far more successful on the water.

Directions to Lake: 

Take FS Road #895 over Hungry Horse Dam for about 30 miles then right on #9796 to #897 for about 1 mile. Follow the signs.

Handkerchief Lake
Waterbody type: 
United States
Standard elevation: