Smith, Montana, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|Smith River bl Eagle Cr nr Fort Logan MT|
|usgs-06077200||250 - 1500 cfs||I-III||83d18h08m||102 cfs (too low)|
Superb fishing, gorgeous scenery, and a remote setting combine to make a trip on the Smith River an unforgettable experience. With one put-in point and one take-out point, the 59-mile stretch of river is accessible only by canoe, raft, or other appropriate watercraft.
Because of its popularity, the Smith River is alone among Montana rivers to require a permit to float the waterway. A drawing for the permit is conducted each February; nine float parties are allowed to put in on the river each day. These regulations moderate fishing pressure and allow for long floats in relative solitude.
The float season varies widely depending on snow pack, rainfall, and amount and timing of irrigation. The typical float season is from mid-April through July 4th, occassionally with some floating in September.
Permits issued through a lottery managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Peak season is May 15th to July 15th.