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Has anyone fished the Smith in Montana? I have been invited by someone who drew a float tag for the 1st week of July. It seems like an opportunity a guy should take. It is a 59 mile float that takes about 4 or 5 days. I am an novice boater and have a 9 ft pontoon that is river rated and wondered how tough the float is. Any help would be way cool.
 

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It's been quite a few years, but I floated that stretch of the Smith back in the mid-80's. It is a great float. The scenery is fantastic. You will actually be floating the Smith River Canyon. Be prepared for any and all emergencies, because there's no way in or out other than the river, and the first take out is 4-5 days downstream.

Not sure about the fishing now, but back then it was a good stream with above average browns and rainbows. I would say they averaged 16", with a couple close to 20. We fished mostly streamers and big bugs, Adams, Royal Wolff, Humpy, etc, all 14 or 12's. Not sure what would work there now.

There were a lot of open, level treed places to camp right on the river. We didn't have any trouble finding drift wood for fires. Not too many mosquitoes. A couple bears hit camps next to ours that hadn't secured their food. There was moderate traffic. If they've implemented a permit process, that may be to control getting too many people on the water.

We had rain for two days, and ran out of beer. There was a big outfitter on the river with a long table set up full of booze. He sold us two bottles of Jack Daniels for $50 each. We were glad to pay!

The river is fairly flat. We were in 2 rafts and a drift boat, and no one had any trouble. I don't think there's anything above moderate class II maybe class III water.

I only did it once, but it was one of my all time favorite trips. If you have the chance, I would definitely say do it!!

Good luck.
 

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I've been twice. Late 80's and again in 2000. DO IT!

Not a hard float. Toon would be ok if you have enough support for gear. Fishing depends on watrer flow/clarity, so be prepared to throw big stuff (buggers) as well as bigger nymphs and dries. Stonefly water. PMD's.
 
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