The Smith River is a tributary of the Missouri River, in central part of the state of Montana. The river is known for its inspiring scenery and blue-ribbon trout fishery. The river corridor is managed by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a permitted river.
The state of Montana is located in the north-western part of the United States. The area is noted for its numerous mountains and national parks. Millions of tourists flock annually to visit the Glacier National Park, the Yellowstone National Park and the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Montana provides recreation opportunities for tourists throughout the year. Fishing, camping, hunting, watercraft recreation, cycling, golf, riding, and skiing are few of the popular activities.
Smith River Permit System:
The Smith River is so popular that a permit is required from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, US Bureau of Land Management to float it. The permit gives up to 15 people the license to float. Permit applications are available in the first week of January each year with a lottery drawing conducted in late February. The permit process ensures that the visitors have a quality time in relative solitude.
Applying For Smith River Permits:
Permit applications are available online in January of each year through FWP’s Automated Licensing System. You can also apply by walk-in at FWP Headquarters in Helena or any of FWP Regional Offices. In case you are not allotted a permit you can also book a trip with one of the eight approved Smith River outfitters.
Smith River Approved Outfitters:
The approved Smith River outfitters are Big Sky Expeditions, Blackfoot River Outfitters, Blast & Cast Outfitters, Glacier Wilderness Guides, Lewis & Clark Expeditions, Missoula Fishing Company, Montana Fly-fishing Connection and Pro Outfitters.
The Smith River provides you with the following facilities and amenities; campsites, grills/fire Rings, detailed local maps, parking and pack-in/pack-out points. One thing that visitors must keep in mind is that the Smith River flows through a lot of private land. Ranchers along the Smith River graze livestock, particularly during the late summer and early fall. Many fences have been installed in the area to control the cattle. In order to let the floaters pass, most fences have float gates installed with the cooperation of the landowners, allowing for the safe passage of your boat.
Smith River Recreation Activities:
Visitor can spend time boating, camping, canoeing. The river is an excellent spot for trout fishery, fly fishing, kayaking and swimming are also popular. Tent camping and wildlife viewing are some of the other things the river resort has on offer.
Shuttle and Equipment Rentals:
For the convenience of the recreating public shuttle and equipment rental services are also available in the area offering rentals of rafts, canoes, kayaks, inflatable kayaks, personal pontoons, SUP boards, drift boats and trailers.
All Seasons Inn & Suites and Heaven on Earth Ranch are the most popular places to stay. The All Seasons Inn & Suites is open 24 hours and offers continental breakfast, free WI-FI, business services, free floater parking, ice, Sulphur free hot tub, and guest laundry.