Winter in Montana means blizzards, ice fishing and visions of a summer float on the Smith River.
To make that dream come true, complete a 2004 float permit application. Applications may be printed from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks web site at www.fwp.state.mt.us under Parks & Recreation, or processed while you wait at an FWP office thanks to FWP’s new automated licensing system.
Permit applications processed at an FWP office include a receipt validating the float dates requested that the applicant must verify and sign. Paper applications need to be signed and mailed, including the $30 resident fee and $55 nonresident fee, to: FWP, Smith River, 1420 East 6th Ave., P.O. Box 8009, Helena, MT 59604-8009. All Smith River permit applications must be postmarked on or before Friday, Feb. 13.
FWP’s Smith River web page is a useful tool for float planners, with the 2003 Smith River Annual Report, float section map, Smith River USGS flow data, trip planning tips and lists of services and available outfitters. The 2003 Smith River Annual Report is also available at the Great Falls FWP office by calling 406-454-5840.
So, dare to dream, but don’t forget to fill out your Smith River permit application before the deadline.