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Fishing on the Smith River

Smith River Permit Holders

Important information to read before you float the Smith.

Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go!

Please follow these special procedures created in compliance with the Governor's COVID-19 directives. More information at Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.

Registration Process
Registration will occur via phone, two days in advance of permit holders’ launch date. River Rangers will call permit holders, in a randomly-selected order, between 1:00 and 3:30 pm (Mountain Time). For example, if your launch date is May 10, the Rangers will call you on May 08 between 1:00 and 3:30 pm (Mountain Time). Permit holders must be prepared to provide the following information, prior to the phone call:

  1. Number of nights on the river and boat camp preference
  2. Names, ages and state of residence of all members of float group
  3. Number and type of watercraft
  4. Be prepared to pay full balance of permit fees via one credit card

No Overnight Camping at Camp Baker
Overnight camping will not be allowed at Camp Baker to comply with strict social distancing.

Ranger Station Will be Closed to the Public
The Ranger Station at Camp Baker will be closed to the public to comply with strict social distancing.

Thank you for your cooperation. Have a safe and enjoyable trip on the Smith River!

Additional Permit Info

Permits are non-transferable and non-refundable. Permit holders must bring photo ID to the put-in. Permit holders must  cancel their permit if they are not going to use their launch regardless of weather or water flows above 100 cfs. Failure to cancel a permit at least 2 days prior to your launch date, at flows above 100 cfs, will result in losing next years’ privileges for the Smith River permit drawing.

 

Successful applicants who receive a permit during the time period of May 15 through July 15 (peak season) will not be eligible to apply for a permit for this time period the following year. This pertains even if the permit is cancelled. They may still apply for launch dates outside this time period, accompany other permitted trips or acquire a cancelled permit for any launch date.

Smith River Regulations

Be a good steward and help protect Montana’s public lands by following these rules and regulations:

Camp Baker
  • Overnight camping will not be allowed to comply with strict social distancing.
  • Food, garbage and other attractants must be stored in a bear-resistant manner when unattended, day or night.
  • Fires permitted in designated fire grates only.
  • Fires must be completely contained within the fire grate and fully extinguished.
  • Motorized vehicles restricted to roads and parking areas.
  • Preserve natural and cultural resources – do not remove or damage.
  • Discharge of firearms, weapons or fireworks prohibited.
  • Pack In - Pack Out. Do not litter.
River Corridor
  • River floating requires a permit year-round.
  • Floater fees required year round.
  • Commercial outfitting restricted to authorized Smith River outfitters.
  • Camping allowed in designated sites only.
  • Camping limited to 4 nights while on the river (May 15–July 15).
  • Food, garbage and other attractants must be stored in a bear-resistant manner when unattended, day or night.
  • Fires permitted in designated fire grates only.
  • Fires must be completely contained within the fire grate and fully extinguished.
  • Pets are prohibited; exceptions include legitimate service dogs and hunting dogs used for lawful purposes during legal hunting seasons.
  • Preserve natural and cultural resources – do not remove or damage.
  • Feeding and harassing wildlife is prohibited and unsafe.
  • Discharge of firearms and weapons prohibited in boat camps. Fireworks prohibited on all public land within river corridor.
  • Pack In – Pack Out. Do not litter.

Smith River State Park and River Corridor Biennial Fee Rule, 2020

Montana State Parks Public Use Regulations 

Smith River Ethics

The Smith River is a special place. As a visitor, you have the responsibility to be a steward of the land and the fishery, as well as respect private property and the experiences of other floaters.

Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Angler & Boating Ethics – River recreationists can avoid conflicts by being considerate of all users.

Respect Private Property – Approximately 80% of the property through the Smith River corridor is private property. The success of Smith River State Park & River Corridor depends upon cooperation with private property owners.

Fishing Ethics – Be aware of how you can prevent the spread of aquatic disease and exotic species, and protect waterbirds.

Authorized Smith River Outfitters

The following list of commercial outfitters are the only outfitters currently permitted and authorized by both Montana FWP and the U.S. Forest Service to provide float trips on the Smith River. It is illegal for any unauthorized outfitter or individual to provide commercial services to Smith River floaters (This does not apply to vehicle shuttles or bed and breakfasts).

If you wish to hire the services of an outfitter, do not apply for a private permit in the drawing, since each outfitter is allocated a specific number of launches for specific days of the week and month. Outfitter launch calendar

 

  • Blackfoot River Outfitters (BRO)

John Herzer

4555 Mallard Way

Missoula, MT 59808

Phone: (406) 542-7411

Email: john@blackfootriver.com

Website: blackfootriver.com

 

  • Blast & Cast Outfitters (B & C)

Todd France

P.O. Box 824

Ennis, MT 59729

Phone: (406) 682-4420

Email: blstcst@3rivers.net

Website: blastandcastoutfitters.com

 

  • Glacier Guides/ Montana Raft (GG)

Mark O'Keefe & Denny Gignoux

P.O. Box 330

West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone: (800) 521-7238

Email: info@glacierguides.com

Website: glacierguides.com

 

  • Lewis & Clark Expeditions (L&C)

Mike Geary

270 Tuke Lane

Twin Bridges, MT 59754

Phone: (406) 459-2030

Email: hwlodgemt@gmail.com

Website: hwlodge.com

 

  • Montana Angler Fly Fishing (MAFF)

Brian McGeehan

76 Lucille Ln

Bozeman, MT 59718

Phone: (406) 522-9854

Email: brian@montanaangler.com

Website: montanaangler.com

 

  • Montana Flyfishing Connection (MFFC)

Joe Sowerby

P.O. Box 17701

Missoula, MT 59808

Phone: ( 406) 370-2868

Email: joe@smithriverflyfishing.com

Website: montanaflyfishingconnection.com

 

  • Pro Outfitters (PRO)

Brandon Boedecker

P.O. Box 621

Helena, MT 59624

Phone: (800) 858-3497

Email: brandonboedecker@gmail.com

Website: prooutfitters.com

Vendor Services

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) provides this list of private services (shuttles, equipment rentals, and accommodations) solely for the convenience of the recreating public. In providing this list FWP assumes no liability whatsoever for any loss incurred by anyone, including any person who may choose to make use of these services nor does FWP make any express or implied warranty or representation of competency or fitness of these services.

Shuttles and Equipment Rentals

All River Equipment

Dana Corson

201 N Hannaford (office); 2920 Billings Ave (rental delivery and pick-up)

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 431-1815

E-mail: rentals@allriverequipment.com

Website: allriverequipment.com

Services offered: All River Equipment specializes in sales and rentals of self bailing rafts and NRS raft accessories, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, canoes, bear resistant coolers, camp gear, dry bags, camp kitchen gear and logistic services at the best prices around. Smith River packages are available and All River offers equipment drop off and pick up services.

 

The Base Camp

5 W. Broadway

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 443-5360

E-mail: Tim@thebasecamp.net

Website: thebasecamp.com

Services offered: Great selection of rental kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, PFD's, paddles and throw bags. Our store has a variety of dry bags, gloves and water accessories, and quality outdoor clothing and footwear to outfit your trip on the Smith River. We sell UDAP Bear Spray, and IGBC approved bear resistant Yeti coolers and UDAP Food Storage Bear Fences.

 

Bozeman Boat Rental

8118 Rolling Hills Drive

Bozeman, MT 59715

(406) 404-6931

E-mail: reservations@bozemanboatrental.com

Website: bozemanboatrental.com

Services offered: Aire and NRS raft rentals with the fisherman and family in mind. Multi-day package discounts specifically for the Smith River. Dry boxes, 3 oars, raft trailer, fishing platforms, pfd’s, patch kit, Yeti 110 cooler and deluxe NRS fish frame included with every rental. Every raft is inflated and customized to your preference when you show up for pickup.

 

Castle Mountain Grocery

Shane Sereday

4273 E US HWY 12

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

(406) 547-3731

E-mail: castlemtnpllc@yahoo.com

Website: facebook.com/castlemountaingrocery

Services offered: IGBC approved Counter Assault bear fences for rental or purchase. Full grocery and drug store. Pre-made sandwiches, burger patties, homemade brats, precooked ring sausage. Flies, fishing tackle and bait. Camping supplies.

 

Charlie’s Think Wild Shuttle Service

Charlie Meeks

P.O. Box 282

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

(406) 547-6338

E-mail: charliesthinkwildshuttleservice@yahoo.com

Website: charliesthinkwildshuttleservice.com

Services offered: Vehicle shuttles.

 

CrossCurrents Fly Shop

Chris Strainer, Jennifer Harris

326 N Jackson

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 449-2292

E-mail: crosscurrentsflyshop@gmail.com

Website: crosscurrents.com

Services offered: Full service boat and equipment rental and sales only. Rentals include new to one year old AIRE and NRS self-bailing rafts with NRS adjustable rowing and fishing frames, inflatable kayaks and canoes, personal pontoons, SUP boards, flat bed trailers; river camping equipment including dry bags, dry boxes, super coolers, cots and shelters; and fly fishing gear including Orvis rods, reels, waders, and boots. Multi-day rental specials offered.

 

Craig Madsen’s Montana River Outfitters

Craig Madsen, Tim McKnight

923 10th Ave North

Great Falls, MT 59401

(406) 761-1677 or 1-800-800-8218

E-mail: mro@montana.com

Website: montanariveroutfitters.com

Services offered: Rentals, shuttles and sales of rafts, catarafts, canoes, kayaks, inflatable kayaks, personal pontoons, SUP boards, trailers, IGBC approved Yeti Coolers and UDAP Bear Shock electric food storage fences. Our rafts are state of the art, self-bailing boats complete with Smith River specialized and adjustable NRS rowing and fishing frames, with multi-day discounts. Complete river camping and fishing equipment rentals are available. Vehicle shuttles can be provided, as well as full service pick up and drop off service for people and equipment. Deluxe rental packages are a popular option, which include boats, camping, cooking gear, food packed in coolers and delivered to the put in and picked up at the take out.

 

Explore Rentals

Will Casella

32 Dollar Drive

Belgrade, MT 59714

(406) 922-0179

E-mail: office@explore-rentals.com

Website: explore-rentals.com

Services offered: NRS, Star, and Smithfly rafts professionally rigged for Smith River trips. IGBC compliant bear fences, coolers, dry boxes and bags, cooking kits, camp furniture, river shelters, and the most extensive inventory of rental camping gear in Montana. And rental cars to tow your boats up to the river!

 

Hatch Adventures

Stephan Morris

81549 Gallatin Rd, Unit #5

Bozeman, MT 59718

(406) 223-4224

E-mail: info@hatchadventures.com

Website: hatchadventures.com

Services offered: NRS raft rentals, camping gear and everything you need for a memorable Smith River trip. Our NRS Outlaw rafts are fitted with a comfortable NRS fishing frame and come inflated on a trailer for easy transport. Lockable bear proof cooler, PFDs, patch kit, 3 oars and dry bag included with each rental. Smith River packages are available.

 

Outdoor Supply and Rental

Tobey McGuirl

2307 Brooks St.

Missoula, MT 59801

(406) 541-6727

E-mail: info@outdoorsupplyandrental.com

Website: outdoorsupplyandrental.com

Services offered: Raft and camping equipment rental and sales including: rafts with rowing and fishing frames, kayaks, canoes, trailers, camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, pads and dry bags. Smith River trip multi-day rental specials offered.

 

Rubber Ducky River Rentals

Marlie Anderson; Sissy Hampton

15 Mount Baldy

P.O. Box 808

Livingston, MT 59047

(406) 222-3746

E-mail: info@riverservices.com

Website: riverservices.com

Services offered: Boat rentals only, including: rafts with rowing and fishing frames, kayaks, canoes, catarafts, trailer, and equipment rental and sales. Smith River trip rental specials offered.

 

Smith River Shuttle

Jody & Caroline Cox

1699 Millegan Rd

Great Falls MT 59405

(406) 866-3522 or 1 (866) 500-3522

E-mail: contact@smithrivershuttle.com

Website: smithrivershuttle.com/

Services offered: Vehicle shuttles, minor repairs. We wash and detail every vehicle we shuttle. Original owners/operators since 1996. Located ½ mile from the Eden Bridge take-out. You float, we drive. Clean car when you arrive!

 

The Trail Head

221 East Front St

Missoula, MT 59802

(406) 543-6966

E-mail: info@trailheadmontana.net

Website: trailheadmontana.ne

Services offered: Offering the largest selection of boats and river supplies for sale and rent in Montana—including highest quality AIRE or NRS self-bailing rafts; Mad River and Wenonah canoes; Wilderness Designs, Dagger and Perception kayaks; AIRE and Alpacka pack rafts; SUPs and pontoon boats. IGBC approved as bear resistant aluminum dry boxes and Yeti coolers; PFDs, oars, throw ropes, dry bags and more.

 

Twin Sisters Trading Company

Bodie & Alaina Morrison

14 S Central Ave 

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

406-547-3259

Email: twinsisterstradingwss@gmail.com

Website: www.twinsisterstrading.com [twinsisterstrading.com]

Services Offered: NRS Raft Rentals (pick up and drop off options available!). Bear Fence Rentals, Yeti Cooler Rentals, and more. Montana State Liquor Store, sporting goods, fly shop, camping gear, clothing, footwear, and gifts available in our shop. 

 
Restaurants, Lodging and Apparel

All Seasons Inn & Suites

808 3rd Avenue SW

P.O. Box 318

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

(406) 547-8888

Reservations: (877) 314-0241

Fax: (406) 547-2573

E-mail: info@allseasonsinnandsuites.net

Website: allseasonsinnandsuites.net

Services offered: hotel, open 24 hours, continental breakfast, free WI-FI, business services, free floater parking, ice, large sulphur-free hot tub, and guest laundry.

 

The Barnwood Cabin

Owned and Operated by Twin Sisters Trading Company

Bodie and Alaina Morrison

509 3rd Ave SW 

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

Book your stay on airbnb.com [airbnb.com]

https://airbnb.com/h/thebarnwoodcabin [airbnb.com]

Services Offered: 2 Bedrooms, 5 beds, full kitchen, TV, Wifi, large parking lot, conveniently located right in White Sulphur Springs. 

 

Heaven On Earth Ranch

Vic Anderson

PO Box 389

Ulm, MT 59485

(406) 866-3316

(406) 799-0461

Services offered: Bed & Breakfast (Mile 28) – Golf, ice, firewood, cabins. By reservation only.

 

Smith River Custom Apparel

Heather Novark

200 S. Central Ave.

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

(406) 461-2775

E-mail: smithriver406@gmail.com

Services Offered: We offer custom imprinted garments featuring the Smith River, Montana, White Sulphur Springs and much more. We carry hoodies, t-shirts and hats in all colors and sizes. Stop by for your local souvenir apparel. Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, MST, Monday through Friday. RENTAL: Smith River Gateway Apartment located in the apparel shop, 2 blocks off Main St. in White Sulphur Springs. Sleeps three; contact Heather for more information @ (406) 461-2775.

 

Willow Creek Cabins

Connie Townsend

PO Box 504

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

(406) 580-6928

E-mail: willowcreekcabins@gmail.com

Website: willowcreekcabinsmontana.com

Services offered: Two large cabins each sleeping 12 (6 bedrooms), full kitchen, and 2 bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi and secure, private parking. Two private, stocked fishing ponds. 5 miles from White Sulphur Springs.

Smith River Flow Data

Smith River Plans and Reports

 

Smith River Boat Camps GPS Data 

Launch Choice Reports
See how many Smith River Permit applicants applied for specific dates on the calendar the previous year, including first, second and third choices and the grand total.

Smith River Management Plan – To ensure that the resources are protected and the Smith River experience remains high, this plan directs the long range development and management of the river corridor.

2020 Smith River Annual Report  – A summary of visitor use statistics, management activities and resource and social conditions on the Smith River corridor during the 2019 field season.

Smith River State Park and River Corridor Biennial Rule, 2020  – Fees and administrative rules for private, commercial and landowner float trips in Smith River State Park.

Smith River Floater Information Packet

Information and Frequently Asked Questions

If you're considering floating the Smith River, but not sure where to start, how to apply, what you'll need, etc., read this essential information and find answers to some Smith River frequently asked questions. 

Read the Floater Information Packet 
Raft on the Smith River

Smith River State Park

Address

791 Clear Range Road
White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645
Latitude/Longitude:
(46.803 / -111.182)

View Park Map 
Boat Camps

View boat camps and mileages to plan your trip.

View Boat Camps 
Park fees

View fees to float the Smith River.

View Fees