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Thread: Smith Beta?

  1. #1
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    Smith Beta?

    Just tagged on to a Smith float 4/19-22. Hoping we'll catch it pre-runoff and have decent fishing, but looking for some must have suggestions for the fly box.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  2. #2
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    Congratulations that is a definite must do trip! We pulled a September permit for this year as well, keeping my fingers crossed for good flows. Should be ok since it is after the irrigation levels drop.
    I floated it about 8 years ago in May and it was a black wooley bugger all day, every day... Sorry but that is seriously the only fly we used and we slayed em.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  3. #3
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    That April window on the Smith can be hit or miss as far as fishing and the weather go. Go prepared and you will have a great time regardless.

    As far as bugs, standard freestone stuff will get you going.
    Nymphs: Rubber legs( pats, jj's, bitch creeks etc) various color/size, buggers dead drifted-black, olive, brown, Zonkers dead drifted, Prince stuff, worms, PT, lightning bugs etc.
    Streamers; Sparkle Minnows, JJ Special (dead drifted or twitched), Buggers, Home Invader etc.
    Dries: Skwala Stones- smaller chubbies, BWO- para Adams or Purple Haze will cover you.

    The Smith fishes well subsurface when it has color as long as it is not rising dramatically. If high and off color, get out of the boat and fish soft, inside water.

    If you have other questions let me know. I have done close to 100 Smith trips, so I'm pretty familiar with that stretch. Glad to help out if I can.
    Last edited by Row Jimmy; 03-22-2019 at 09:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    If you have other questions let me know. I have done close to 100 Smith trips, so I'm pretty familiar with that stretch. Glad to help out if I can.
    I hate to ask this and it makes me feel dirty, but how is the cell service these days? Current life circumstances dictate that I stay connected to the outside world so I have been trying to figure out if I need a sat phone for the trip...
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  5. #5
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    Teleee,
    The garmin inReach mini is a bad ass piece of equipment. I've been planning on picking one up for my hunting adventures. Allows you to text via your phone to the outside world.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    Teleee,
    The garmin inReach mini is a bad ass piece of equipment. I've been planning on picking one up for my hunting adventures. Allows you to text via your phone to the outside world.
    Cool! That might be a good option!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  7. #7
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    Teleee, cell service still non existent from before Camp Baker until you get back to Ulm. Sat Phone is a good option if you need to stay in touch with work/fam etc.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Row Jimmy View Post
    That April window on the Smith can be hit or miss as far as fishing and the weather go. Go prepared and you will have a great time regardless.

    As far as bugs, standard freestone stuff will get you going.
    Nymphs: Rubber legs( pats, jj's, bitch creeks etc) various color/size, buggers dead drifted-black, olive, brown, Zonkers dead drifted, Prince stuff, worms, PT, lightning bugs etc.
    Streamers; Sparkle Minnows, JJ Special (dead drifted or twitched), Buggers, Home Invader etc.
    Dries: Skwala Stones- smaller chubbies, BWO- para Adams or Purple Haze will cover you.

    The Smith fishes well subsurface when it has color as long as it is not rising dramatically. If high and off color, get out of the boat and fish soft, inside water.

    If you have other questions let me know. I have done close to 100 Smith trips, so I'm pretty familiar with that stretch. Glad to help out if I can.
    can I haz a job?
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  9. #9
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    SFB, I don't do the hiring, but if you are serious I can put you in contact with someone who does. We usually need some peeps.

    PM if ya want or your pops has my digits.

  10. #10
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    We did the Smith about 12 years ago. Very hit or miss mid April, we went around the same time as you are going. Bring plenty of layers. I remember buggers working well for us too. Such a great float

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Row Jimmy View Post
    Teleee, cell service still non existent from before Camp Baker until you get back to Ulm. Sat Phone is a good option if you need to stay in touch with work/fam etc.
    I kind of figured you were going to say that. Sat phone it is. Phall dress warm! Row Jimmy, what is your thoughts on the flow in late September?
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  12. #12
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    teleee, September trips are awesome if you have the water. If you are going in rafts you can launch with flows as low as 160-180 cfs. In a hard boat you want 350-400 and it is still boney. Check Smith flows below Eagle Creek as that is just below the Camp Baker put in. Unfortunately fall flows don't bump up with the end of irrigation as much as they used to. This is due to more pivot irrigation and elimination old school flood irrigation upstream.
    As far as fishing, it can be incredible. Dries, streamers, nymphs will all work well. The water will likely be clear and the fish concentrated in the prime water.
    There is a good snowpack in the Smith basin currently. Hope for a cool damp summer in central MT to keep flows good all summer.
    I hope you get to do your September trip. That is a special time on the Smith.

  13. #13
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    Thanks all. Really excited for this adventure.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  14. #14
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    I have done the Smith several times. April can be excellent, or it can be a nightmare. About 10 or 15 years ago we were 2 days away from putting in when a deep freeze hit and the river froze over. We were not allowed to launch and National Guard helicopters went in to pull out the stranded floaters.

    We ended up going over to Craig and fished the Mo for a week instead.
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  15. #15
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    we're crossing fingers for good weather, but are a hearty bunch. If we get in a situation like that I'll retreat to my buddies house in Ennis and drink away the sorrows.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  16. #16
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    Phall, I think that is the attitude you need to have. From what I have heard a back up plan is essential. I hope you dont mind me jumping in on this thread with questions for our trip? Are you bringing your own rafts or renting? I am torn on whether I want to drag a raft all the way from Colorado or just rent one when I get there.... What do you know about firewood? Do we need to plan on bringing firewood?
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    Phall, I think that is the attitude you need to have. From what I have heard a back up plan is essential. I hope you dont mind me jumping in on this thread with questions for our trip? Are you bringing your own rafts or renting? I am torn on whether I want to drag a raft all the way from Colorado or just rent one when I get there.... What do you know about firewood? Do we need to plan on bringing firewood?
    You definitely need to bring your own firewood.

    Check out Capital Sports in Helena for raft rentals as well as renting the required bearproof gear...they have electric fence, etc. I'm sure you guys have checked out the regs regarding bearproofing all your coolers and food. (black bears)

  18. #18
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    Teleee, for sure.

    I've never done a river trip period so I'm just showing up with rods and party supplies. Raft logistics are on my buddies up in MT. All I know is we'll have an un-framed gear raft, one flycraft, and one framed raft if I'm not mistaken.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    Teleee, for sure.

    I've never done a river trip period so I'm just showing up with rods and party supplies. Raft logistics are on my buddies up in MT. All I know is we'll have an un-framed gear raft, one flycraft, and one framed raft if I'm not mistaken.
    Nice, I cant wait to hear about your trip and see you pictures! Unfortunately I am the prime organizer here. So I am in the early stages of planning. We have a group of 6 with 2 pretty inexperienced river dudes (Florida salt water guides). The other dudes are good, so I am leaning towards 3 rafts as well.
    Thanks Yeahman, its been a while so I could remember about the firewood, I was guessing that we would need it though.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  20. #20
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    Couple other options for gear rental in Helena are Cross Currents fly shop and Montana Outdoor Sports.

    Good call on bringing firewood. The campsites are heavily used and picked clean of anything burnable!
    There is a tree at the Lower Sunset campsite that has branches removed about 30+ feet up the trunk from campers. Every season the branches get even higher! Always wonder how people get the next branch.

  21. #21
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    Good shuttle company: Jody@Smith River Shuttle- 866-500-3522. These guys wash and vacuum your rig while you are on the river. He lives about a mile from the Eden Bridge take out. Good folks.

  22. #22
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    Second the shuttle. Nice touch returning to a clean rig. These guys have you covered for info. We picked up a cancellation for memorial day weekend years back. It snowed for four days straight and we put on with only 2 other boats. Still had a blast(and our pick of spots).also brought a bunch of firewood. A boy scout troop who launched earlier evac'd at the golf course and we saw a flipped raft and its contents float by late one day. Still not sure how they flipped but they ended up hiking out and finding help. We did wish for buckets to drag in the current due to wind on last day.

    I'd also offer a Riken bucket boat but sounds like you'd be better off renting.

    Have fun guys!
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  23. #23
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    need everyone to do some warm weather dances for us.

    Temporary Site Closure due to ice covering the river making it impassible. Boat camps are covered in 1-2 feet of snow. Staff will continue to monitor conditions.


    Weather is......mediocre at best.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  24. #24
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    We will adjust our dance routines accordingly.

    If you don't have a back up plan yet, these guys are putting in when you are pulling out and were considering alternatives... Backup plans for April 22 Smith River trip

  25. #25
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    I love spring in montana. Just bring good gear, more whiskey and lots of firewood. For me the Smith is more a fun lazy float, if you're really wanting better fishing just base camp in Craig and float everday.

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