YeeeHah!Smith River Permit


Author, Writer, Photographer
Here's a few more Smith River photos.

Most of my time on the Smith I had oars or a spatula in my hands. Rarely a camera. The one trip I did where I was free to shoot photos, the water was high and off color and the weather was crap, so the photos are pretty so-so. But, if you are interested in what the river looks like, these should help out a bit.

When I guided we set up a wall tent and 5-man tents for every two anglers. This camp site is Canyon Depth. It's really a great site. Most of the campsites are set up for Upper, Middle, and Lower, so you have others fairly close. Canyon Depth is a single site.

Rock Garden

Much of the float is through a limestone canyon. Some places the top of the rim is ~ 1000 ft above you.

The campsites have fire rings and most are treed. You'll need to bring your own firewood though.

This is very high water and the fishing suffers. It was also raining. I've been on this river when it was near 100 F and as low as single digits and snowing. I remember one trip where we launched on June 9th and got 15" of snow on the 10th with a high in the teens.

Be prepared, there's no place to find refuge if you aren't.



Author, Writer, Photographer
Trapper-Are there any campsites you don't like? I went through my Smith River journal and have only been truly disappointed by one site.
About the only one I can think of I really didn't like was County Line.

There are some I've never stayed at though. When I guided, the outfitter would send two freighters a day ahead of the launch to get the gear boats set up, loaded, and ready to go. They were mostly college guys. One of them would be standing by the Ranger's cabin when the Ranger arrived, so got first shot at campsites. Unless the freighters got drunk or fell in love with one of the other campers there and missed the early morning alarm, we used the same campsites over and over. Canyon Depth, Upper and Lower Givens were my favorites, but most of them were pretty nice.

Every year since 2005, the outfitter I worked for, Mike Geary of Lewis & Clark Expeditions, takes a group of wounded soldiers on a 5-day Smith River trip. One year, I think it was 2007, a documentary film crew went with us. If you're interested, here is the film.



Author, Writer, Photographer
There are a couple of easy places to get water on the Smith. We've used these two springs for many years with no one getting sick.

This one is on river left at Indian Springs. (And yeah, I'm casting downstream in high water conditions. It was a set up photo.)

Another is just below Bear Gulch on river right.

Of course, you can also just get water from the river and filter it.


Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Wow!! That's a beautiful place. I'll have to give this a try on my WM-do the bucket list thing!
And MT Trapper, thanks for working with the vets. I help out with Project Healing Waters, and it's a great way to give back. Also gives me an outlet for my own issues, still being carried around after 40 years. That shit doesn't just wash off like dirt under your fingernails.


Author, Writer, Photographer
Alex - the gratitude I get from working with these Vets is worth it's weight in gold. And yeah, it gives me the opportunity to deal with my own stuff.

Welcome home, brother.