Smith River Bound

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Davbaker, May 29, 2013.

  1. Davbaker Member

    Posts: 49
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    My friends and I are off to the Smith this weekend. I posted a few months back seeking advice - we had planned to take just our Watermasters and go Alpine style. After a lot of soul searching we decided to rent a 14 " NRS raft from Crosscutrents out of Craig, MT. I have to sent a shout out to these guys as they have been spectacularly helpful in planning our trip. It helps that a non fisherman friend has offered to row the cargo raft while we fish out of our Watermasters. I will be packing a bottle if Knob Creek with his name in it.

    I also have to thank the forum members here who have offered up bits of advice. Man, something about planning a big fishing trip that is just hard to describe. Half the fun (okay maybe not quite) is in the planning. As a side note, I almost had to cancel when my father was hospitalized last week. He grew up in MT though (lived in the actual Fort Missoula) and fly fished. He wouldn't let me miss out though, so I am fairly guilt free.

    Again thanks and I will post a report

    Dave
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  2. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 444
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +589 / 0
    The weather here has been below Avg temps and above Avg precip. It's rained 14 of the last 15 days. The forecast is for warmer and drier. The Smith flows look really good right now, so your freight boat rower shouldn't have to drag his raft.

    I don't know how many are in your group, but in the past, a flotilla of single person pontoons have caused some serious log jams on the Smith and some heated exchanges. If I were advising you, I'd say be very conscious of your impact on other floaters. If you hook up a fish and are relying solely on your fins to keep you out of other angler's space, it may not end the way you think it should.

    It's a highly regulated river, but this is peak season, so with good flows and the forecast for 70s and drier, there won't be many cancellations. That translates to you floating the river with the maximum number of others on it.

    Have fun. Enjoy this wonderful canyon float. And good luck with the weather and fishing.

    Trapper
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  3. mtgreenheads Member

    Posts: 38
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We're hoping this rain keeps up, a tad nervous for our June 19 launch after that early heat wave. Good luck, amazing trip.
  4. Davbaker Member

    Posts: 49
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Thanks guys

    Trapper, good advice. We have 3 guys in Watermasters. Probably Wong be finning much. Mostly plan to stop and hit the good looking seams. In any case, a good reminder to be respectful. With. 4 guys in the party, though, I think we will be pretty unobtrusive. I'll let u guys know how it goes


    Dave
  5. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 444
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +589 / 0
    Dave - I've yet to hear anyone complain because someone was too unobtrusive.:) Many floaters on the Smith are not interested in fishing. It's purely a pleasure float. Many don't row much and you'll see them bouncing off the canyon walls like the old pin ball machines. They routinely float over the rising fish you're patiently trying to cast to, and don't have a clue about why you're giving them a dirty look. The guys who are serious fly fishers sometimes get their patience tested and after a few days of torture they hit their patience quota.

    It's not every trip, but as you're hitting the peak with great weather, it's more likely the bikini hatch will be out and the river will be at it's full capacity of floaters. 3 guys in three Watermasters is much more to dodge than 3 guys in one raft.

    Anyway, you sound like this isn't your first barbecue, so I'm sure you'll have a wonderful and stress free trip.

    Take some photos and give us a report when you get back.

    Trapper
  6. Bullwhacker Member

    Posts: 147
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Be prepared for the possibility of snow.
  7. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    14 foot raft and only a single bottle knob creek? I think you may need to go back to drawing board for pre planning:D
    Kent Lufkin and Derek Young like this.
  8. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,671
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +844 / 1
    I agree, your whiskey to boat ratio is WAY low.....have a safe and fun trip, Dave.
    Guy Gregory likes this.
  9. mtgreenheads Member

    Posts: 38
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Yup, our standard Smith rig includes a 5 gallon keg of a fresh, MT IPA per 14' raft. And we have run out.
  10. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,970
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +706 / 1
    I hate you. I'm green with envy. Have fun, hammer em' and report on the outing.
  11. mtgreenheads Member

    Posts: 38
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm interested to hear how the rain treated you guys. Unbelievable rains in Central MT this week, 17" in the Snowy Mountains west of the Smith River.