Backup plans for April 22 Smith River trip


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We have a permit for April 22 on the Smith.

Trying to make backup plans in case the river is closed due to ice.

We have a group of 10 that are all die hard fly fishermen, not so much whitewater enthusiasts.

Most of us live in the Flathead valley from Polson up to Whitefish.

Trying to make a backup plan for another 5 day float if the Smith doesn't work out.

The NF of the flathead river seems like the logical float, except that most of us have floated various portions of the river already, so the excitement wouldn't be that great for the group. I've only been up as far as Polebridge, so border down would still be pretty cool.

Too early for Schaefter Meadows/ Middle fork trip?

Blackfoot river down to Missoula?

Missouri river from the Dam down?
Schafer Meadows is closed Nov-April. If your looking to fish, Craig probably your best bet. Should be some BWO and possibly some March Brown action .
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I very much doubt the Smith will still be closed then. The Yellowstone has an ice-free channel from Gardiner to past Livingston and it's at far higher elevation.
Things are definitely starting to break up with the change in weather last week but having a backup plan is wise..... the Northfork is beautiful and full of cutts mind you they tend to run on the small size from the border down to Polebridge bigger trout are there its just hard getting a fly past the hordes of smaller more eager fish. Middle-fork would be my choice but it to will depend on run-off. I would suggest the Elk or the St Marys in BC but you would need to arrange for classified water permits but they would be likely both very fishable by then... hate to say it but the Mo might be the best option for a last minute change-up
Been a cold start to spring... we can float some water here now but lower sections are still iced in at take-outs..... looking forward to a couple weeks chasing tails in the tropics.......hopefully upon return its warm enough to head south to Montana and a few days of camping out on the river...... hope the weather turns for you and your pals and you can float the Smith...... I was down that way on Wednesday and it was a tad chilly and we had snow again on Thursday but its mostly gone again now.....


Active Member
Weather is looking much better in the forcast. The water levels are dropping. We are going! Fingers crossed that the forcast stays true. ANything in the 50s or better!

Any locals with eyes on?

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