Leave civilization behind on this 60-mile Smith River fishing adventure, which descends a stunning limestone canyon in Montana’s Big Belt Mountains. The Smith is the only river in Montana where all river travelers must have a permit, and for good reason. The scenery, fishing, birding, archeology, geology, and history are arguably some of the most interesting in the lower 48. While meandering along the curves and eddies of the Smith, we will discuss the adventures of Lewis and Clark’s expedition and the history of the Blackfeet Indians, both of which sought sustenance in the Smith River ecosystem.
Fishing: The Smith River is one of Montana’s premiere rainbow and brown trout fisheries. Its unequaled beauty boasts outstanding trout habitat. For serious Smith River fishing, we recommend the drift boat option – two person maximum in a drift boat. Enjoy the sounds of the river as you fish with our experienced guides. Whenever angling new waters, experienced guides are important, and ours are some of the best in the West. All equipment and tackle is provided for guests.
Wildlife and Bird Watching: Whether you’re an angler or not, this Smith River fishing adventure is the experience of a lifetime! Birders and photographers will be on the figurative edge of the raft, as this area is known for wildlife and fowl watching. We often see mountain lion, black bear, bobcat, wolverine, flying squirrel, otter, beaver, mergansers, osprey, belted kingfishers, dippers, killdeer, American redstarts, yellow warblers, ruffed grouse, hawks, owls, common raven, swifts, hummingbirds, pileated woodpeckers, chickadees, Swainson’s thrush, varied thrush … the list goes on and on.
Hiking: We usually arrive at the campsite around 4:00pm each day, so you will have an opportunity to explore around camp or do a short hike while your guides are setting up camp and preparing delicious meals. You can look for wildlife, head up to the canyon rim for a view from above, or explore Native American archeological sites.
Difficulty: Easy, Family Friendly
Trip Duration: 5 Days
Price Adult: $3800**
Price Child: $3800**
Other Price: Montana fishing license and gratuities for guides not included. All other fees included. Anglers fish from a drift boat – two people per boat maximum. If you’re not interested in fishing you can still enjoy the beauty of the Smith from a raft for $1000 less!
**SPECIAL** Book before March 1st and receive a $200 discount! Just call our office and say you saw this special online. 1-800-521-RAFT
We meet in Great Falls, Montana, at 7:00am and then shuttle to the Camp Baker put-in where our river adventure begins! Today’s topics include river safety, general fishing, wilderness preservation, Montana State Parks, and the United States Forest Service.
Days Two, Three and Four
We discuss aquatic ecology and fish species as our float continues. Anglers will love the 10 – 20 inch rainbow and brown trout in this spectacular fishery. We will keep our binoculars at hand while checking off the bird species that frequent this migration path.
Today’s topics are the future of habitat preservation and the use of public lands. We will have our final lunch on the river, say our goodbyes, and return to Great Falls by 5:00pm.
Included: Transportation to and from Great Falls; gourmet meals from our lunch on Day 1 through our lunch on Day 5; deluxe camping (including tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags, and camp lounge chairs); and of course, our expert fly fishing guides and their dories.
Special: If you don’t want to fish, the cost is $1000.00 less per person. You’ll love rafting the Smith in our comfy, stable Hyside brand performance rafts. Birding, wildlife watching, sunbathing, reading, and napping are all encouraged. You’ll also be entertained by our expert rafting guides and their tales of high water and fun.
This trip is a result of our partnership with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, United States Forest Service.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft is an equal opportunity provider.
Glacier Guides Inc. and Montana Raft Co.
Randy Gayner, Licensed Outfitter (#23)
PO Box 330, West Glacier, MT 59936
406 387 5555
Airport: You will want to fly in and out of Great Falls, Montana — airport code GTF. If you have extra time, check out the excellent Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Giant Springs State Park while you’re there!