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Smith River fly fishing trips can be summed up in almost one word – secluded

The Smith River has limited access points and even more limited float permits as the campsites are limited. The river begins near White Sulphur Springs, Montana, at the confluence of the North and South Fork Smith River. It then twists and turns for more than 100 miles through remote and scenic landscapes before spilling into the Missouri River near Ulm, Montana.

Our Smith River fly fishing trips take place on the upper sections, between its origin and above the Smith River Fly Fishing Access Site, flows through gently rolling prairie, flanked by the tall mountain peaks. The river twists and turns through a small canyon. The canyon, while small compared to others found further downstream is beautiful, with wooded hills flanking the river.


  • Includes rods, reels, flies and catered riverside lunches
  • Suitable for most ages 12 & over
  • Walk and wade only trip
  • Contact us for recommended float outfitters
Fly Fishing Montana Smith River

Best Fishing Times

The Smith River typically fishes well from just after the annual run-off in June/July until about early August, then again in September. Surrounded by the Big and Little Belt Mountains it has wide-open vistas and incredible views. Other than the small town of White Sulphur Springs, the area is also very remote. Agricultural fields surround the river in this section, with extensive brush along its bank. A number of pools are also found on this stretch. Generally, the Smith River flows at a slow to moderate pace in this section, depending on water levels.

The Fishing Experience

We offer the Smith River as a good, remote wade fishing option. We also partner with permit only overnight operators – so please contact if you prefer a multi-day experience on the Smith. Please note these overnight trips must be booked 8 – 12 months in advance as permits are limited. Wade anglers will find solitude and beauty in this area of Montana. When the flows and water temperatures are right this is a gorgeous small stream fishery.

Smith River Hatches

Several species of caddis can be found between March through October. Mayflies including March Brown’s, PMDs, and Drakes are also present in some numbers. Most notably Skwala’s, Salmonflies, Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies are present during the first half of the season offering ample food for eager Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat trout.