The Smith River

SMITH RIVER MONTANA : OXBOWS & BROWN TROUT

Best known for the Smith River Canyon Float, this scenic river sits west of the small community of White Sulphur Springs. Further upstream the river meanders through hay fields on the historic Riverside Ranch family homestead. Several small springs feed this narrow stretch of river and create spring creek like conditions. Deep banks, smooth pools, and big oxbows create the perfect environment to land a big Brown. Wander amidst cows, deer, and the occasional moose while fishing this incredible 6 mile stretch of private, one-of-a-kind water.

Similar to most spring creeks, the Smith River boasts three species of trout: Brown, Brooke, and Rainbow. Browns are the most prevalent, but you’ll catch a handful of nice sized brookies (up to 18 inches) and rainbows. No matter the species, these waters produce some big fish. Most browns range between 16 to 26 inches but there are a good number of 30 inchers lurking beneath the banks. This river requires more technical skill than the rest of our waters, so be prepared to stalk your fish.

Tall grasses and brush are prevalent in some stretches along the stream banks so we suggest bringing a pair of waders. Wet wading here is easy throughout most of the Montana fishing season. A 4 to 6 weight rod, 8 feet or longer, is ideal. A nine foot leader tapering to 4x will work in most cases, but you should bring 5x-6x just in case there is the need to cast small delicate dry flies.


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