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Smith River


Last week I jumped at an opportunity to float down the Smith River with a few of my Dillon friends. This was my 6th time on this river, which is one of my favorites. One of our local guides, Bernard Kailey, who had never been before, came along as well. It was really fun showing this beautiful river to a native-Montanan for the first time. We had great fishing, great weather and tons of fun. He wrote up a quick report of his experience:

Dreams do come true. I found this out last week when I was invited last minute on a Smith river trip with Lia Jones and some other good friends.

My first trip down the wild freestone river called Smith. As we pulled into Camp Baker, the clouds were low and the air was cold and crisp. The ground was damp, and filled with boats and gear. The sky still grey with just a small patch of blue down river. This led to me imagining what was to come the next 4 days.

The Smith River did not disappoint. It gave us more than I imagined. Shortly into our trip Big Browns started eating streamers being twitched off the bank. It tried to snow for a minute but than that small piece of blue sky took over and beautiful sun rays blessed our smiles. The weather tried to keep us guessing, but in the end it was really kind. The scenery is unsurpassed, with Eagles soaring high above the canyon walls, Marmots coming down to the river to drink and Mule dear bouncing across the hills. We woke up every morning with the Sun fighting its way over the cliffs and into the canyon, while freshly hatched skwala’s crawled on our tents. Big fish continued to eat our streamers, while a handful of rising fish splashed in the backeddys. We did put a few fish in the boat on nymphs as well. What a fantastic start to the 2015 float season. What a wonderful place to take an adventure with good friends. As with all Montana free stone rivers, the Smith will have a special place in my heart. The memories of this trip will warm my soul for years to come.

“There is no better place to be than on a Montana river with good friends.” Bernard Kailey


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