USA - Montana

The Smith River


The Smith River corridor is still untouched by major development and offers anglers a very special wilderness experience where guests will float through limestone canyons for 59 miles over five days and four nights. World famous for its spectacular scenery and blue-ribbon trout fishery, the Smith River is unique in that it has only one public put-in and one public take-out for the entire 59-mile (95 km) segment of river. Boat camps located along the remote river canyon help preserve the unique quality of this area. The Smith River between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge is the only river corridor managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a permitted river.

The Smith River float takes anglers through a wide ranging variety of environments, from heavily forested hills to pastoral valleys and meadows. Perhaps the most scenic aspect of the trip are the majestic limestone cliffs that dot the river. A client of ours once described the Smith float as a photographers dream come true and it’s hard to argue this once you get on the river.

The trout on the Smith River are not really pressured and fish up to 22 inches are routinely caught. This catch and release river is not a body of water that consistently produces monster trout, but rather, it’s an environment where the trout are plentiful and not at all leader shy. When you hit it right, there are some lovely pockets of brookies and cutthroats to be found and fished.


The drift boats are sturdy inflatable’s that offer seating for two guests (front and back) along with the guide seated in the middle. These boats are rock solid and are very comfortable to fish from. Each guide has a modern 4 wheel drive pick-up truck for the numerous off road locations that guests will be fishing from.


Guests will fly in and out of Helena Regional Airport (airport code HLN). An overnight is required the night before the Smith River Float trip is to begin, as well as the night you come off the river at the back end of the trip. The day you start and end the trip will depend on the dates you are booking the trip for. Guests will be picked up early morning at their accommodations in Helena.

Slipstream is a full service travel company that can handle a variety of services relating to your trip. For assistance, please contact us directly at 1 866 644-7703.

2024 RATES

$5,300 USD DBL, 5 day/ 5 night

Please contact the office for 2023 single supplement rates.

  • BIL - Montana
  • May - July
  • Brown Trout, some Rainbows
  • 8 Rods per trip guests
  • Wifi: No
  • Language: English
  • Physicality: Low
  • CC Payment at Facility : No
USA - Montana

The Smith River

Tour Location


The Smith River is a located in central Montana. It rises in southern Meagher County in the Castle Mountains and flows northwest in the valley between the Big Belt and Little Belt mountains, past White Sulphur Springs and past Smith River State Park. It turns north-northwest (NNW), and is joined by Hound Creek in Cascade County, and joins the Missouri approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Great Falls, Montana.


The principal species is Brown Trout, with some Rainbows, Cutthroats and the odd Brookie here and there.


May through July. Some September permits are granted depending on environmental conditions.


Because the trip start and end dates depend on the specific permit you are floating and fishing under, your arrival and departure dates will only be determined by the permit dates. This is a four night 5 day float and guests will need to come in to Helena the day before the trip starts and will stay overnight in Helena the day you come off the river. It is effectively a 6 night trip even though you will only be spending 4 nights on the river. Fly into Helena, Montana the day before and depart six days later i.e. June 7 start date, fly into Helena June 6 and depart June 12. Wednesdays’, Fridays and Sundays are frequent trip start dates.


This is a float trip where no “stand alone” structures of any kind are permitted within the Smith River State Park. Guests will spend the four nights of the trip in new one and two man tents. Staff go ahead each morning of the float to set up the new camp with tents (individual or shared), cots, therm-a-rest pads and transport of your personal gear. The new camp anglers arrive at the end of each days fishing include tent set up, solar showers, dining table and chairs, and campfires. They even do the dishes and turn out the lights!


8 rods per trip
USA - Montana

The Smith River

Value for money
USA - Montana

The Smith River


  • Transfers from your accommodations in Helena to the Camp Baker put in the morning that the trip starts and transfers at the end of the trip from the Eden Bridge take out back to your accommodations in Helena.
  • Five days of guided fishing with two anglers and one guide per boat
  • All meals while on the river. Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Food prep, serving and washing up after meals.
  • Tents, cots, therm-a-rests
  • Camp and river staff to go ahead and set up the next days camp.


  • Accommodations in Helena before and after the float trip Alcohol
  • Montana State Fishing license. ($56 USD).


Canadian, British, EU and Australian citizens only need a valid passport for entry to the United States. No visa is required.