Plan Your Smith River Trip

Make it easy to have a great time floating the Smith River

Getting to the Smith

If your plan is to fly to Montana on a commercial airline we recommend that you make reservations as soon as possible once you have firm river dates. Check Availability Here. You'll need to fly into Montana the day before your first scheduled river day - arriving in the afternoon.

Here are some flight scenarios in order of preference:

You can fly into Helena and out of Great Falls.

You can fly in and out of Helena.

You can fly in and out of Great Falls.

You may wish to use the airports in Bozeman or Missoula, but this will require additional time and planning, and may require you to rent a car.

Equipment List

First a few words of wisdom. "Having the right tool for the job" makes any task easier and more enjoyable. The same goes for preparing for a big trip. Start preparing and organizing now!

Your rain jacket and waders are absolutely the most critical gear for your trip. If you have not invested in quality outer gear yet, this is the year to do it. It only takes one day of cold rain in a cheap rain jacket or leaky waders to make you miserable. Simms and Patagonia are both great brands.

Printable list of suggested equipment Printable copy of this planning guide and equipment list

Fishing License

Please purchase your license online before you arrive. This can be done at


To answer my most frequently asked question, the tips that you provide for the staff will be pooled and split equally among the crew. A general rule is 10% to 20% of the cost of the trip, so that usually computes to $400 - $600 per angler. If you feel that one of the staff really went above and beyond for you, of course, you are welcome to address that separately. We can add your tip to your credit card or process checks, but cash is always easiest to divide among the guides.

We are really looking forward to sharing the Smith River with you! Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Joe Sowerby

Contact Me

Still have Questions? Get in touch.

Joe Sowerby