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Old 06-26-2014   #1
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 62
Smith river Montana flies

This is a question for anyone who just recently got off the smith river Montana, Any advice for flies that were working well would be aprreciated or any significant hatches that were noticed. Thanks

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Old 06-26-2014   #2
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by wamsley View Post
This is a question for anyone who just recently got off the smith river Montana, Any advice for flies that were working well would be aprreciated or any significant hatches that were noticed. Thanks
stone flys hatching.

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Old 06-26-2014   #3
Meichorn's Avatar
salt lake city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 19
If water is murky like it was for my trip; black wooly buggers and sex dungeons produced. Hittin the banks, and pockets behind boulders and small eddies. Fish were stacked against the grass and hanging in the protected areas where they used less energy. Again, if flows are high and dirty. Also yellow buggers. Didnt have any activity other than streamers, but were able to get into about 5-6 fish a day at 800-1000cfs. gluck! Beautiful float regardless of fishing conditions
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Old 06-26-2014   #4
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
I would fish a size 8or 10 chubby with a size 10 nocturnal stone colored rubber leg dropped about 16". I think this rig will be very productive but I wouldn't rule out various caddis patterns, pmd's, and terrestrial patterns such as ants and beatles. Good luck.

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Old 06-26-2014   #5
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
it's a river in montana. how hard can it be? seriously though, it's go time for every insect that trout eat, except maybe salmonflies if the smith has the big bugs. take some streamers, some stimmies in a variety of sizes, some para adams also in a variety of sizes, and call it good.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 06-26-2014   #6
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
It really is a straightforward river to fish. Don't over complicate things, standard attractor dries (Sembob's Chubby Chernobyl is nice cause it'll float heavy droppers and is durable) but any thing will work, Wolfe's, Trude's, Stimi's all work, doesn't matter what color. Dry-dropper or two dries if they're rising. Para-adam's should be your go to mayfly (simple and imitates a ton of bugs), I doubt they'll key on caddis anymore, nor salmon fly's so go in between those bug sizes 8-10-12 ish for attaractors, 14-16 for mayfly's. Emergers and cripples can work well if you're fishing at camps where fish have been more heavily pounded, but again you don't need to match the hatch, there'll be tons of different may's and stones hatching throughout the river; you're covering 70 miles of water that changes character and temp and the bugs will change with it.

Terrestrials are always great, one of my favorite bugs on that river is a Tar-baby; black foam body, orange legs and white calf tail wing. Very simple, durable and they seam to love it. If you really want to watch a bobber anything with rubber legs and a san juan should have you covered. If streamers are your thing, it won't matter which, it's all about getting it infront of fish. Big and heavy work best because your oarsmen's probably not be going to back rowing much...

Good luck!
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 07-08-2014   #7
PSUFlyFisher's Avatar
State College, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
catch any fish?

Was that you slaying the White Fish last week?

I couldn't quite tell...the never ending brown drake and stone fly hatch was too thick to see thru!

Was excited to see your post...until I realized it was Brett the trout slayer...looking around for another private Smith trip...could float that canyon every other week and would be in heaven!

Video of trout eating black-tail deer retreating to the shoreline after fishing the Smith River.
Attached Files
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Old 07-08-2014   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Got off a trip end of June. There was 4 inches of rain in the days before we put on. AS a result the water was pretty murky, not quite chocolate milk but close. Fishing was still pretty decent. Nothing on the surface. Black and white wooly buggers with rubber legs, San Juans. Fish as close to the bank as possible if the water is murky. Awesome float regardless.

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