Kayaking the Smith River Mt - Mountain Buzz

View Poll Results: Number of time you have floated the Smith
1 3 30.00%
2 2 20.00%
5 4 40.00%
10+ 1 10.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-11-2013   #1
kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Kayaking the Smith River Mt

I've kayaked the Smith in a Acadia Perception 11.5ft two time and loved it. This is one of the best kayaking rivers in all of Montana. This river is a permit only river but the kicker is that when the flows get low they wont let the rafts on the river. You got it, pick up a cancellation and jump on the river when the fishing is good and there is very little people on the river.

I got an early cancellation this year when the water was chocolate milk, still an awesome river with 600ft cliffs and lots of wild life. Check out my blog Montana For Two and read about my last trip witch had five Kayaks. We paddled the river easily in two nights, no slow rafts and we still had beer.

My wife worked for a canoe company for eight years and has got a lot of tricks up her sleeves to pack light and eat well. We had steaks, BBQ chicken and jambalaya and cold beer on the last day.

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Old 10-13-2013   #2
StGeorge, Utah
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 35
That looks like a great trip for the packrafters too. I would love to hit that next year.
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Old 10-13-2013   #3
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,812
A buddy of mine, put in for a early 2013 June Smith River MT and won. I think it was his first time to put in for a permit there. I had no idea that the Smith was a crown jewel of the western multiday river trips. But the Smith is for sure right up there in the top floats.

Any way a group of rafts and me in a inflatible kayak made the drive up from CO, MO, OK and KS. Beautiful drive up and big time rain rig day afternoon and all night. We launched early in light rain but the Smith was a dark green with plenty of water.

We did 5 days and 4 nights on the river. Each day's run was super easy with good current. Late starts and early afternoons in camp. We did have more rain here and there but it was easy to deal with as we had a big tarp to visit under. I do not remember any issues with the rafts and all were loaded with comfort oriented gear and food. Rafting at it's best!

I have some 6 trips down the Middle Fork of the Salmon and consider that run one of the best scenery and fun rapids any where.

The Smith was a perfect little sister match to the big brother MFS in scenery just not the big time mountains or rapids. A few easy rapids and at our level we had plenty of current even on the last day. Every day was full of oohs and ahhs as we floated down stream.

Like the Flying B Ranch on the MFS, we floated by a Ranch on river left with a sign offering ice cream. What a treat that was!

It is a an awesome run to enjoy, one that I hope to get lucky on another permit.
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Old 11-12-2013   #4
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,195

I have run the Smith 15 times now, and love the float. Several years ago Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks passed a ruling that dissallowed dogs on the river. Since then I've floated once. My dogs are an important part of my family and are not going to get left home on an this type of vacation very often. We have shifted our floating to other rivers and I will undoubtedly float it again, but it is no longer our every year trip. Too bad as that's where my wife and I were engaged.

It's truly an awasome float with great fishing and spectacular scenery. I've run it everywhere from 100 to 1500 cfs and it was doable at each float. The 100 cfs float caused some of us some angst, as it took 11 hours to get to Indian Springs (6 miles) following a noon put in (way after dark). But the river came up and the rest of the trip went well.

I highly recomend the float. I simply ask that if you agree with my view on allowing dogs that you comment on that as often as possible. Maybe we can turn around the decision and get MTFWP to punnish those with unruly dogs rather than everybody...
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Old 11-12-2013   #5
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,812
As noted above, I have only been blessed to run the Smith once.
I hope to repeat.

For the record, one or more dogs have been in my life long as I can remember. Right now my bud is a ten year old Australian Shephard. Love the pup and he is loved as a member of the family.

I do not take my dog on river trips. He and I have attended the local canine club training course and when we are out of our yard he is on a leash.

For every good dog owner on a river trip that keeps his dog on a leash, does not allow that dog to bark all the time, keeps the dog poop picked up, does not allow the dog to run around put in and take outs getting into everyone's gear, there are others who do not.

It is unfortunate that Rangers cannot be there all the time either on the river or at access points to force those yahoos to control their pets.

For me, a river trip is something I do not get to do often enough. When I do get to float, I want reasonably quiet time to enjoy the river, being with my friends and not have to put up with some one else's out of control dog.

Sorry that you have elected not to do floats that do not allow dogs. My bet is you are one of the good dog owners.

The sad fact is the good dog owners are outnumbered by dog owners who do not give a hoot about the experiences of other boaters. The only sure way to control this is to ban all dogs. I support the no dogs on float trips regulation and hope the authorities make more rivers dog free.
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Old 11-12-2013   #6
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,195
very sorry to hear that, next to go will be those obnoxious kids laughing and giggling while squirting each other with water guns...

Your dog is missing out on some of his/your best times. I'm sorry for him you don't take him along, but I bet he loves staring out the window while your gone!!
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Old 11-12-2013   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,812
Dogs are not kids. even tho some might think they are

Been floating rivers for decades.

Have yet to see a kid running around the put in peeing on gear, barking all night and generally being obnoxious. They may be out there, I just have not run into them.

Have seen plenty of dogs do that and worse.

My dog may miss out on river trips, but I make up for that when I am at home or doing things with him that do not invade other peoples space.
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Old 11-12-2013   #8
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,195
tit - tat

Dogs are kids to many people. We are each entitled to our opinion. I'm not trying to alter yours, just trying to get those that do care to share their lives with their pets to stand up and fight for this privilege! Because if they don't people like you will impose your will against them.

The only thing I haven't seen kids do on your list is bark all night, substitute cry, and we're there. I have two kids and I realize they are not going to be outlawed, why because the're humans they have rights. Pets do not, we need to stand up for them! Listen to me, I'm starting to sound like an f'ing PETA add.

It simply boils down to me being tired of having to sacrifice my privileges so that some jamoke in the camp down river might not have to hear a dog bark. Blanket polices simply aren't the answer. If bad dogs cause the problems then don't allow bad dogs. How? who knows? but lets explore options rather than force us all to leave fido at home. My dogs belong with my on the river. I'm sorry yours don't but I will fight for this belief!!
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Old 11-12-2013   #9
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jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 178
I had a good ol river dog. His name was rusty. He loved to lay under the cottonwoods and flick away the gnats with his tail. I remember a Deso trip many years ago. It was May and she was runnin bout 15 thousand or so. Each morning rusty would eagerly run back from his morning dump and hop on my cat like let's go. Hurry up and pack all this stuff up. He loved splashing in the waves. I was nervous about what awaited us downstream and somehow rusty sensed this and he ate more food just in case. Finally we came to three fords and I was scared a lot. But I made the move right to left and I was all clear until suddenly I crabbed my upstream oar! I freaked out because I thought we were done. Well, ol rusty leaped into the green and grabbed the oar in his mouth! He struggled to get back to the boat but he fought his way through the water and brought me my oar! I put it back in as he clambered back on the boat. Then, he gave me a look and shook river water all over me.since then I have a rule. No dogs on the river!
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Old 11-12-2013   #10
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,812
It is obvious you are not going to change your view point on dogs on float trips,
Neither am I.

I think opposite than you do on having pets on public rivers. That is fine. We each have a choice to write about, hope to convince others and that is a good thing.

If there was some way to insure dog owners controlled their pets so the pet did not create issues for other folks on the river who were doing their best to share the resource with others, I have no problem with having pets on the river. Thus far, the authorities have not found a way to do this. I do not have the answer either.

The issue is some (not all) but many dog owners have zero concern as to what their pets do to others. I do not blame the pets, I blame the owners. My guess is you are a responsible pet owner. Other river runners are not, else the authorities would not have restricted dogs floating on certain rivers.

Does not really matter much what you want or I, the authorities have made a decision for the public to follow.

You and I can waste our time stating our opinions on this message board, but I doubt much will change. Some will agree some will not. That is the society we live in.

My opinion, we are just swapping posts and not accomplishing much either way.

I am off this thread.

Have a good rest of the day and enjoy your self and hopefully you can find rivers to float with your dog.
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