Backup plans for April 22 Smith River trip - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-23-2019   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Backup plans for April 22 Smith River trip

We have a permit for April 22 on the Smith.

Trying to make backup plans in case the river is closed due to ice.

We have a group of 10 that are all die hard fly fishermen, not so much whitewater enthusiasts.

Most of us live in the Flathead valley from Polson up to Whitefish.

Trying to make a backup plan for another 5 day float if the Smith doesn't work out.

The NF of the flathead river seems like the logical float, except that most of us have floated various portions of the river already, so the excitement wouldn't be that great for the group. I've only been up as far as Polebridge, so border down would still be pretty cool.

Too early for Schaefter Meadows/ Middle fork trip?

Blackfoot river down to Missoula?

Missouri river from the Dam down?

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Old 03-23-2019   #2
 
Missoula, Montana
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Late April on the Blackfoot is going to be muddy and likely shit fishing.
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Old 03-23-2019   #3
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Very early for a Schaefer float. Schaefer airstrip will probably still be snowed in.

But you should be able to make a go/no-go a week out

Bear Creek to Blankenship 3-day would be doable (I’m a month out, would love to do that in my dory on a rising river.)


NF Flathead could be magical.
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Old 03-23-2019   #4
 
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Northwest, Montana
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I've been driving up the North Fork at least once a week the last few weeks. It's really skinny at the moment. This warm weather has melted off some of the ice. It should be flowing by then, but the fishing will still be worthless. If you want to fish, go to the Mo. If you want to chase trees and read-and-run log jams, float the North Fork.
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Old 03-25-2019   #5
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Yes, for fishing the Mo would be my choice... if the Dearborn is up enough float it too, it's like a mini Smith and fishing can be great. In all reality, it is extremely unlikely that their will be ice jams in a month.... possible, but not remotely likely.
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Old 03-26-2019   #6
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Dearborn is closed for fishing until the 3rd Sat in May to protecting spawning trout.
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Old 03-26-2019   #7
 
Bozeman, Montana
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The Smith will be fine by your put in date.
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Old 03-26-2019   #8
 
bozeman, Montana
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Pic is launch at camp Baker taken 3/21.
My guess is you’ll probably have water but I’d still have a back up plan. At the very least you’ll have muddy camps with snow in them.
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Old 03-26-2019   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walterwhite View Post
Dearborn is closed for fishing until the 3rd Sat in May to protecting spawning trout.
I did not think the Dearborn was under that rule... but was wrong. Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2019   #10
 
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Northwest, Montana
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I still say the Mo. You'll get the "W" and a little road noise, but the fishing should be decent and the scenery is always great. You could also do a daily leap frog shuttle pretty easily, if you don't want to pay for one.
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