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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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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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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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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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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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Take your spinning reel and hit the Pike and Bass on the Main Flathead below the dam.
 
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