Barry and Jerry – team SC – are back again with one day left on their week long trip. The action is typical for this time of year; good one day not so much the next. They have caught some great fish on the Foot and Fork but nothing measured up to the day we had on Gtown Thursday. The para mahogany was money all day long with big bows eating it with reckless abandon. This is one of those days I want to fish!
This really isn’t a three headed fish, but I had to get your attention, you’ve been down in the dumps lately with this rainy weather. And we’ve all seen the USGS streamflow charts, granted the rivers are receding, but there still pretty high, so why bother fishing, right?
Some spots on the Bitterroot are really good right now. Good enough to pull a triple hook-up on command? Yep. Fish seem to have a thing for the worm. Try the pink or red san juan with a trailer nymph of the prince or copper john variety. Seek out the slower seems and drop offs. Try a side channel or two. Get out there dammit, reading is for nerds!
We posted a coupla photos of last week’s Smith River 5 day/4night trip on our facebook page Monday and one of the comments that struck me came from our long time friend Keenan Smith - all it said - “Bucket List!”. That got me to thinking how those two words said it all. We are lucky enough to float all Montana’s world class rivers on a daily basis and it is easy to take it for granted.
This most recent trip was nothing short of delightful… spectacular weather, challenging but adequate fishing conditions (water off color but salmon flies everywhere – can’t have it all), the lowest number of groups floating the river I remember in over 20 yrs, hard working and enjoyable crew, and most importantly, appreciative clients. Cranking up the coffee before sun-up every day I had a chance to look around and really soak it up. The Smith River canyon would rank in the top ten rivers I have ever floated – 30 yrs worth in a dozen states and other countries.
You are right Keenan – this is a “bucket list” river. If you haven’t carved out a week to do it, make plans to do so right now. The Smith River rarely disapoints.