PRO Outfitters Smith River Expeditions, MT

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition in Smith River, Montana

PRO Outfitters Smith River Expeditions, MT


2010 Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition of the Year. Plain and simple, the Smith River is a masterpiece. One of the most sought-after float trips in the country, it's a chance for you to leave the rigors of civilization behind and enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. Towering limestone cliffs, deep pools, fast riffles, abundant wildlife, and fantastic fly fishing for wild browns and rainbows makes this the trip of a lifetime. PRO's Smith River adventure is a 5-day and 4-night float down 61 miles of pristine water in remote country.

Non-anglers are equally enthralled with the Smith. The scenic beauty rivals anything in the country. You'll see deer, a wide variety of birds, an occasional bear, and fascinating geology, making this trip truly a photographer's dream. PRO makes camping remarkably comfortable. While you float and fish all day, part of our team floats ahead so that camp is set and hors d'oeuvres ready when you arrive in late afternoon. Form your own party of eight or join another group. We've had guests ranging in age from 4 to over 90. All came back with smiles as bright as a Montana morning. This small, intimate river will capture your heart.

Date Range

PRO Outfitters run Smith trips from May through mid-July as well as September.

What is Provided to Customer

We provide: guided fly fishing; fly-fishing instruction as desired; all fly-fishing equipment as needed (except waders); overnight accommodations; gourmet meals; and beer and wine. We do not include airport transportation, gratuities, hard liquor, or fishing licenses.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

We float a 60-mile stretch of the Smith River, flowing north from White Sulphur Springs, Montana to just south of Great Falls.

Typical Weather by Season

Anyone who knows anything about Montana knows how difficult it is to predict the weather here. At PRO Outfitters, our favorite saying is: “If you do not like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change!” This applies to all seasons and makes the “dress in layers” philosophy really practical. You can't go wrong if in March-June and September-November you prepare for anything. For July and August, be prepared for most things


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Guests fly into Helena the day prior to their trip. They usually stay with a Helena hotel—and bed and breakfast—that offer a discount to PRO guests. Our guides will meet you the evening you arrive, drop off your dry bags, and answer any last-minute questions. They will return the morning of your launch around 7:15 am. It is about a 2-hour drive to the put-in at Camp Baker. You will fish the Smith for 5 days and come off late in the day on the fifth day, returning to Helena. Most folks choose to fly out the following day.


Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

PRO can accommodate up to 8 guests per launch. We also take down 7 crewmembers: 4 guides, 2 freighters, and 1 chef. The guides fish with you each day; the freighters and the chef go down the river each day ahead of you and set up camp before you arrive. Camp is set and appetizers are made and wine is opened when you float into camp. We aren’t trying to brag, but guests will often refer to our gourmet meals as equivalent to those in 5-star restaurants in the best locations in the country.


Species You Fish for by Season

Our Smith season is fairly short and runs from May through mid-July, along with September. Throughout our season we fish for browns and rainbows.


What Should Customers Bring?

PRO does not include airport transportation, gratuities, hard liquor, or fishing licenses.

Additionally, customers are encouraged to bring:

Personal Hygiene

  • Biodegradable soap
  • Personal towel/washcloth
  • Handi-wipes
  • Personal toiletries


  • Socks (Poly Pro or wool, NO COTTON)
  • Swimsuit
  • Lightweight shirts: 2 long-sleeved, 1 short-sleeved
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts (quick-dry)
  • Pants: 1 pair quick-dry, 1 pair casual (jeans/chinos), 1 pair fleece for under waders or around camp, 1 pair Poly Pro/Thermax long johns (two pair if no fleece pants)
  • Fleece pullover or sweater
  • Warm jacket (NO DOWN): early/late season
  • Gloves or convertible mittens: early/late season
  • Stocking cap for a warm night’s sleep – fleece or wool: early/late season


  • Camp shoes
  • Wading boots or river sandals

Sleeping Bag

PRO will provide one if you don’t have your own. Please notify us in advance if you would like us to provide one.

Rain Gear

  • High quality (very important) rain jacket to wear with waders
  • Rain pants, if you don’t have waders (ponchos are not recommended)

Fishing Gear

PRO Outfitters supplies ALL fishing gear except for waders as needed. If you are so inclined to bring your own gear – we make the following suggestions:

  • 8 ’ or 9’ rods (4-, 5-, or 6-weight)
  • Vest or chest pack
  • Floating lines
  • Hemostats
  • Clippers
  • Leaders and tippet
  • Floatant
  • Wading belt
  • Wide-brim hat
  • Bootfoot waders or stockingfoot waders

Montana Fishing Licenses can be purchased in advance. Click on the Montana FWP Online Licensing link at the bottom of our home page –


  • Sunscreen
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Lip balm with sun block
  • Insect repellent
  • Clothes pins to hang wet items
  • Camera/film
  • Book/journal(in zip lock bag)
  • Pocket knife
  • Extra zip lock bags (various sizes) for wet clothes and wet waders
  • Flashlight or head lamp (with extra batteries)

PRO provides beverages, including wine and beer. We are unable to provide hard liquor. Please bring your own if you prefer cocktails. We will make a stop locally for liquor.


Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 5 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
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5 of 5 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Great trip - 8/13/2012
    By: from South Bend, IN

    Smith river trip was great. The guides were patient, friendly, and knowledgeable. They positioned our water craft for the best chances of catching fish (yes we caught plenty. The food was so good my daughter said I looked like I put on some weight when she picked me up at the airport. Our freighters had everything ready for us when we came off the river. No cellphone. No electricity. No distractions. Wildlife scenery excellent. I'll take a week with Pro Outfitters on the Smith over a 5 star resort anytime.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Talk Your Significant Other Out of the Cruise - 6/22/2012

    I'll take a float down the Smith River with PRO Outfitters over a cruise any time. I ate better on this trip than I did on the cruise I took last year. I learned more about flyfishing in four days than I could have in ten years. The guides were patient with my limitations and adjusted their suggestions as this bait-casting bass fisherman grew in confidence. The whole PRO Team right on down the line from guides to freighters were positive, upbeat, and thoroughly professional throughout the trip. They are ambassadors of the sport and the state of Montana. (And yes, the crabcakes are that good.)

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    best trip in 10 years of tripping - 6/21/2012
    By: from bowie. md

    gosh-where to start:: having a chef was a plus -lots of little extra's at meal time::guides could not be more helpful-caught lots of big browns despite high & muddy water::every day on the river was a pleasure due to the whole crew - you are family - not just a customer:: well run operation with great equipment - there are no short cuts - lots of planning and experience dealing with pro outfitters

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    An amazing experience - 6/21/2012
    By: from New England

    PRO Outfitters Smith River trip is truly world-class. I have had the opportunity to participate in some pretty amazing trips, from camping in Central American to a safari in Africa. PRO provides an experience that is second to none. PRO has seasoned guides that can work with any level of fisherman. There was a continuous, intuitive focus on each member of our groups needs, from 8 years old to 60+. And most importantly, they created an environment where we could bond as a family, make new friends, improve our skills, relax and catch a TON of fish. The kind of trip you never forget!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Simply The Best - 6/19/2012
    By: from Smith River Montana

    This was an incredible trip. The guides, equipment, food, and venue were "the best" Having world class crabcakes after a day of flyfishing the Smith river with the Pro Outfitter guides and getting a Grand Slam of Browns rainbows and white fish could not have been better. We had two youngsters with us who learned to flyfish, camp and respect the environment. My 10 yr. old grand daughter caught 8 fish the first day.

PRO Outfitters Smith River Expeditions
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition
Brandon & Katie Boedecker
328 North Fork Hill Road
Ovando, MT 59854

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