For many Montanans, it is the trip of a lifetime. A 59-mile float down one of Montana's most scenic and exclusive rivers. The Smith River is so popular, that the Montana FWP holds a lottery drawing each year, to decide who and when people float. The river hosts some of the best trout fishing in the state, but only has two river access points. One to "put in" and one to "take out."

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I have been applying for a Smith River permit for nearly a decade now. This float is so popular that the state has to hold a lottery just to organize who will float and when. Clearly the odds have been against me for over 10 attempts. But, this year seems like it could be the year. Why? New in 2024,  Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are selling "Smith River Super Permit" chances. Montana residents can buy as many chances to win as they choose. Each entry in the "Super Permit" drawing is $5. Non-residents can purchase their chance at the "Super Permit" for $50.

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What is a "SUPER PERMIT?"

The winner of the "SUPER PERMIT" can choose any day of the season they would like to launch their adventure down the Smith River."

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  • Application period opens: January 02, 2024
  • Deadline:  March 22, 2024
  • Drawing:  March 26, 2024

I just purchased 2 entries into this year's drawing. It was so easy to do. You can simply purchase your entries for the "Smith River Super Permit" via the FWP online licensing service.

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