The most coveted permit in Montana might be a permit for the Smith River. Applications for this permit lottery are due on February 15th and we've got all the details and instructions.

There are three different ways to apply for a Smith River permit. You can APPLY ONLINE, you can print out and mail your application or you can pick up an application at any Fish, Wildlife & Parks office.

  • January 2, 2018 – Application period begins for Smith River Private Float permits and Smith River Super permit.
  • February 15, 2018 – Deadline to apply for the Smith River Private Float permit, post-marked on or before this date. The Super Permit lottery remains open until March 15.
  • March 01, 2018 – Permit results will be posted online at MyFWP
  • March 12, 2018 – Starting on March 12 (and throughout the float season), prospective floaters may call the Smith River Reservation Line at (406) 454-5861 between 8 a.m. and noon on weekdays to request any remaining launch dates or cancelled permits.
  • March 15, 2018 – Deadline to apply for the Smith River Super Permit lottery.
  • March 19, 2018 – Smith River Super Permit drawing.

According to the State of Montana FWP: (the following rules were taken DIRECTLY from to avoid any inaccuracies)

  • There is a $10 nonrefundable application fee.
  • All applications must be POSTMARKED or submitted on or before Thursday, February 15, 2018.
  • Up to 15 people can float with one permit.
  • A person applying for a Smith River permit must be a minimum of 12 years of age at the time they submit their permit application. There is no age restriction to participate on a Smith River float trip.
  • Peak Season Waiting Period – A person who receives a permit through the lottery for a launch date during the time period of May 15 through July 15 (peak season) will not be allowed to apply for a permit for this same time period the following year.