Kristy Yakawich, 29, of Bozeman, is the 2014 Smith River Super Permit winner, allowing her to float the access-regulated river at any time she wishes.
After failing to obtain a float permit through the lottery drawing, Yakawich bought 30 $5 chances for the Super Permit.
“My husband thought I was crazy,” Yakawich said. “The only thing I wanted for my 30th birthday was to float the Smith. It’s a dream come true.”
Yakawich, a tax accountant, has floated several rivers in Montana, but has never been on the Smith River.
“I love to float,” she said. “I missed a chance to float the Smith with my husband and his family in 2008. I’ve been trying to get on the Smith River ever since.”
Yakawich hasn’t decided what date she will launch, but it will likely be when the weather is warmer.
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This year, 680 individuals purchased a total of 1,663 Super Permit chances raising $8,315 for Montana State Parks.
Revenue from the sale of Super Permit chances is used for the protection and enhancement of the Smith River State Park and River Corridor.
Applicants who were unsuccessful in getting a Smith River permit or Super Permit this year, can call the Smith River Reservation and Information Line at 406-454-5861 between 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday to request any remaining launch dates or canceled permits.
Smith River State Park offers gorgeous scenery in a remote setting. Renowned trout fishing is just one of the recreational opportunities that make this float trip an unforgettable experience. Permits are required to float the 59-mile section of river between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge and are issued annually through a lottery.
This year, Montana State Parks saw a record number of permit applications, at 7,373, to float the Smith River in the history of the program. 1,122 permits were awarded for the 2014 float season.
For more information, visit stateparks.mt.gov.