The Madison River is no stranger to overcrowding during its peak season when thousands of anglers descend on the hallowed waters to check the river of their fly fishing bucket list, or to try their hand at landing the large trout it is known for.
Over the past few years, the Madison River Group has been working with guides, fly shops, and other local stakeholders to attempt to find some balance between access for wading and the armada of drift boats. Earlier this year, the group passed two rules aimed at reducing crowding including specific walk-and-wade sections of the river, and a rest-rotation schedule for outfitters and guides. Both rules were not popular with anglers, which resulted in the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Fish and Wildlife Commission repealing and amending both on Dec. 27th.
The issue is ongoing and extremely complicated, but our friends at Fly Fisherman Magazine put together a fantastic guide to the rules, regulations, and changes facing the mighty Madison.