Starting at the top, here is the Upper Madison Boat Ramp/FAS update for March 18, 2019
- Raynold’s Pass FAS & Ramp – Under deep snow. Boat ramp and parking lot are not accessible. Be prepared to park off highway and post-hole through deep snow to reach the river.
- $3 Bridge – Park at the highway and walk the road into the bridge. Road is snow-packed and usually easy walking. Deep snow on the banks of the river.
- Pine Butte – Deep snow. Wouldn’t recommend trying to drive in yet. Getting stuck in places like this is embarrassing. Good wade fishing area.
- Lyons Bridge – No boat ramp access. Deep snow. It’s gonna be a while.
- Windy Point – Deep drifted snow on road in and boat ramp. Still not usable.
- Palisades – Deep drifted snow on road in. Boat ramp not usable. You can drive into the campground and access the river for wading there.
- Ruby Creek – Some sloppy conditions still exist on the road in from Mcatee, but the boat ramp is clear and usable.
- McAtee Bridge – There is a large drift on the cattle guard as you turn into the parking area but many people have busted through it in the past few days, so it is passable. The boat ramp is clear and usable.
- Story Ditch – No issues here, except there have been about 800 elk camped out in the parking area! Boat ramp is fine.
- Varney Bridge – There is still some deep slushy snow on the ramp, and it is a little dicey but many people have used it in the past few days. We would not recommend floating downstream from Varney yet. Could be very dangerous.
- 8 Mile Ford – We have heard of a few brave souls using this as a takeout with hand-carry boats. We would not recommend planning a takeout here yet due to massive amounts of snow and ice along the banks due to the gorge.
- Burnt Tree Hole – Beautiful, but the boat ramp is not usable.
- Ennis FAS – Totally locked up in ice. NO GO.
- Valley Garden – Same as Ennis. It’s gonna be a while before this parking area and boat ramp are usable.
We advise using extreme caution when walking, wading and fishing around the gorge. The ice can be very unstable in places and very large chunks often break loose and float downstream. Best bet right now for floating is between Ruby and Varney. Wade fishing has been good in the middle and upper valley. Mostly nymphing with girdle bugs and a variety of other small nymphs.
Give us a call for up to date info. 406-682-5150