Originally Posted by slimfast
Ok, I've got it... the law says one thing, but the fishing regs say "better ask permission". I knew it was too good to be true !
You took that quote out of context, to cross property to access fishing you should ask permission.
Speaking from a locals perspective, any time that i access fishing via the highwater mark i do not ask permission. Although just because a bridge goes over water does not necessarily mean that the river is accessible. You have to use your best judgment on how easy it is going to be to stay under the high water mark.
Some rivers are better than others for wade accessing private land. The lower gallatin for instance with all of its braids, and its wide gravel shoals is incredibly easy to access under the high water mark.
This may be a moot point, there are quite a few rivers that might still be in spring runoff in early July.
What part of Montana are you headed to?