The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > Fly Fishing in the United States > Rocky Mountain Range

Rocky Mountain Range Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:20 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 53
kingfish87 is on a distinguished road
Default I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Hi guys (& gals) I'm really excited to be heading off to Montana for a week in early July. I have heard (always dangerous, that 2cd hand info...) that if a guy were to enter a private property stream from a public bridge / road crossing and wade fish, being careful to stay in the water, that one would be legal in Montana. I am planning to fish the XXXX river as one of my destinations and am wondering about fishing the river upstream from the public access, which appears to be all private property. So what exactly is the law ? I don't want to get shot at either. Am I safe or sorry ?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 03:21 PM
mcnerney's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pinedale, WY
Posts: 13,522
Blog Entries: 49
mcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

slimfast: That is my understanding of MT fishing regulations, as long as you stay below the high water mark you are legal to wade through private land. Send Biggie a PM, he is a guide in MT and will know all the nuances.

Larry
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 06:38 PM
mojo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yewta
Posts: 2,143
mojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant future
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Pretty much what he said. Montana's law's are just the opposite of Utah's thanks to some well paid legislators.
__________________
Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 06:46 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 132
MBWCC is a jewel in the roughMBWCC is a jewel in the roughMBWCC is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Excerpt from the 2010 Montana fishing regulations book, page 8:

Montana Stream Access Law
Under the Montana Stream Access Law, the public may use rivers and streams for recreational purposes up to the ordinary high water marks. Although the law gives recreationists the right to use rivers and streams for water-related recreation, it does not give them the right to enter private lands bordering those streams or to cross private lands to gain access to streams without landowner permission. FWP recommends that recreationists obtain landowner permission to cross private land to access a stream. Complete rules are available at any FWP office.

A good description of the access process via public land or easement complete with diagrams may be found in the Idaho fishing regulations book.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2010, 12:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 53
kingfish87 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

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 !
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:31 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bozeman, MT and Sheridan, WY but now Houston, Texas
Posts: 359
MTskibum has a spectacular aura aboutMTskibum has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimfast View Post
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?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 132
MBWCC is a jewel in the roughMBWCC is a jewel in the roughMBWCC is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimfast View Post
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 !
"Ask permission" in the regulations book refers to situations where you choose to cross private property to access the stream. It does not refer at all to situations where you access via public property or public easements nor does it refer to crossing private land in the stream.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:11 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 53
kingfish87 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Sorry guys ! you're right. I've been reding the access regulations and apparently the high water mark is honored. Of course, I would like to gain access through the pasture with the landowner's permission and will try that route when I can figure out who owns the pastures. My planned travels take me to the Ruby and the Madison around 4th of July. I am also going to the less famous Stillwater River near Columbus. I am flirting with runoff, I know, but its the only window of time my schedule permits. Thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:56 PM
mojo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Yewta
Posts: 2,143
mojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant futuremojo has a brilliant future
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimfast View Post
Sorry guys ! you're right. I've been reding the access regulations and apparently the high water mark is honored. Of course, I would like to gain access through the pasture with the landowner's permission and will try that route when I can figure out who owns the pastures. My planned travels take me to the Ruby and the Madison around 4th of July. I am also going to the less famous Stillwater River near Columbus. I am flirting with runoff, I know, but its the only window of time my schedule permits. Thanks for your help.
There are plenty of place on the Maddy that you're on public land. Beautiful river and beautiful fish there.
__________________
Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2010, 11:39 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bozeman, MT and Sheridan, WY but now Houston, Texas
Posts: 359
MTskibum has a spectacular aura aboutMTskibum has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: I need a primer on Montana wading access laws

The rivers are on the way down. I drive over the madison on my way to work every day, and the lower madison just became fishable yesterday. Right around the 4th of July is going to be crowded, but it is going to be good.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Access to Rivers Jimmie General Discussion 7 05-19-2010 05:36 PM
Idaho's Access Yes Program fish_gypsy Rocky Mountain Range 1 02-24-2010 04:27 AM
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recently named a fishing access site on the Stil Fish Bones The Daily Papers 0 06-27-2009 12:02 AM
Utah access law? Jackster Western U.S. 10 03-10-2009 03:14 PM













All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.