FWP has proposed permanent “hoot owl” restrictions for the Lower Madison river from Ennis Dam to Three Forks from July 1-Aug. 31. This means no fishing from 2pm to midnight. In the summertime, the water temps on the Lower Madison sometimes reach 80 degrees, a dangerous stress point for trout. FWP will put this proposal out for public comment, along with several other proposed changes for the year 2020.

The high water temps are worrisome according to Travis Horton, Regional Fisheries Biologist for FWP:

“It’s very stressful on the fish and adding fishing on top of them is not something that’s helping.”

I agree. But the fact is very few folks fish the Lower Madison during the summer anyway. Why? Because the river is a hipster convention ..a solid mass of daisy-chaining rafts, tubes and inflatable rubber duckies roped together in a cluster f*#k of bikinis, thongs, speedos and jock straps, guzzling craft beer and burning up the ganja, drifting and dreaming and getting wasted down the river with boom boxes cranked up to Pearl Jam and Nickelback. I even saw one raft with a yellow lab dressed up like Lady Gaga. Rad!

During July and August, the Lower Madison has been 100% taken over by the party floaters. It’s a tradition like no other. Let’s just give in. Who wants to be a party pooper, anyway?