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River Safety During High Water in Montana

River Safety During High Water in Montana

The Madison River along with other rivers in the Montana are all very high right now.  In fact some are getting to flood stage.  With the amount of snow we have in the mountains the current levels are sure to rise even more.   Currently on the Madison River we are sitting at 3560 CFS at Varney Bridge.   While the volume of water is not outrageous by some river standards when the Maddy gets this high and off colored it becomes dangerous.  The Madison is a swift river to start with and when the added volume comes into play things happen quicker than expected and get dangerous in hurry.  All obstructions bridges, boulders, and sweepers come up faster than expected.  


Take a look at the Wolf Creek Bridge picture here.  Usually not a problem but at this water level it becomes a dangerous river wide obstruction.   The amount of space to navigate under the bridge is tight and the speed of the water makes it where you better have it right or you will loose your boat.  In fact almost every year someone has an accident on this particular spot.   Our guidelines for running this bridge is over  3000CFS and it is not worth it.   To much room for error.  


I know with the warm weather everyone wants to get out and float but be careful of the stretches you choose.  Give a call to the store and we can help with where to go that will be safer.  


Have a safe weekend out there.   

John Way Posted by John Way

Guide, Outfitter and chief bottle washer for the Tackle Shop.  Recently developing his inter web ninja skills. 

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