Ennis, Montana · Gorge Ice · Madison River · madison valley · Winter Fishing

Madison River Gorge Update

Hebgen Dam 1080cfs

Kirby Place 1100cfs

Varney Bridge 1150cfs

Lower Madison 1610cfs

Just a quick update on the Madison Rivers gorge ice conditions. In the past 48 hours the Madison River has broken through the gorge ice that was sending the bulk of the river to the east of the main channel. The River was flowing under the highway between the main channel and O’Dell creek and eventually dumped into O’dell Creek. The water was diverted somewhere between Burnt Tree FAS and the Ennis Bridge. Normally when this happens it flows directly into O’Dell Creek. This year was different as it stayed in a smaller channel for some distance before flowing into the spring creek.

Madison River Gorge Ice Break through
The Madison River breaking through the gorge ice near Ennis, Montana falling back into its main channel. A welcome sight.

That has all changed, two days ago we could see some open ice well up stream of Ennis FAS as the river had fallen back into the main channel from where the gorge ice had diverted its flow from the previous couple weeks. The very next day it had cut a clear path through the ice and was for the first time in a few weeks flowing under Ennis bridge again. This is always a welcome sight as it means spring is near.

It is still not safe to access the river near town and should be given time to continue to establish its corse again. Those chunks of ice are dangerous if they run into you. They can be very heavy and could possibly knock you over. Also, as more than half the fish in gorge areas often die and the remainder flee the encroaching ice it will be a few weeks before fish have dispersed into this section of the river again. If you are itching to fish head up river. At least to 8 Mile Ford FAS. It has shelf ice around from the gorge but has been open for longer.

Headed out to do some recon today and I will let you know what I find.

Keep your tip up!

Brian Rosenberg

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