Never said the river was in decline ...my speculation goes past the work of the biologists conducting population surveys. But ,hey, they aren't under somebodies thumb.
I dont have cross hairs on outfitters. Floating in general needs to be regulated.
I'm sorry but it's a pitiful arguement that eliminating floating in the walk in area will put substantial EXTRA pressure on the rest of the river. F-that. The river is 60 miles long.
I have had enough of walking far enough down stream, only to have guide boats in a string float down and dump their clients off all in one spot to lunch and fish.
My 2 cents...
No doubt most people bristle at my take on things, and most people aren't willing to put trout first. I am.
First time I fished the Madison was in '81...sorry to burst the doubters bubble but this current fishery isn't the same. What's changed? A set back from Whirling disease in the nineties and hordes of fishermen ever since Redford's movie.
I've kept quiet on this thread as this is a very contentious issue. I have guide buddies who lurk here so I have to be careful what I post. This has a direct impact on their lives and I want to be sensitive to that.
However, I read something the other day regarding this conversation that was fitting: You are either deriving enjoyment from the Madison or you are making money off of the Madison. The two have competing interests.
I filled out the survey and would encourage everyone else that can do so as well.
Back in the day, it was considered bad form to float that stretch when the fiber was busy for obvious reasons. By the time I left, there were more and more guides that were ignorant of this. Again and again, guides shit in their own beds, the scream foul when restrictions are suggested. The river doesn't owe anyone anything.
I say close it to floating if good access and trails are made available. I say this with trepidation, as I know for sure there is a contingent of homeowners that want their own private stretch of the river. Certain homeowners, including a notorious Norwegian skier and his buds made this quite obvious in the past.
The state should approach the landowners and propose a floating closure in exchange for a public easement, otherwise no deal!