How to Fish the Large Rocks of Montana’s Madison River



Rocks usually preserve trout in streams and rivers. Island rocks on the Madison River are like ordinary rocks on steroids and are probably the unmarried exceptional type of trout dependancy determined in a river. Island rocks are special types of medium to big rocks which are surrounded by way of a great deal smaller sediments like sand or gravel. Island rocks are clean to choose out because they look out of place and stick out like a sore thumb. These rocks appear like an island in an otherwise nondescript section of river and draw trout like a magnet. Although large rocks are encountered with incredible abundance, they’re not island rocks since they may be surrounded through severa different huge rocks. Island rocks are normally located in which the most not unusual size of sediment is smaller making them plenty more unusual. Island rocks may be deposited in several distinctive approaches. On the Madison, huge car or house sized boulders were picked up via large glaciers and then dropped in random locations whilst the glaciers soften leaving at the back of “glacial erratics”. On different rivers other oversized rocks have been deposited during huge floods that arise when natural dams breached in the beyond or while epic floods befell at some stage in storm pushed rainstorms. These big floods have sufficient power to roll large rocks down the river which are then locked in area for loads or lots of years afterward. Finally, big rocks are every now and then deposited via heavy equipment to purposely enhance trout habitat for the duration of movement improvement projects.

To apprehend why fishing the Madison river’s island rocks offer such first rate habit for trout, you need to first understand what impact these rocks have on each the modern-day inside the river and the sediments that make up the river bed. Current in a river may be notion of as touring in one of a kind parallel lanes down the river just as there are multiple lanes on an freeway. On a fairly uniform phase of the riverbed maximum twitch boosting of the modern-day lanes will be visiting at the equal speed. When a diversion inclusive of a huge rock is encountered current lanes want to break up and journey in an extended curved route across the rock. Since the diverted lanes of contemporary at the moment are visiting a longer route to get downstream the rate of the water in the ones lanes need to increase to maintain up with the opposite lanes inside the river that went a shorter distance. The disruption of the everyday present day flows offers an expansion of various water velocities across the rock. At the upstream give up of the rock water hastens because it splits to tour around every side of the rock. Water keeps to hurry up and reaches the highest velocities on each facet of the rock that shape to slots that travel downstream. There also are regions of the water included by the pressure of the modern-day that produce slow water eddies. The largest eddy is without delay in the back of the rock, on big car sized rocks the eddy may enlarge for several ft in the back of the rock. The currents just beneath the rock are moving very sluggish and often travel lower back upstream. There is a far smaller eddy that extends simply at the the front of the rock as a result of a number of the water riding up on top of the rock itself and slowing down. This pillow of tender water in the front of the rock can be too small to maintain fish on smaller rocks but regularly holds huge rainbows on huge car sized rocks. Several ft downstream of the rock the eddy ends and starts to combination with the two cutting-edge slots forming a sluggish moving blending sector of water with flat currents known as a slick (due to the “slick” look to the surface of the water).

The wide variety of present day velocities make rocks very attractive to trout due to the fact they can get admission to each resting and feeding regions in a very brief distance across the rock. The sort of currents also helps to supply a pleasant mixture of water depths round rocks. The mixture of varied current speeds and water depths make these locations best habitat for trout. High velocity currents scour out smaller sediments like gravel and sand at the same time as low velocity currents drop the sediment load that they bring. The smaller gravel and sand sediments that surround massive island rocks are without difficulty fashioned and molded by using the disruption in contemporary that the obstruction gives. The sector of speedy water at the front and aspects of the rock dig out a “U” formed despair that wraps across the upstream aspect of the rock and extends downstream in two parallel troughs on both side of the rock. The slower currents in the back of the rock permit sand and nice pea gravel to fall out of the contemporary producing a shallow gravel bar that start some toes downstream of the rock.

The wide form of currents and water depths that surround huge island rocks and the dearth of different structure in the relaxation of the river entice trout at all water ranges. Techniques for fishing those huge rocks very with water ranges.

High Water Conditions

When rivers are swollen from spring rains or simply receding from the snowpack runoff maximum of the water in the river is shifting to fast for fish to preserve in. Trout grow to be concentrated inside the softer sluggish water anywhere it exists. These situations exist right against the bank in a zone that is frequently only a few inches, behind small points that increase into the river from the banks, downstream of islands and gravel bars and in the back of huge rocks. One of my preferred targets even as at some point of excessive water on rivers just like the Madison is to hit the massive slicks at the back of massive Volkswagen bus sized boulders. When waft fishing these rocks come up rapid and anglers have an opportunity to make one or two casts in the slick at the back of the rock. The most effective method is to forged to the opposite aspect of the slick maintaining the rod as high as feasible to raise the fly line out of the rapid essential cutting-edge. This is generally a subsurface sport until there may be a hatch. Once the flies are within the slick you get a quick lifeless drift. We frequently fish a fly nymphing combination with a streamer trailed by way of a greater conventional nymph approximately 18 inches behind. Since the boat has a tendency to be transferring beyond the rock quick in the end the flies get pulled out in their float and begin swinging at a downstream angle thru the slick. The majority of strikes will occur simply because the flies begin swinging out in their dead flow. If the fish seem to be in reality competitive we regularly switch completely to streamers. I want to forged the streamers completely throughout the slick then twitch them into the alternative stop of the seam and then slowly strip retrieve the fly in throughout the slick. Don’t mend streamers when fishing rock slicks, permit the streamer pass from a gradual twitch to a frantic dart as the belly in the line from the primary contemporary starts to tug on the fly.

Some rivers can nonetheless safely be wade fished even when excessive and swollen. There are often massive rocks which might be near sufficient to the banks to get admission to with a small amount of wading. I like to position myself at approximately a 45 diploma angle downstream of the rock and try to get close sufficient to the slick so that I can excessive stick the fly rod to keep line out of the heavy cutting-edge. I methodically paintings the slick and the seam wherein the slick and the fast slot modern water mix. I like to begin on the pinnacle of the slick and slowly stroll or wade my manner downstream fishing as I cross. Just as when glide fishing, many takes will arise as the flies just begin to swing out in their dead flow (whilst fishing nymphs).