Big Hole River
Let your mind's eye envision a Western river, flanked by jagged, snowcapped peaks, towering pines, and whispers of wind through endless fields and rolling hills. You are thinking of a river originally named the Wisdom by Meriwether Lewis, renamed the Big Hole by fur trappers who referred to valleys as 'holes.' From its headwaters near the Idaho border, the Big Hole meanders 150 miles; first north through hayfields along the Bitterroot and Pintler mountain ranges, then east past our lodge and south around the Pioneer range through a series of rocky canyons. In the lower Beaverhead Valley, it meets the Ruby and Beaverhead rivers to form the Jefferson.
The Big Hole is a river rich not only in historical importance but also in its ability to produce wild trout — and large ones at that. In certain sections of the river, there are approximately 3,500 trout per mile with a substantial percentage in the 18-20" class. The renowned beauty of the river, with towering peaks and secluded canyons, makes this more than just a blue-ribbon trout fishery. The Big Hole is really a special place, and as you float by a stretch like the Ralston Ranch above Wise River, you can almost picture the stagecoach stop the family operated in 1910 and the teams of horses that fed and rested there. Nowhere else will you have the chance to catch a brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout along with a grayling all in one day!