Big Love.

My friend Joe Willauer, who is a board member of the Big Hole Watershed, asked if I would talk a little about the organization’s efforts and asked me to share exactly why I love the Big Hole River.

One might assume I am going to wax on with poetic descriptions of the Swiss-like mountainous views, the unique tea-colored water, the epic dry fly hatches or maybe even the big-shouldered brown trout to be caught. All good stuff, but they’re not why I truly love love love the Big Hole.

The reason is infinitely more personal and surprisingly less fishy. You see, the very first time I fished the Big Hole River was also the very first time I ever fished with my husband. He took me to the Big Hole back when he was courting me, because as many of you know, ours is a boat ramp romance in the first degree. So this is a river that will go down in our personal history ranking very high on the nostalgia scale.

Not to mention I have made some incredible friends on the Big Hole! Including Joe Willauer and his wife Ke’lah whom we met during a mildly hilarious, fairly stressful boat rescue situation. As well as famed fly fishing author, Miles Nolte. And of course our favorite Melrose Impresarios, Eric Thorson and Ryan Barba. So for personal and conservation reasons I am more than happy to learn more about the Big Hole Watershed Committee, and of course share it with you.

According to Joe the organization was originally founded by area ranchers inspired to protect grayling in the river. It has evolved into a diverse body of people that do hands-on work to protect grayling as well as native cutthroat trout. Bottom line, this group is all about keeping water in the Big Hole River, a clear-cut conservation effort I think we can all see has value.

The BHWC has launched a hail mary end of 2012 funding drive to generate more working capital for their projects. I know the committee would appreciate anything you can contribute, so if you can, please consider showing some big love for the Big Hole and making a donation. Simply click here if you’d like to contribute.

Many thanks to Joe and the Big Hole Watershed Committee for all you do. And thanks to the Big Hole River for that voodoo that you do so well. Love that river.





4 Responses to “Big Love.”
  1. Nate says:

    those are some beautiful browns, but i want to see a graying!

  2. you and me both! I’ve never caught one

  3. Steve says:

    Been meaning to check out the Big Hole for years. What section do you recommend for a first-time visitor with average rowing skills. And when’s the best time to go for dry-fly action? Thanks

  4. Steve, I will put some more thought to this but off the top of my head I would say summer. in may you might luck into the salmon fly hatch. but june and july you are going to have your best dry fly fishing. in terms of section that’s easiest to row, it would completely depend on water conditions at the time, run-off etc. it’s a pretty straightforward river to row, a few hiccups. there are certain sections that close to non residents on certain days so you have to factor that in as well. what I would really suggest, for dry fly report, river sections, etc, is to contact SUNRISE FLYSHOP in Melrose MT. ask for my friends Eric or Ryan (owners) and they will give you the straight scoop as they are on the Big Hole day in and day out. Most of all, don’t be a stranger, hope you’ll stick around FFC and give us a big Hole report someday!

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