I have two distinct memories of the Big Hole.
First was of our first major Montana Fly Fishing trip in 2004. We rented a cabin, trucked across three states, tried our hands at rowing a hard boat down the river in August (terrible idea btw, especially as rookies on the sticks) for 3 days and literally got our asses handed to us.
Sure a few fish were caught, but clearly we had some learning to do. In any case, I knew I couldn't wait to get back
For the second memory, fast forward a few years and my good buddy the Vanilla Gorilla was kind enough to invite us to his wedding on the banks of that glorious river. After a few days of kicking around Twin Bridges fishing the holy waters that collide there, we joined the wedding party in setting up for the wedding on a private ranch with a mile's worth of Big Hole access.
Those 4 hours before the wedding were pure magic. The Big Hole showed me a glimpse of what a world class trout river is all about
Rainbows and browns crushed the phat bugs we chucked and just before the wedding began, a special surprise and the representation of what the Big Hole Watershed Committee is working for....
The Big Hole Watershed Committee is the leader in watershed restoration in the Big Hole Valley.
Water is gold in SW Montana, and there are many that put in claims on the water. Ranchers, Farmers, Fishermen and Women, Homeowners, and the list goes on.
In 1988, the Big Hole ran dry for 35 days and caused fish stocks to suffer dearly, including the famous yet small population of Grayling. Water rights conflict and drought brought the river system to it's collective knees.
For the river system to remain viable for decades to come, it all comes down to adequate flows and a good management plan. That's where the BHWC comes in, and if you're searching for a place for where your money can do some actual kick ass boots on the ground work, here it is.
If you've ever dropped a line into the water, or hope to someday in the future and want to know it's protected, donate to the BHWC.
Learn more as they're in a fundraising push and need everyone's help.
Visit the BHWC web site and donate NOW.
The fish, the ranchers, the fisherman and the entire Big Hole Valley will thank you.