Lambing Season on Big Sandy River Ranch

By: David Johnson

It’s lambing season on the 1.2M acre Big Sandy River Ranch in Southwest Wyoming where 70 lambs are born every day. Dating back to 1905, the Basque family continues into its fourth generation running 8,000 sheep on this 3,500 AU ranch operation. Sprawling over 150 miles from the Wind River Mountains to the Flaming Gorge of the Green River to the edge of the Red Desert, this mostly open range ranch grazes for 12 months to produce grass-finished, free-range lamb and calves.

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Lone Pine Ranch Featured in The Wall Street Journal & Other News Outlets

A Northern California ranch owned by the descendants of the late Dean Witter, founder of the eponymous investment bank, just hit the market for $31 million. Called Lone Pine Ranch, the roughly 27,000-acre property spans Trinity and Mendocino counties, about a six-hour drive from San Francisco. The approximately 5,300-square-foot main house has 10 bedrooms and five bathrooms.

The property includes timber and cattle operations as well as approximately 16½ miles of the Eel River. The roughly 800 cow-calf pairs are for sale separately, along with the equipment. There are also four other homes, two bunkhouses, barns, sheds and corrals. The area is home to elk, blacktail deer, pig, bear and quail. More press can be found here.

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While Most Montana Rivers are Blown Out, Circle 9 Spring Creek Ranch is Fishing Like a Dream

This is a very dynamic time of year to fish Montana waters. Conditions can change by the day and even by the hour as flows are a huge part of the late spring fishing game. Most rivers and streams in the state are completely blown out. In fact, many areas are experiencing flooding.

Beaverhead- The river flows are high so nymph it hard and hold on tight!

Bitterroot/Blackfoot/Clarkfork/Rock Creek: These rivers are in flood stage and it would be better to fish elsewhere.

Gallatin River is not the best option in the area right now. Its running really high and really muddy.

Upper Madison River, with visibility decreasing with every tributary. Cabin and Beaver creeks are pumping mud as well as the west fork. The west fork is adding and extra 1,000 CFS to the river and cranking in mud.

Yellowstone River It has been approaching 20,000 CFS, and becoming to dangerous to float. Flows this big can move trees.

Big Hole river is big and dirty. It may have some flooding in areas over the next month. Best to pick another river.

Boulder River is around 3,000 CFS and rising. The water is dirty and the wading is dangerous.

Stillwater River is pumping a serious amount of water right now and on the rise. It is muddy and unfishable.

However, resting in the shadows of the rugged Tobacco Root and Highland Mountains in the historic and lush Jefferson River valley, lies the Circle 9 Spring Creek Ranch.  It offers gorgeous scenery, miles of river, restored spring creek fishing, and it is currently fishing like a dream. Circle 9 has a private boat launch located on its .75± miles of Jefferson River frontage offering not only good opportunity for sizable browns and rainbows, but also solitude from the flotilla of fishermen found on some of the area’s other rivers. In an idyllic location, the ranch lies just 20 minutes from the town of Twin Bridges where the Jefferson River is formed by the confluence of the Ruby, Beaverhead, and Big Hole Rivers.

Springtime in the Rockies

By: Cody Lujan

Spring is perhaps one of the best times of the year to view wildlife on Colorado mountain ranches and retreats. While the closing of ski area lifts and the receding of snow brings a short window of calm and quiet to communities throughout the Rockies, the region’s wildlife is awake and on the move.  The warming and greening of valleys and mountain slopes brings an influx of animals migrating to spring and summer grounds as well as the awakening of hibernating denizens.

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Elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn are migrating back to their calving grounds and seemingly following the snow line as it draws higher into the backcountry. These animals are active throughout the day during this time of year and can be found grazing and browsing in the open. Similarly, the raptor, song bird, and water fowl migration is in full swing with birds arriving daily.

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Along with the opportunity to see a ranch without snow or tall grass covering the ground, spring affords the opportunity to enjoy the spring turkey “rut”.

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If you’re looking for a quiet time of the year to get a good of lay of the land as well as to check out the wildlife on a specific property, springtime can often be the best time.

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Montana Trout Fishing Season is Looking GOOD!

To quote Explore Big Sky columnist Patrick Straub, “Reports are trickling in, chatter is growing louder in the corners of local fly shops, and pullouts are being used more by anglers than for excess snow. Don’t put your skis or boards away yet—some of the best snow of the season will soon fall on the slopes. But if you take your recreation seriously, have your waders and rod at the ready at all times because we are in the season of potential.”

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Some parts of Montana received record-breaking snowfall in February, resulting in well-above-normal snowpack totals for March 1 for most river basins, according to snow survey data collected by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Twenty-five SNOTEL stations and manual measurement locations set new records for February totals, and 21 measurements at other locations were the second highest on record. Long story short, spring fishing should be great and late summer and fall fishing should remain strong.

If you are in the market to buy a Montana Fly Fishing Ranch, here are some great options.

IX Ranch Featured in December 2017 Issue of Western Horseman

We were thrilled with the feature story in the December 2017 issue of Western Horseman profiling IX Ranch.  The IX Ranch is a legacy ranch – it is huge, has a long history of stable ownership and a respected reputation in reputation ranch country.  Its central Montana location is 80 miles northeast of Great Falls and adjacent to the town of Big Sandy. The current owners are the second owners in the ranch’s 128-year history. To read the full story, click the image below.

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This professionally managed operation runs a cattle herd of 4,300. They currently winter around 3,375 bred females, 120 3-year-and-younger bulls and ranch horses, together with 4,000 tons of winter feed. In the spring, around 650 of the previous years’ heifer calves will return to the ranch for breeding from a grow-lot near Billings. The operation covers over 126,000± acres, of which 59,809± is deeded and the majority of the balance being State grazing leases. To view the official listing, click here.