For Sale

Fish-A-Bit Ranch

$8,500,000 Shields Valley, MT 383± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The Fish-A-Bit Ranch is an extensively improved riverside property well-located with magnificent views. Its 383± deeded acres sit on the banks of the Shields River with close views of the 11,000 foot granite-exposed Crazy Mountain peaks, 20 minutes from Livingston and 50 from Bozeman. All of the improvements have a high level of appointment and finish. Two homes and three apartments provide ten bedrooms and bathrooms. There is an Olympic-size indoor riding arena and an indoor swimming pool. Expansive irrigated lawns are spread between metal pipe fencing and paved interior drives. Over half of this oasis is sprinkler irrigated and over one mile of river frontage is lined with cottonwood trees. The small rural town of Clyde Park is only four miles away. Trails into the national forest are nearby. Downhill and groomed cross-country skiing are 25 minutes down the road and Yellowstone National Park is a 70-minute drive. Fish for cutthroat and brown trout in the river and pond on the property and in the Yellowstone River seven miles to the south. Whitetail deer are ever-present and elk, antelope and moose frequent. This property is offered fully furnished and equipped.

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Just the Facts

  • 383± deeded acres, 167± acres of which are sprinkler-irrigated
  • 20 minutes northeast of Livingston and 50 minutes northeast of Bozeman
  • 25 minutes to skiing and 70 minutes to Yellowstone National Park
  • Two modern high-quality homes (4BR/5BA; 3BR/2BA) and three apartments totaling (4BR/3BA)
  • Fully equipped gym, sauna, and large attached finished heated workshop
  • Indoor riding center (15,000 sq.ft.) Olympic-size, paneled, dust-free arena, two-bedroom apartment, viewing bleachers, enclosed stalls, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, wash stalls  
  • Additional 2,500 sq.ft. attached finished heated truck/trailer/tractor storage, 7 electric roll-up doors
  • Two outdoor riding arenas
  • Recreation center (4,800 sq.ft.) with indoor swimming pool (40’x25’) sauna, massage rooms, rock fireplace, audio and TV systems
  • Adjacent fishing pond with bridge connected island, lawn picnic frontage, and adjoining elevated golf tee box and green
  • 1.25 miles of trout fishing in Shields River frontage
  • Paved driveways
  • Irrigated lawns for all buildings
  • Metal pipe fencing on frontage, lanes and paddocks
  • Fully furnished and equipped

General Description

The Fish-A-Bit Ranch immediately grabs one’s attention upon approach. Its irrigated and mown lawns sprawl between paved interior roadways edged with continuous metal pipe fencing surrounding its handsome buildings. The entry is through river-rock entry pillars framing the metal electric gate. The immediate backdrop is two miles of the cottonwood tree-lined Shields River to the west and the ABC’s—the Absaroka, Bridger, and Crazy mountain ranges—on the other three sides. Everything about the ranch is immaculate and proper. The owners invested five years to create a meticulously rendered compound.

Metal pipe paddocks are numerous and sport automatic and heated electric waterers. A fire suppression system protects each of the main buildings—the main house, manager’s house, arena, and pool house. A mown trail system runs the length of the river.

Broker's Comments

The Fish-A-bit Ranch is uniquely well-equipped for the equestrian enthusiast. Beyond this, it is blessed with an ideal location, viewshed, and robust natural amenities. These features all combine to offer a very diverse residential and recreational experience. It is fully developed and set up to be easily managed and immediately enjoyed by individuals, families, and guests.

Learn about the locale

Location

The ranch is located approximately four miles south of the small ranching community of Clyde Park and a 20-minute drive northeast of Livingston. Bozeman lies approximately 50 minutes southwest of the ranch, with the Bridger Bowl Ski area located along the way, just 25 minutes from the ranch gate. For the more adventurous, Yellowstone National Park is 70 minutes to the south. There is a jet-capable airstrip near Livingston with commercial air services at Bozeman. The one-third mile of graveled county road leading to the ranch turns east off of the paved two-lane Highway 89, just south of Clyde Park. 

Locale

Clyde Park is a historical ranching community and is still proud to be so today. It is what many hope to find in a small Montana town that offers an awareness of a not too distant bigger world while treasuring the close personal relationships and the slower pace of life of true community. It boasts 309 residents, three churches, and a variety of businesses including a tavern, post office, and gas station. Options for additional amenities, services, and supplies are not too distant in Livingston or Bozeman.

The greater area surrounding the ranch includes some larger private holdings that are owned by a combination of old-line ranching families and more recent owners that desire to maintain the integrity and privacy of this region. This area remains devoid of small tract development, and the consensus has been to generally protect against such an occurrence, particularly along the mountain front, by way of open-space conservation easements such as the one on this ranch. At the same time, this ranch sits on the threshold of larger communities with a full line of amenities and services allowing one to have one leg in an intimate private landscape and the other in a thriving community. Livingston, for example, now boasts a new full hospital. 

Immediately to the east of the ranch are the Crazy Mountains locally referred to as the “Crazies.” This “island” mountain range spans roughly 40 miles between the Musselshell and Yellowstone river valleys to the north and south. With peaks rising to over 11,000 feet, this is a truly spectacular range, which includes a considerable amount of above-treeline country dotted with high mountain lakes located in cirques amongst the peaks. This range lies on the far eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains with the Great Plains spreading to the east. From the ranch one can access the National Forest at numerous trailheads, the closest being Rock Creek 10 miles from the property.   

Climate

The average elevation of the ranch is 4,700 feet above sea level. The total average annual precipitation is estimated to be 14 inches. There is a robust wildflower bloom through the summer. Without a doubt, the months spanning from late May through October are nothing short of spectacular. Generally, the heat of the summer rarely rises above the 80’s and the cool summer nights and low humidity create a near perfect outdoor living climate. 

Winter arrives generally in the late fall sometime around Thanksgiving and from that period through Christmas the short days usually combine with cold temperatures and the onset of snow in the lower elevations. January, February and March will find a full mix of winter weather including the occasional major winter storm with low temperatures that will drop below zero. While the night-time average in the coldest months is in the single digits, the daytime highs average in the mid-thirties. Standing snow levels at the ranch amount to only 4-5 inches, while in the nearby mountains it measures in feet.   

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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 383±

Total Acres: 383±

* All acreages are approximations.

Additional Information

An extensive list of quality furnishings, vehicles and equipment are included in the asking price for the new owner’s immediate enjoyment. A full list of these is available upon buyer qualification and following a property tour. 

A partial description of these includes:

  • Extremely complete household furnishings for all buildings
  • Irrigation equipment: center pivot and one giant sprinkler gun and two small guns
  • New Holland tractor with attachments
  • John Deere tractor with attachments
  • John Deere riding lawnmower 
  • Vermeer tree shredder
  • Two Honda 4-wheel ATVs
  • John Deere Gator UTV
  • Shop equipment: welder, air compressor, hoist, hand tools
  • Hay wagon
  • Bobcat Skid-Steer utility loader
  • Two hay balers

Improvements

Fish-A-Bit Ranch is appointed with high quality and extensive improvements that are quite fitting and appropriate for their surroundings and intended use. 

Main House: Paved and continuous metal pipe fence-lined ranch roads lead to this western ranch home. Irrigated lawns surround. Trees shade it, and a large patio entertainment area spread out from it. A fire suppression system protects each of the ranch’s main buildings—the main house, manager’s house, indoor arena, and pool house. Wi-fi internet access is available throughout the lower ranch, inside and outside of the buildings.

The main house is single story and of all-natural wood, from its plank siding to its hand peeled log supports and railing. There is a stone half-wall siding around the garage end of the house. River rock fireplace chimneys rise to the sky but anchor the home to the ground. It is beautifully ensconced into the landscaping. 

Upon entering the home, the great room with entertainment center beckons from across the slate stone entry. Straight ahead a river rock fireplace towers up from the floor to the top of the vaulted ceiling. The far wall is an exterior wall sporting large windows bringing the outdoors in, as exists throughout the house. To the left end of this great room is the entertainment center. The home décor includes magnificent wildlife mounts and Native American Indian artifacts. 

Natural wood sawn floors with Indian rugs lead to the right of the great room and toward the kitchen. Two-inch thick granite countertops immediately catch one’s eye. Not only do they anchor the huge island, but also its countertops and backsplashes, including the 14 foot long bar-storage center on the kitchen’s right wall. This counter includes a sink, hardware by Grohe, and extensive knotty pine cabinet storage above and below. Wrapping to the left, counter-clockwise along the far wall of the kitchen, are more thick granite counters and wood cabinets interrupted by a walkway to the garage via a mudroom. Continuing to the left of this entry is a vertical double-door freezer-refrigerator. Double stainless kitchen sinks center the exterior wall with more hardware by Grohe. The center island sports a Thermidor five-burner gas range. Underneath and to the left of the range is a warming drawer.

The mudroom entry from the garage includes a dog-wash/foot-wash and half bath, all with slate tile floors including the entire half-height walled wash area. Straight ahead the door leads in from the garage, which includes three car bays with automatic doors. It is fully finished, heated, and sports extensive wood cabinetry.

Three different walkways offer diverse access to the master bedroom suite. One is through the office in the foyer. Another is through the great room at the point of the dining table, and a third is through the suite’s sitting room, directly into the mudroom-garage entrance.

The suite includes a river rock fireplace with a chimney rising to the ceiling. A separate room includes a commode and bidet combination. Another room includes a walk-in his-and-her master closet, and yet another is the separate master bath with vanity, built-in safe and half refrigerator. Here is a Whirlpool bathtub, his-and-her sinks, and a walk-in shower with dual shower heads. The floors in the entire master bath are finished with slate.

Back to the foyer, the office is immediately on the right as you enter the house. It is finished in fine detail and includes a built-in partners desk and bookcase. Ceiling mounted cable lighting illuminates the room and its elk and buffalo animal mounts. Now turning to the left out of the foyer one passes the great room into a hallway leading to additional bedrooms. 

The first bedroom on the right has an outdoor entrance and separate bathroom. It includes a single sink, commode, and a shower-tub combination. Continuing down the hall is another bedroom on the right with outdoor entrance, separate bathroom with commode, shower-tub combination and a single sink counter. On the left side of this same hallway is a fourth bedroom with outdoor entrance, separate bathroom with shower-bath combo, and two sinks and a commode. Further down the same hallway is a common full bath with a standup shower, commode, and sink. This bathroom sits next to a full sauna room, complete with wood-lined walls, ceiling, benches, floors and an electric rock-heater. 

Greenhouse: Located adjacent to the main house is a freestanding fully improved wood and glass greenhouse with concrete floor, temperature-automatically operated louvered windows. It is heated, lighted and irrigated.

Horse Stall-Paddock Combination: Located just past the greenhouse, but still within an easy walk from the main house, is a two-horse freestanding stall building with attached paddocks. Each includes a heated watering system and continuous steel pipe fencing. 

Indoor Riding Arena: The indoor riding arena building is large and comprised of three separate areas under one roof. Built in 2003, this facility is 69 feet wide and 225 feet long. 

At the north end is a large shop with concrete floors and finished walls. Three electric overhead truck doors, each 15 feet wide by 12 feet tall, provide entrances on each side as well as connecting into the next room, the common area. 

The common area portion of the arena building is in line with the shop and comprising the next 40 feet of the length of the building. It has a separate west side exterior entrance. Once inside, on the immediate right along the western wall are two horse wash stalls. Next to them is a laundry room followed by a bathroom with a single sink and shower. Next to this is an office with microwave, electric range, a pizza oven, a sound system, and a refrigerator-freezer combination. Above these rooms, yet still inside the overall arena building, is a dual-purpose observation/sleeping loft with three single beds and a sofa. 

Along the shop or north wall of this common area is a two-story section. The lower level includes a tack room, finished and heated, with the refrigerator-freezer combo and walls lined with saddles, tack and paneled with knotty pine. Above it is an apartment with common room, love seat, office desk, and a separate bedroom with a double bed. The entire common area flooring is rubber matting with drains, including the two horse-stalls that line the eastern wall.

The southern side of the common area is open to the arena. On the common side of the arena wall are observation bleachers approximately 22 feet long and consisting of three levels of wooden benches

The arena is Olympic sized and with a specialized dustless footing made of polymer-coated silica and sand, for shock absorption, grip, and rebound. The lower four feet of the arena walls are wood paneled baseboard angled out at the top for rider foot clearance. The four feet above this is continuous mirrors, with the exception of the six outdoor windows punctuated along each side wall and intermingled with truck doors. The far south end of the arena sports a floor to ceiling roll-up truck door approximately 20 feet wide and 12 feet tall. Each side of the arena also has a roll-up truck door that is 10 feet wide and 12 feet tall. The entire arena building is heated by ceiling-mounted gas radiant heaters spanning the width of the arena.

On the west side of the arena building are six continuous metal pipe paddocks, each with its own electrically heated waterer. Next to the paddocks are pastures with run-in sheds.

At the north end of the arena is an outdoor riding arena consisting of sand footing and continuous metal pipe railing. Across the pastures to the west, near the river, is a complete and modern roping arena, also of continuous metal pipe fencing and chutes.

Manager's House Complex: This quality modern building is of similar design and materials as the main house. Inside are three bedrooms on the main floor together with a bathroom including a shower and two sinks. The kitchen is a part of the great room. The house is air-conditioned. 

Connecting the house to the shop is a laundry room, bathroom, and office. The attached mechanic’s shop is 40 feet by 60 feet. It has a concrete floor, 14 foot walls and a gabled roof. Two electric roll-up doors, one at each end, are about 14 feet wide. There is even a kitchen area and two runs of ceiling-mounted gas radiant heaters.  

The second story of the house consists of two apartments with separate entrances. Included with these is a separate gym and a living room and full bathroom common to the two apartments. The living room has a leather sofa, television, and table and chairs. The separate bedroom apartment furnishings are of peeled logs. The kitchens have stainless steel sinks, and an oven with range top and refrigerator-freezer combination. The separate gymnasium is fully equipped with a large free-weight collection, including benches, dumbbells, and barbells, as well as cardiovascular machines and a television system. The floor covering is rubber and includes yoga mats.

Upper Ranch Hay and Equipment Storage Barn: On the northern part of the ranch there is a steel-clad pole barn to shelter hay and equipment. The backside of this building has a concrete floor with three sliding doors that open the entire side of the building for easy access to large equipment.

Outside are fuel tanks on above-ground stands over concrete containment systems.

Indoor Pool and Recreation Building: This free-standing building is of similar quality, materials, and finishes as the main house. It is located a short stroll or a quick golf-cart drive from it. It is adjoined by an outdoor complex site adjacent to the edge of the pond. Its use area includes the outdoor patio, a lawn beach-front with fire pit, an adjacent golfing green with tee box and putting green, and an Indian teepee next to a bridge-connected island in the pond.

Inside the building is another full array of recreational options. Its center is all pool with lap-swimming lanes, special conditioned, non-chlorinated water, and an electric pool cover. One end hosts a full bar, while the other is anchored by a river rock fireplace, television, and pocket pool table. A separate bathroom contains laundry machines. The massage room has a sofa and full professional massage bed. The paneled wooden ceiling has exposed log rafters bedecked with wildlife trophies.

Water Resources

The Fish-A-Bit Ranch is blessed with over a mile of Shields River frontage as well as one-half mile of Chicken Creek traversing through the ranch prior to its confluence with the river. From these surface flowing waters, as well as numerous wells, the ranch has 16 recorded water rights. Five are for irrigation purposes and each date in priority back into the 1880’s and 90’s.

Mineral Rights

Any and all minerals owned or controlled by the seller and appurtenant to these described lands will transfer to a new owner at closing. 

Taxes

The annual property taxes have been approximately $18,200.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

Horseback riding is the obvious main attraction of the ranch to the current owners. The ranch is ideally suited to this with three arenas, on-ranch trails, and nearby access to National Forest trailheads. Fishing for cutthroat and brown trout in the river and pond on the property are immediate and good. Fishing in the Yellowstone River starts seven miles to the south. The Shields River and ranch pond are also ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and float tubing. The indoor pool and the pond make swimming an attractive activity. Everpresent whitetail deer, migrating elk, antelope, and moose make for abundant wildlife viewing as well as hunting, along with waterfowl and upland birds. Downhill and groomed cross-country skiing are 25 minutes from the ranch, whereas, snowmobiling in the forest starts within 10 miles.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The ranch’s agricultural operation is handled by the resident caretaker-manager of the ranch, who does all the irrigating, swathing, baling, and stacking of the 167± acres of hay. Much of it is certified weed-free. Otherwise, the rest of the operation consists of caring for the horses, maintaining the buildings, mowing the lawns or plowing the small amount of snow in the winter month

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