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Tag: fly-fishing


Cross It Off Your Bucket List

10 Dreams Turned Reality at The Ranch

Every vacation is a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. Here are 10 classic bucket list adventures that The Ranch at Rock Creek fulfills each year.

1. Become a Horseback Rider.

Notice, we didn’t say, “go horseback riding.” The Ranch teaches horsemanship, so you can go from being a greenhorn to a rider during a week’s vacation. The Ranch’s equestrian program is a customized, robust experience, with guests deciding how far they want to take their riding skills. When English riders arrive at The Ranch, they leave with new skills and appreciation for a different world.

Horseback riding is one bucket list adventure you can have at The Ranch at Rock Creek

You can learn how to saddle and care for a horse before your first trail ride. In the next several days, you may summit higher terrain and start roping. After the better part of a week, you might be comfortable enough in the saddle to learn pole bending or barrel racing in the rodeo arena. See a 4-day sample equestrian itinerary for a taste of this adventure.

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Tag: fly-fishing


The Blue Ribbon Report | Spring Edition

Fly fishing doesn’t stop for winter. In fact, Inside Hook recently published the story, “Why You Should Go Fishing on Your Next Ski Trip.” They named Discovery Ski Area and The Ranch at Rock Creek as the essential places to try this dynamic duo. With a little over a month of skiing left, and warmer temperatures on the way, we’re making plenty of room for skis and waders in our SUVs.

Winter fly fishing on Blue Ribbon Rock Creek in Montana
Photo by Martin Battilana

While we enjoy a “heat wave” of temperatures just over freezing, our guides are gearing up for an eventful season of spring fly fishing. Montana’s streams, and especially Rock Creek, are famous for their fly hatches. With this exciting season close at hand, we’re back with a fishing report and our new fly fishing video that shows what it’s like to fish on the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ranch and glamping destination. Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


Extraordinary Journeys: Fly Fishing

 fly-fishing-rock-creek

Summer in Montana can take on a faster pace than other seasons. The long days make you want to get up earlier in the morning and stay awake after the stars come out—with the recent full moon and the alignment of Venus and Jupiter, there’s been plenty to see after dark. However, it’s when we slow down and enjoy an activity for several hours that we are amazed by Montana’s wildlife and scenery.  A recent guest took some time to write about her experience with one of our signature activities, fly fishing. We think she captured the slow pace, patience and beauty of fishing on Rock Creek, as well as the valuable experience of working one-on-one with our guides to master one of the most elusive fly fishing techniques. Thanks, Gwen for sharing your adventure. 


Words of Wisdom—Fly Fishing

by Special Guest Blogger Gwen Books

Properly Presented Dry Flys Will Catch Fish...after a few hours on Rock Creek with my fishing guide, Riley Fitting, he uttered the prophetic phrase. I was successful in catching two large trout and one baby trout, however it was due to his assistance…as in his shouting: Hook It!

selecting-flies

I grew up fishing, my father had three daughters and it didn’t deter him from teaching us one of his favorite pastimes. Not as much fly fishing as baiting with a worm or lure and dropping in a lake or stream. I’ve only recently realized seeing fish in a creek or following the fly downstream is a challenge for my aging eyes. I spent a half day fly fishing at The Brando Island and neither Teihotu or I caught a fish, and I never even saw them in the gin clear sea. Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


The Big Fly Country: Spring Fishing on Rock Creek

Montana Fly Fishing During “The Hatch”

We’re biding our time in the Rod & Gun Club, because the spring melt has begun in the lower elevations. We know that with the end of spring runoff comes a series of fly hatches that make Montana a world-famous fly fishing destination. We’ve just released our Blue Ribbon Adventure special for anglers who plan to take advantage of prime seasons—spring and fall—in 2017.

Fishing-Rock-Creek

Soon we will be immersed in the six-week period known as the salmonfly hatch to avid fly fishermen. This period generally stretches from late May through early July on Montana’s “big bug” rivers. The celebrated period of fishing takes place on several waterways, including the Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Big Hole, Smith, and our very own Rock Creek. We want to take a moment to let our waders dry off and share the three big reasons why these late spring weeks might be considered the “Carnivale” of the fishing calendar. Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


Clark Fork River Cleanup

Since The Ranch at Rock Creek opened as a guest ranch in 2010, we have become increasingly invested in the Granite County, Montana community. Our staff has delved into the local causes that improve environmental sustainability and the lives of its residents. Throughout the year we look to give back in ways that will make a lasting impact. As a charter member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, it’s also been an important part of our mission to be responsible stewards of the land, protect wildlife and maintain clean waterways.

montana-wildlife

We are dedicated to keeping Rock Creek’s waters clean year-round. However, this Spring, as Activities Director Patrick Little began floating a little further afield, he noticed that the Clark Fork River, 47 miles North of The Ranch, was accumulating some litter. The refuse ranged from old farm equipment to highway trash to forgotten recreation supplies. People leave cans, water bottles, clothing and other items on the bank, which get washed into our fisheries. As Little noted, the section of the Clark Fork River in Granite County needed a little love.

clark-fork-cleanup Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


Rethinking Spring Break

During spring in Granite County, everywhere you turn something has started anew. The land looks and smells green and earthy. Thousands of calves have been born within 100 miles of us, and they roam the fields in little gangs challenging each other to running races. If we could bottle that contagious feeling of spring renewal and send it out into the world, we would. But it wouldn’t be the same without seeing the fawns poking their noses out of the tall grass or the endless open spaces that make Montana such a unique destination.

montana-wildflowers

We want to harness that contagious feeling of spring renewal for travelers and propose some reasons to get out and take a spring break now—before the fevered excitement of summertime begins. If you’re looking for your own spring cleaning, for body, mind or soul, here are some once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities that are sure to recharge you. Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


Experiential Travel: State of Play

The words “experiential travel” sound a lot more mature and serious than they need to be. The experience of traveling to The Ranch at Rock Creek should be an escape from normal routine. It should be at times exhilarating, relaxing and even a bit fantastical. It’s all fun and games.

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Children are naturally adept at play. However, it seems unreasonable that we should lose that talent during our working life, only to rediscover it during retirement. When Jim Manley bought The Ranch at Rock Creek and made it into the award-winning luxury guest ranch it is today, he had an eye on the indefinable western spark that encourages people to dream and play. He envisaged more than a traditional dude ranch that recreated the life of a working cowboy. He sought to redefine experiential travel by inspiring a state of play for every guest, child or adult.

hiking-2

In fact, researchers seem to be suggesting that play is essential for adults, as well as children. NPR, Psychology Today, Scientific American and The Huffington Post have published stories about the importance of adult play. A researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Brown says,

“Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

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Tag: fly-fishing


Montana Fall Vacation Ideas

If you are searching for fall vacation ideas, our Ranch at Rock Creek staff is a living, galloping guidebook of Montana experiences. They are our knowledgeable instructors, our wildlife scouts and our adventurers thanks to personal passion and professional pride.

ranch-staff

With a dusting of snow on the highest peaks already, most fall vacation ideas and our fall special offers are as inviting as a fleece jacket and a cowboy coffee.

Our Ranch staff took a few moments to share what they look forward to each fall on Rock Creek. Many of our hired hands took root in Montana after growing up elsewhere, and they understand that, although summer gets the main billing, fall in Montana offers a more robust and satisfying glimpse of the Big Sky. Enjoy their fall vacation ideas, and we hope you’ll one day visit The Ranch to put them into action. Read more…

Tag: fly-fishing


Goodbye Big Air. Hello Big Fish.

So Long Skiing

It’s over. The final day of our extra spectacular ski season has come and gone. Since December, our guests have embraced winter sports and adventures with gusto on The Ranch. They’ve had powder days and conquered moguls on the backside at Discovery Ski Basin.

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It should come as no surprise – nobody suffers from cabin fever at The Ranch at Rock Creek. (Except the Canvas Cabin variety). But, spring fever is another story.  On a warm April day, we bid a fond farewell to winter. 

Hello Fly Fishing

We’ll make it official: Goodbye Big Air. Hello Big Fish.

Casting lessons on Rock Creek are part of fly fishing adventures at The Ranch at Rock Creek

Anglers are headed outside to the water’s edge to sharpen their skills. We practice our art form and daydream about the big fish we’ll catch this year.  Where will we be when the salmon flies hatch? Expectations are mounting. And, we can’t wait for our guests to experience spring fly fishing on our beautiful Rock Creek.

A trout gets ready to eat a fly in Rock Creek, a Blue Ribbon trout stream in Montana

From the banks of our pristine freestone mountain stream, we see wild creatures–elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep–traverse the valley floor.  Our eyes gaze up.  Nature has begun to paint a fresh landscape. Snow still drapes the surrounding peaks but recedes each day. It travels crooked paths through the rock and round hills, triggering sprouts of green.

A springtime scene in the Rock Creek Valley with green grass, mountains and stormy skies

We look at the runs and start scouting new spots. In the creek bottom, sediment loosens with the flush of mountain waters. Habitats are created for a new generation of fish and the myriad of aquatic insects. Rainbows, cutthroats and cutbows flash their most vibrant colors to attract a mate.

Our beloved Rock Creek is coming alive.


Our special Spring Fly Fishing Special is available April 15 through June 9. Floating on Rock Creek is only available until June 30th, so book that bucket list fly fishing vacation as soon as possible. 

Tag: fly-fishing


What Gives The Ranch An Extra Sparkle?

A Forbes Travel Guide Distinction

The Ranch at Rock Creek is honored to be recognized as the first and only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel in Montana. Our wonderful guests, the media and our friends in the luxury travel and hospitality community have been so gracious in sending their congratulations and sharing our news. We are very appreciative.

Forbes Travel Guide has hundreds of selection criteria.  Obviously, their experts reviewed our rustic, yet elegant accommodations on the Blue Ribbon trout fishery, Rock Creek.  But, we are curious. We wonder if it was our Canvas Cabins and 19th Century Historic Barn that clinched it for us – the secret sauce, an extra sparkle to our shine.

The Ranch at Rock Creek features luxury camping, known as glamping in Montana

Most people don’t connect Five Stars with a cabin or a barn.  But after spending time at The Ranch at Rock Creek, they do.  

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