Each year for the past 5 years we have organized a family fly-fishing trip centered near Dillon in southwestern Montana. The original and continuing attraction to the area was the excellent fly-fishing offered on the Beaverhead, Big Hole and other nearby rivers. What keeps us coming back, however, is the once-a-year chance for all of us to get together, catch up on the year gone by and enjoy each other’s company over some memorable meals at Big Trout Ranch. The trip has become a sort of annual fishing, food and fellowship retreat.
While we had seen the exterior and interior photos of Kamloops on-line it was not until our first visit that our good fortune became clear. Big Trout Ranch is operated by Cynthia and John Osborne. Kamloops is one of three houses on the ranch and sits on a neat well cared for plot landscaped with native shrubs and flowers and has a terrific back-yard lawn with plenty of room for an end-of-the day Frisbee catch. On entering the house, the dining room table had been set for dinner right down to the napkins, wine glasses and fresh flowers from Cynthia’s garden. The kitchen was fully equipped, big enough for our cooking crew and perfectly clean – all important considerations when feeding a hungry crowd.
Each of the 4 bedrooms is large, comfortable and nicely decorated. The four bathrooms have plenty of space and a seemingly endless supply of hot water – particularly important to our gang of 6-8 fishermen at the end of a long day on the water. Kamloops is also equipped with a large flat panel TV with hundreds of satellite channels, a long bar, pool table, darts and a game table.
Perhaps the house’s best feature is the deck that spans the entire rear of the house. It sits about 15ft above the Frisbee-friendly lawn below and looks across a broad valley, covered in knee-high alfalfa, extending 1/4 of a mile to the Osborne’s own 1-mile section of the Beaverhead. At any given hour, the field seems to have 10 – 30 deer or more, a terrific variety of birds and, on occasion, an elk or two. Beyond the Beaverhead, lie the snow-capped Pioneer Mountains. The deck is a favorite early morning or late evening spot to read or just appreciate the world around you.
Our annual trip is now a favorite tradition – occasioned by world-class fly-fishing but become much more thanks to the Osbornes and Big Trout Ranch.