A deep pool Water as clear as the air I see She lives there My happiness I know this Though I’ve never seen her Not physically I’ve never touched nor held her vermiculated structure So I believe Despite all my efforts to prove otherwise It’s......

Montana occupies a special place in America’s conservation lore. Not only is it home to the world’s first national park — Yellowstone — but it’s also where one of the nation’s first wilderness areas, the Bob Marshall, was designated, which, in turn, set the stage......

The Western History Association recently announced that a book by Belgrade, Montana author Michele Corriel won the national 2023 Joan Paterson Kerr Award for the best-illustrated book on the history of the American West. Montana Modernists: Shifting Perceptions of Western Art chronicles six mid-20th-century artists......

Montana Freshwater Partners (MFP) works to restore and preserve healthy rivers, streams, and wetlands by applying science-based practices to complex problems impacting water resources and communities throughout Montana. Considering that 80 percent of all life is directly impacted by an aquatic ecosystem of one sort......

Architecture KA Architecture Construction MDM Construction “This is not a mansion. It’s just a home,” says Tim Davis of the primary residence he and his wife, Chris, have created for themselves in Montana’s Sun West Ranch community. Indeed, while the 4,100-square-foot house measures up to......

Jim Bortz has been many things. He’s worked at a steel mill and on construction sites, repaired cable lines, led expeditions as a fishing guide, tended bar, and apprenticed with a taxidermist. He’s a lifelong sportsman and artist, self-taught in both fields. But these days,......

All mayflies are beautiful, but especially so to the fly angler’s eye. That all mayflies feed and fatten trout makes them, to that eye, more beautiful yet. I may have a favorite, and that favorite could change, but each Montana mayfly is surely the favorite......

Tom Rosenbauer can get any uncle excited about a small stream. Alvin Dedeaux can teach you how to almost look cool when you’re chasing bass. Kelly Galloup can demonstrate knocking out a 10-inch trout with a 12-inch streamer. But to my knowledge, no fly-fishing personality......

Water, no matter if it’s at the beach, running through a creek, or even in a puddle, is as fascinating to kids as it is to anglers. They’ll play in it all day long if you let them — splashing, digging holes, making channels. Joseph......

The Refugee Ocean by Pauls Toutonghi (Simon & Schuster, $27.99) is the kind of novel for which the form was invented. It creates sweeping, lush worlds, fully inhabited by its unforgettable characters. It spans continents and lifetimes with careful detail and balance. It leaves the......

Thomas E. Minckler has dealt in rare books, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and art for much of his life. His 2023 book, Montana: A Paper Trail, is a historical narrative that guides readers through the 19th century of the Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains, and early Montana.......

Upon walking through the front doors of the Simms headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, a passion for angling is immediately apparent: It permeates the very building. There’s the latest merchandise on display, an entire wall filled with best-in-the-business awards, and a brief history of the company......

Among America’s most renowned luthiers, Montanan Ren Ferguson has made custom guitars for The Beatles, The Stones, Tom Petty, and Emmylou Harris, just to name a few. But recently, he’s used his hands to craft a heralded instrument dedicated to the stars of the trout......

Some might find it strange that one of my favorite trout streams flows through a burned-over canyon.  I first visited Roaring Lion Creek in mid-July 2019, almost three years after a wildfire engulfed much of its basin. It was a cool and cloudy day, with......

I am featherlight, tossed like confetti into a brilliant blue sky, jostled about on the velvet wings of thousands of birds — tundra swans, herons, snow geese, northern pintails, marbled godwits. I roll from one downy back to another as we soar in harmony toward......

We’re a couple dozen miles down a rolling, dusty, backcountry road that shadows the Greys River in western Wyoming, and I can’t find the dream pool I want to fish. This uncertainty has my 15-year-old daughter stressed out. “Dad? Are we lost?” she asks for......

From any angle where Main Street meets Callender, the corner restaurant looks unassuming enough. Warm yellow light emanates from within as dusk falls. A handful of people in ski coats and Carhartts gather outside, waiting for the door to open at 5 o’clock. On the......

Looking back, the country got me first. Spending countless miles driving through the West was intoxicating; an obsession that only worsened after years of snowboarding remote backcountry slopes and fly fishing the world’s most beautiful rivers. Once you experience that type of recreational solitude, nothing......

The trout-filled limestone canyon of Montana’s Smith River — twisting through the Big and Little Belt mountains — would have made a magnificent subject for America’s best Western landscape painters and photographers, visionaries like Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, William Henry Jackson, and Ansel Adams. And......

The temperature gauge in my truck reads 1 degree Fahrenheit as we pass through Roosevelt’s Arch at the northwest entrance to Yellowstone National Park. A full moon hangs low to the west over Electric Peak, opposite the trajectory of the rising sun. The reflected sunlight......

Who made your shirt? I’m not asking about its brand or the country where it was manufactured. Who was the actual person who put in work to make your shirt? I don’t know who made mine, not to mention any of the other shirts I......

The sun is starting to set behind Wyoming’s Rendezvous Mountain as the last and most committed skiers descend to the base area after a beautiful bluebird day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. As ski patrol sweeps the mountain to ensure no one is lost or......

Architecture Brechbuhler Architects Construction M Squared Construction Bridger Canyon holds a rare beauty that sticks with you, even in a place as majestic as southwest Montana. Close to downtown Bozeman, the canyon is accessible, but walk a half mile off the road, and you’ll find......

At the end of last winter, with the final days of the ski season fast approaching, there was a mad dash for tram rides at Big Sky Resort in Montana. The ski area’s iconic lift — installed at the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak in......

Some 20 years ago, I met David Quammen under unusual circumstances. He had written an essay about cougars for a wilderness advocacy publication to which I subscribed. The piece included some disparaging comments about cougar hunting, largely based on the assumption that lion hunters are......

Maps hold a promise of roads untaken, the allure of the exotic, and adventures yet to come. For James Niehues, a legend in the ski world for his bird’s-eye maps, his works are much more than renditions of place. They combine panoramic views of the......

Driggs, Idaho has always been a little eclectic and esoteric, a place called home by extreme athletes, artists, and Mormon families who migrated to the valley. In a full showing of this sense of identity, Teton Valley melds long winters and bone-rattling temperatures with its......

What if we took a moment to pray for snow Let’s call it Salmon Weather and let’s stop Calling it a nuisance or an inconvenience Let’s pray to the snow as if it is a gift Not for recreation But of re-creation Let’s not worry......

Every year since 1993, Butte has held Montana’s “shortest, loudest, coldest” parade for the Lunar New Year to celebrate the city’s historic Chinese community. Butte was once home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the Rocky Mountain region. The parade passes sites that once......

Each year, the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) acquires and distributes millions of pounds of food to community pantries across Montana, allowing year-round access to food for individuals and families. Gayle Carlson, MFBN’s president and chief executive officer, shares her perspective on hunger in Montana......

Editor’s Note: The Winter 2023 issue closes Big Sky Journal’s 30th anniversary. In recognition of this passage of time, the editors turned back to stories published in the magazine’s first issue, reflecting on historic themes and storytelling in the West. Award-winning author William Kittredge [1932......

The man behind numerous iconic images of the Rocky Mountain’s stunning natural features comes into full focus in Tim McNeese’s William Henry Jackson’s Lens: How Yellowstone’s Famous Photographer Captured the American West (TwoDot, $31.95). Jackson’s role in swaying Congress to establish our first national park......

Over the past 40 years of photographing wildlife throughout the American West, I have always returned to the American buffalo, or bison. To me, the “buffs” are the very heart of the West. When I’m lucky enough to spend time with them, I feel like......

When 18-year-old Canadian freeskier Marcus Goguen stood in the starting gate at last year’s Freeride World Tour stop in Kicking Horse, British Columbia, many spectators held their breaths. The reigning Freeride Junior World Tour champion was coming off a ninth-place finish at his professional debut......

For chef Michael Patria, arriving at Cortina felt like a kind of homecoming. The Northern Italian restaurant sits on the slopes of Lone Mountain in Big Sky, Montana, and Patria has enjoyed leading its kitchen, where he rekindles the traditions of his ancestors. Even though......

Winter in the Northern Rockies means snow and all the accompanying festivities, whether that’s bombing down a hill, clearing ice from a fly rod’s eyelets, or cozying up with a book in front of a crackling fire. Here are just a few items sure to......

The Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation has long been renowned for its spectacular beadwork and horsemanship. On June 25, 1805, two Canadian fur traders, François-Antoine Larocque and Charles McKenzie, witnessed the equestrian parade of more than 2,000 Crow people, including some 645 warriors, who filed through Hidatsa......

Last winter, temperatures plunged well below zero at my home in northwest Montana. Our regular outdoor thermometer stopped at minus 40, so when I trudged out through crystalline snow to feed hay to the horses, I checked the thermometer on the pickup and my husband’s......

A cider wind teases melancholy memory. Slanted light brushes the horizon gray. Shadows peer, and crawl, and rise. An embracing maple colonnade invites. Earthen musk hovers. Brittle stalks chaff and scream, restless. Orange specks punch the landscape, soon to be leering. Metal air stills. The......

To call Sun House (Little, Brown, and Company, $35), by David James Duncan, a novel is akin to calling the sun a decent-sized campfire. This book, coming in at nearly 800 pages, commands attention. But the caliber of writing, at any length, would cause the......

Before a flight, I search the U.S. Forest Service website for the latest fire response and air attack restrictions, scan webcams for measly weather reports from “airports” that seldom report any, and listen carefully to the gems that grizzled backcountry pilots might drop in casual......

“The buffalo furnished them meat, robes for bedding, skins for teepee coverings, clothing, foot gear, sinew for sewing, bone splinters for sewing awls, and many other items they required.” — Dominic Michell, Salish Tribal Elder, Circa 1942 While precise numbers are impossible to determine, most......

As we leave Crow Agency in his Tribal Fish & Game pickup, Benito Morrison hands me a foil-wrapped globe the size and heft of a pool cue ball. “The original trail mix,” Morrison, a Crow game warden, says with a laugh. We’re going to view......

The Seeley-Swan Valley, located in northwest Montana, is nestled between — and populated by — giants, both topographically and botanically. No peak in the region eclipses 10,000 feet in elevation, but the Seeley-Swan is bordered by the Mission Mountains and Swan Range, which collectively encompass......

I’ve killed many deer, and I’ve eaten them all, including one I accidentally killed with my car. It was February 2018, nearly midnight in Montana, a few miles west of the Continental Divide. The muley appeared as I curled around a bend where U.S. Highway......

It’s August and somewhere out beyond Big Sandy, behemoth machines crawl across the landscape. It’s harvest time in Montana. In late summer, the “Golden Triangle” of central Montana is alive with men, women, and machines bringing in the summer’s crop of wheat — the iconic......

Montana’s Lones Wigger was, unquestionably, among the finest competitive shooters in American history. While his fame exists mostly in the marksmanship niche, Wigger’s name belongs alongside the legends of the Old West when it comes to rifle skills.  Wigger — who died in 2017 at......

For the past eight years, I’ve followed a passion for photographing Native American tribes throughout Montana. Initially captivated by Montana itself — its majestic landscapes, stunning scenery, rural communities, and, of course, expansive Big Sky — my photographic intentions shifted after a conversation with my......

Architecture N2 Architecture Construction MKD Construction Interior Design Michele McCarthy Interiors Architecture projects can be driven by a host of factors. A project’s pace might be set by a hard timeline, its scope determined by a particular program, or its structure dictated by the characteristics......

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