Big Diamond Ranch

  "A River Runs Through It"

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Big Diamond Ranch

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As the river flows past Dubois and joins with its tributaries, it seems to have gained a new type of confidence. Elbows bent out, the now larger and stronger Wind River pushes through the badlands as if it knew that it has its own valley named after itself. Grown up too fast, the soon "adolescent"  Bighorn River will meet the city life for the first time. It will be channeled and dammed  on its destined course, but it will always remind itself of its wild roots and set itself free again. Continuing north, the Bighorn will eventually join the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, the Yellowstone. Famed for its world class trout fishing, the Yellowstone river draws fly-fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. With whitewater for adrenaline seekers to ride in, and power so strong that canyons can be carved out of mountains, the Yellowstone is now ready to fulfill his duty to be the principal tributary of the mighty Missouri river.

Before the old and wise Missouri enters the Gulf of Mexico, I’m sure it will have many  more stories to tell, but those will have to be told by another ranch in another place.

But mind you, eager fly-fisherman who are reading this: that does not mean that the native cutthroat, the brown, the brook and the rainbow trout are easy to catch. Just because they haven’t seen one of you sloppy-hatted waders before, doesn’t make them a foolish target. Remember, there are the big ones that know the curves of every stone and the depth of every swirl. Their keen senses are not easily mislead.

So, tie your flies neatly and cast them precise, and the Wind River may reward you with one or more of its finned jewels.

The Wind River in Dubois, WY

High up on the Continental Divide at over 9,500ft (2,896m) elevation, the Wind River Lake with its clear, still water gives birth to a quirky little mountain stream that should once join the  mighty Missouri River and travel to the Gulf of Mexico.

As the young stream leaves its headwaters behind, it starts winding itself through the untouched Shoshone National Forest. Like a child on the way to kindergarten it is not in a hurry but obviously on a course to discovery. It skips  over stones, hides in tall willows, and makes lazy loops through  flower carpeted meadows.

Little spotted cutthroat trout are gathering in its shallow pools and freshly hatched insects riskily fly over its shimmering surface. Once in a while a grazing moose or a fishing grizzly bear appears, but the virgin Wind River has not yet come into contact with civilization, as it reaches the Big Diamond Ranch near Dubois.