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The Bitterroot Dude Ranch in Wyoming near Dubois provides a great vacation opportunity for couples, especially if one spouse likes to flyfish and the other likes to ride horses. My wife and I spent a week there last August. What’s distinctive about Bitterroot in comparison to other dude ranches is the emphasis on riding not "nose to tail" trail riding, mind you, but much more challenging riding opportunities. Riders are divided into small groups ranging from beginner (some experience required) to advanced for three hour rides that go out twice a day. There are also lessons on two of the days each week. The clientele here are almost all horse people and much of the mealtime conversation centers around horses and riding.

For the fisherman, the East Fork of the Wind River is a pocket water stream that flows right through the ranch property and offers some fun fishing for cutthroats in the 10 to 14 inch range. I used a three weight rod, and fished a variety of easy to see dry flies such as Royal Wulffs, Trudes, Hoppers, Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis and Parachute Adams. I waded wet, wearing shorts and wading shoes, and fished by working my way upstream, casting to the edge of current seams. Fishing tended to be best from noon to mid afternoon as the water warmed.

It’s about a 30 minute drive from the ranch down to the main highway which runs along the Wind River itself. I spent all my time at the ranch and didn’t get down to fish the river or any of the other creeks that flow into it. However, based on talking to Bayard Fox (*)(who owns the ranch along with his wife Mel and fishes the area), there are a number of places that offer the opportunity for larger trout. My wife and I will be going back this year, and I plan to explore some of these offsite flyfishing opportunities. Joe Tomlinson.

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