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Checklist for Living in Montana

A Simple Guide for your Move to the Bitterroot Valley and Big Sky Country

Living in Montana

You are sick of smog, traffic, noise, stress, and more and are looking forward to living in Montana. You’ve bought your dream home in Hamilton, Montana and the Bitterroot Valley and are getting ready for your big move.

But what should you expect?

Here is a simple list to help you prepare for a new life in Big Sky Country!

Checklist for Living in Montana

  • Leave stress behind.

As soon as you arrive and get situated in your new home, you’ll want to let go of your stress and unwind as quickly as possible. Take some time to look at the beautiful views around you. You’ll see picturesque mountains, green valleys, the Bitterroot River, and more.

This can be a big change from the typical, urban living you had in your previous home. But after a few minutes, you’ll feel your body unwind with the beauty of nature all around you.

YSkwalla Montana fly fishingou can finally relax, and this brings me to the next point…

  • Take a deep breath and listen.

While you may have avoided taking a deep breath in your previous location, you’ll want to breathe in the fresh, Montana air. It will make you feel alive!

And depending on where you are and the season, you’ll hear all kinds of wildlife, the river flowing by, and other, natural sounds… void of honking horns and traffic! Sit back and take it all in. Ahhh.


  • Be friendly.

If you are not used to people saying “Hello” with a big smile, you’re in for a treat.

Local residents of Hamilton, Montana (and all over the Bitterroot Valley for that matter) are warm and friendly, especially to new residents. Their friendliness can be contagious so don’t be surprised if you start asking complete strangers how they are and telling them to have a great day!

  • Schedule some outdoor adventures!

While you may have been cooped up in a small space where you lived previously, now is your chance to go outside and have some fun in Big Sky Country!

There are so many things to do in your new, Montana location! For example, you can go hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, shopping, bird watching, horseback riding, and much more. Plus, you can visit some of our famous museums, restaurants, shows, local festivals, and rodeos. To find out more, check out this link of activities and events in Hamilton, Montana.

Darby Montana luxury homes

Darby Rodeo –

Living in Montana is a Smart Choice.

If you are ready to say goodbye to “big city living,” your new home in Hamilton, Montana or somewhere else in the Bitterroot Valley, awaits! You’ll enjoy friendly people, fresh air, relaxation, and thousands of fun things to do outside… and inside.

Are you ready to discover more about living in Montana?

Contact me directly for more information on finding your dream home:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Fly Fishing in Montana

It is Skwalla time!! Are you ready for fly fishing in Montana?

Skwalla Montana fly fishing

Any fly fisherman knows that the beginning of the season is very exciting.

The Skwalla hatch is about to begin signaling the official opening of fly fishing season in Western Montana.

This tradition usually starts in March and lasts through April.

The Bitterroot River Skwall Hatch is on!

Skwalla fly fishing in Montana

The Bitterroot River is famous for this annual event in that the Skwalla (Stonefly pattern) hatch occurs earlier than most Rocky Mountain rivers due to the warmer climate. The Bitterroot Valley is known as the “Banana Belt” of Montana making the winter months not as long or harsh.

The other local rivers – the Clark Fork, The Blackfoot and Rock Creek also will enjoy the Skwalla but not as early and definitely not as robust of activity.

Skwalla Fishing Montana

There are a number of wonderful day floats to experience this exciting season. My favorite is the Hannon Memorial to Wally Crawford near Darby and Stevensville Wye to Florence Bridge.

The Bitterroot River can be a bit tricky during high water with underwater snags and changing channel conditions. Seasoned fly fishing guides are available to expertly guide you, suggest the right pattern and let you catch beautiful healthy trout. If you need referrals to wonderful guides let me know and I will provide a few names for your use.

Fly fishing in Montana - Testing the water

USGS Measuring Teton River

If you are interested in keeping up on the flow rates you can click here.

Choose the Montana section then click on the link for the Bitterroot River near Darby.

As you float down the Bitterroot River, you will see beautiful, waterfront luxury properties.

There Skwalla fly fishing - Montanaare a select number of opportunities that offer river front living in a private and serene setting. A discrete offering is The Lodge on the Bitterroot which offers 49 acres, a mile of riverfront living, multiple residences and close convenience to Hamilton, Montana. Tour this exceptional offering at (www.TheLodgeOnTheBitterroot)


If you have never experienced the Skwalla Hatch – add it to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed. I will see you on the river!

Want to learn more about fly fishing opportunities and living in Montana? Please contact me at:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

What’s It Really Like to Live in Big Sky Country, Western Montana?

“Turn Me Loose – Set Me Free Somewhere in the Middle of Montana Big City Turn Me loose and set me Free…..” Merle Haggard

If you ask why we left the “Big City” in California, here is our story…

What’s It Really Like to Live in Western Montana?

Big Sky Montana, Western Montana

My husband and I decided that it was time to move due to the rapid changes that were taking place in California. We agreed that we would look west of the Mississippi with a vision of acreage for our horses, robust recreational choices, quality of life, cultural activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Our search took us to seven different states (Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona) in a period of five years. The only place that felt like home was Western Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.

We did a tremendous amount of due diligence regarding the weather, culture, health care, city conveniences, equine support,  real estate values, and recreation. We did not know a soul when we moved, but that changed quickly!!

Barn in Bitterroot

Western Montana is a rare find in that the people are warm, friendly, inclusive, and helpful.

In the 20 years we have lived here full-time, we have encountered the most wonderful experiences. People genuinely care, will help you out regardless of the need and you will be warmly welcomed.

The medical community offers the full range of professional specialties. The facilities are first rate and have the latest diagnostic equipment available. International Heart InstituteThe International Heart Institute is world renown for their research and cutting edge surgical procedures.

With the University of Montana in Missoula, the cultural offerings are vast, the sporting events are first class and the college community adds a level of energy to the town.University of Montana Missoula


Weather in Western Montana does offer the four seasons but in a very mild way.  We have not been inconvenienced with extreme temperature changes and find that each season offers its own charm.

People who come to Montana do so for various reasons – job transfers, retirement, second home, new start, quality of life, a focus on family, clean environment, recreation, quality of education etc. The opportunities are endless.

If you have any questions about looking in Western Montana – give me a call at 406.240.6497.

I will give you an honest response and help make your move to the Bitterroot Valley stress free and easy.  That is what “Montana friendly” is all about!

For more information about living in Montana, please see some additional blogs here.