bob bellmore
Bob the Hermit drawn by Elmer Sprunger

We are sad to say long time neighbor and local legend Bob Bellmore has passed away at the age of 91. Bob was a true old timer who lived in his remote cabin without water or a car. Many of you might remember Bob who was known to show up at the Wednesday night Steak Fry for a left over steak and the chance to share his amazing knowledge of the history of the area.

Bob spent his time raising a few cattle and searching for a buried treasure on the Ranch Property (you might even know a few trails named after Bob). As the story goes according to Bob, way back when a bank was robbed in Ronan. When they caught up to the robbers they were in Woods Bay, at the south end of the Ranch, where they shot one of the robbers. The Robbers fled on horseback and when they found the rest, 4 miles away just east of Bigfork, at the north end of of the Ranch, the Robbers did not have their loot…

So the next time you are up riding up on the mountain, keep an eye out and you might just notice a few hand dug holes here and there. Whether or not Bob found the loot is a mystery, but his character and stories will be remembered by all.

Here is poem written about Bob.

‘The “Old Timer”

In some mysterious place up yonder,
perhaps an old rotting cabin,
perhaps a tent,
lives an old timer…
What type of life has brough this man

frostbitten earlobes,

smoked skin and sour smells

of horseweed…

What have those fiery eyes seen and known,

and who has kissed that grizzled face?

He’s a facination for his simple ways…

He tells of people and of the earth…

He knows of the deer,

the chokecherries,

and the harvest moon,

for he has memories of “Serinatin” his girl

…with old forgotten songs.

But in those eyes beyond the fire

I see the sunset;

the dimness is growing

as his memories are unwoven;

To me, he is real history so true

and when he is done sharing

he will pass on…

By Jenny Peck

Some of the new Elk Cows
Some of the new Cow Elk at the Elk Preserve

Well, after going almost 15 years without any females, 2010 is the lucky year for the old bulls in the Ranch’s Elk Preserve (we might re-name it ‘Trump Elk Preserve). We have introduced five bred and six un-bred females into the herd. Most of the old elk are between 15 and 18 years old (that’s pretty darn old for an elk) and it will be exciting  to see the new generation of the herd be introduced this spring.

We’ll keep you posted when the first mother calves!

Fall has become a great time to fish for pike in Flathead Lake. Until recent years, pike weren’t present in Flathead Lake in numerous numbers. A non-native fish, they aren’t regarded as a true sport fish by the locals and are very predatory. The last couple falls have been great fishing off the shores of Flathead Lake as can be witnessed by the two pike caught the last two years by staff. Chase Averill caught a 46″, 31lb. monster this fall on a 8 weight fly rod and last fall our sous chef caught a 49″, 28 lb. dandy.

Chase's Pike

Zach's Pike

Guests that have visited Flathead Lake Lodge over the last 10 years have enjoyed riding through our 500 acre Elk Preserve. These magnificent animals are now 12 – 16 years old which is full maturity. Very rarely are you able to see such mature animals in the Wild. The herd is managed by Scott Plum, an employee at the Lodge for over 20 years. Scott is seen feeding in January since browse is very scarce this time of year. We will move the herd into a 20 acre pen in March when they start loosing their antlers.

Elk Sparing

Elk Feed