A TWO-LANE ROAD DRIVING WEST FROM THE SMALL GOLD RUSH TOWN OF ALDER, MONTANA, LEADS TO THE ENTRANCE OF RUBY SPRINGS LODGE. WERE YOU HAPPILY GAZING AT THE SURROUNDING RUBY, TOBACCO ROOT, AND GRAVELLY MOUNTAIN RANGES, IT MIGHT BE EASY TO MISS ITS HAND-CARVED WOODEN SIGN. AFTER ALL, IT’S THE RUBY RIVER VALLEY AND THE MAGICAL POWERS OF NATURE
THAT CALL ANGLERS FROM GREAT DISTANCES TO THIS INTERNATIONAL FLY FISHING DESTINATION.
Nature has remarkably gifted the area with the meandering Ruby River and five miles of it run through the Lodge’s unspoiled private property. More than one enthusiast has claimed the location as ‘simply heaven’ and visitors return year after year to experience long days on the Ruby’s pristine banks. The memories made at Ruby Springs Lodge are at the heart of those who catch their first Rainbow, dine on the finest regional cuisine, and sleep in perfectly appointed cabins close to the calming murmur of the river.
Ready to fish? Because they’re ready for you. There’s no place to be but here.
Stories abound at the Lodge from sun up to sun down and there’s a reason why. With five miles of Ruby River, three miles of Clear Creek, two spring-fed ponds, plus four of the world’s most exceptional wild trout streams (Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Madison) there are plenty of tales to tell. Rising trout aside, there is even more to love about the Lodge and the location: its classic yet carefully considered architecture. True to fishing lodge architecture, massive log structures with cascading eaves and rambling decks have strongly held their place since the mid-century, however the owners at Ruby Springs decided to focus on simple, unadorned forms to elicit peace, comfort, and a serious connection to what longtime guests call ‘a feeling of home.’ Where other lodges may have lapsed in their balance of structure to nature, business partners Paul Moseley and John Sampson effectively accomplished this reverence to the landscape and wildlife in their placement of the Main Lodge and collection of cabins on the 700-acre-plus property back in 1995.
The elegant and discreet entrance signals ‘You’re home.’
This decision essentially defined what would become the essence of the Lodge’s life and their guests’ lifestyle: intimacy, privacy, and an invitation to explore nature. The five Riverside Cabins, the Tobacco Root Cabin, and the largest Discovery Cabin (at 1,500 square feet) act as conduits to the restorative energy of the outdoors. Each cabin, designed to include river rock fireplaces, heated flooring, and oversized tubs and showers has panoramic views of sagebrush hillsides and dusted peaks, which create infinite opportunities to engage in the natural surroundings via one of the most simple and innocent of amenities: a screened porch. Perhaps this item alone contributes to an unparalleled experience or maybe it’s the proximity of those fish.
What a beauty. The fish are as good looking as the horses. Must be the water around here.
Walking along the very pretty Ruby.
Moseley and Sampson, explorers at heart who met in fifth grade and whose shared love of guiding and hospitality has informed the longevity and success of Ruby Springs Lodge, set the standard for high-end fly fishing in the Rocky Mountain West when they enlisted extraordinary guides and provided world-class service to their repertoire over two decades ago. They knew that whatever brought on that moment of discovery or contentment in their own fishing expeditions could be mirrored in ambience and in personalized attention at their lodge. A recent result of their teamwork is the Triple C Cabins.
It’s time to sit yourself down for a spell just outside The River Room.
Flush with tranquility and exclusivity, the four large cabins, which remain out of view from the Main Lodge, are set against the rolling hills with grand views of thousands of neighboring acres of hay and grain fields and the signature Ruby green stream teeming with trout. The landscape says it all and the access to the stocked pond directly in front of the cabins is yet another way to indulge in the dreams of any fly guy or gal.
It feels as good as it looks inside the spacious cabins, where unplugging from the world comes quickly. With high ceilings, low-profile beds, generous areas to unpack and organize gear, and that perfect ‘just right’ chair to lose your thoughts in, the space feels both functional and elegant. The color palette is muted while the solid textures are offset by details in delicate art pieces, creating an unpretentiousness that suits the mix of materials.
In the bath, simplicity eliminates distraction. The deep soaking tub positioned at the window is ready for any length visit. The broad stone sinks have a tailored rimless look and the accompanying powder-coated, steel-framed storage unit pairs well with the thick woven rug.
“Because of our 35 years of friendship, our partnership has been a product of our respect for one another…”
The cabins form a lazy arc around the vast pond where a fire pit is placed just shy of its edge. Between the hours of dawn and dusk, this cherished spot is positioned to reflect the stillness and power of nature. There is much to contemplate by watching the rhythm of the fish, but what captivates is the chance to perfect your casting skills. It’s a heady mix of inspiration and isolation. And now that the partners have realized their combined vision with the Triple C Cabins, they’re on to something new.
The story of two young men who originally set out to engage the fly fishing world with their appealing blend of Montanan landscape and superior accommodations have arrived in their early 50s at a mutually beneficial understanding. They each want their own operations. In 2018, Moseley takes the rod as sole proprietor of Ruby Springs Lodge while Sampson begins his own take on fly fishing adventure on 1,200 acres bordering the Madison River.
Sporting the look of love because he knows all the good spots.
Sampson states, “Because of our 35 years of friendship, our partnership has been a product of our respect for one another and that’s why this decision is both bittersweet and exhilarating. We both love our roots in adventure, business, and Montana. That will never change!”
Buck and rail because it’s classy.
Whether you arrive to Ruby Springs Lodge as a beginner or expert, and whether you are in pursuit of Browns or Rainbows, the sounds of the fish, the voices of the guides, and the 25-plus-year staff will continue to be what leads you back to the soft knock at the cabin door that signals pre-breakfast coffee, the delicious lunch prepared streamside, the signature cocktails in the River Room, and the communal dinner at the day’s end. Listen to your ‘inner lodge’ speaking because the fish may be the story but it’s up to you to do the telling. Switch it up in 2019 and visit Sampson at his yet-to-be-named lodge. We’re certain you’ll find it easily on the World Wide Web!
When you’re finished fishing, there’s always more fishing.