As I cast meditatively for trout, the private lake at RiverView Ranch, mottled with lilac-edged ripples, speaks to me. “Be like water,” it says, as if it were a Tao master directing my thoughts. The first time I tried fly-fishing, years ago, I resembled an attention-deficit toddler in pursuit of the next activity. I couldn’t relax into the rhythm of nature’s stillness. I wanted action, a nibble on my line, a flopping fish pulled to the shore. But, now the ritual of this Zen sport (described as a religion by many advocates and as a sport for the mind by others) nourishes and recharges me.
I pull on enormous waders, patiently tie featherweight flies, and seek the ideal position beneath the brilliant sky. I cast a perpetual arc in hope of connection. Catching a fish, though, isn’t the point. Fly-fishing teaches life lessons like tenaciousness and fluidity, tenets germane to our daily lives. At RiverView Ranch, an intimate, eight-suite hideout (and Small Luxury Hotels member) on the Clark Fork River in western Montana, fly-fishing isn’t the only way to find contentment. The remote enclave offers scores of activities, from archery to hiking, spa treatments to chef- packed picnics, gleaned from the gourmet, farm-to-table restaurant. And if you catch that trout? They’ll grill it for you. If you don’t, you’ll have the gift of inner peace. riverviewranch.com