Hamilton Montana

A Bitterroot River fishing report outside Osprey Outfitters, a fly fishing shop in Hamilton.
Maxine Speier

New regulations to limit commercial guiding and float-fishing along the West Fork and Upper Bitterroot River will get a public hearing in Missoula Monday night. It's the first of three hearings Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is holding to get public feedback on the proposals.

On Saturday fish are rising to feed on the Bitterroot a short walk from downtown Hamilton. The river is teeming with fish - at about a thousand trout per mile, the Bitterroot holds many more fish than other rivers its same size. The valley is a well known blue ribbon fly-fishing destination.

But what do you do when a sport gets too popular?

"Steveareno" and "Lady Jane" load their guns during an action shooting event in Hamilton, MT Sept. 3, 2017.
Matt Blois

Jean Butler is a retired college administrator, but on Saturday she looked more like a character from a John Wayne movie. She wore a straw hat, suspenders and a thick leather belt weighed down with two pistols and a row of red shotgun shells. She had abandoned her old identity and adopted the nom de guerre Clara Allen.

She was one of a few dozen shooters at a cowboy action shooting event in Hamilton last weekend. The competitors dressed up like characters from the old west and adopted cowboy aliases. At each stage, they shot at steel targets and acted out scenes based on stories from Montana mining towns.

A popular city park in Hamilton will stay where it is thanks to a special election this week.

Bitterroot Valley residents are notoriously skeptical of proposed bond issues. But Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster says local voters made an exception Tuesday to preserve Claudia Driscoll Park:

The Roaring Lion fire burning five miles southwest of Hamilton, MT, July 31, 2016.

Forty-five acres of trees killed by a major wildfire last summer are slated for harvest. The Bitterroot National Forest today announced it’s moving forward on the salvage project in the Roaring Lion draining southwest of Hamilton.

A  June 2016 Hamilton Playhouse production of "Into The Woods."
Courtesy Tom Braden

Last week a case of mistaken identity brought the New York City theater world and Washington D.C. politics slamming into a small non-profit in the Bitterroot Valley.