Blog Posts In Old Works

Freestones and Fairways, Big Hole Lodge and Old Works

Excerpt from: Troon Golf


"A few years back, a fishing guide acquaintance of mine led linksters Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara out on Oregon’s Deschutes River for a fly-fishing outing. As my friend recounted this special day on the river, it struck me that many golfers I know fly-fish.and vice versa. Perhaps it’s the outdoor setting, pitting man against natural obstacles (be they finicky trout or gaping bunkers). Perhaps it’s the similitude of the swinging/casting motion—the fact that the ball and the fly go further when you move smooooooooooothly.

Or perhaps it’s the fact that in your average four-hour round of golf, the time one spends actually swinging a club and putting amounts to about three minutes. The rest of the time you’re gauging distances, checking the wind, selecting clubs and reading greens. When fly-fishing a river, the best day involves minutes, not hours, of actually fighting fish. The rest of the time is spent gauging currents, checking for rises, selecting flies and reading the water.

For both sports, it’s what happens “between the ears” that separates success and failure. And even a day of failure can be saved if one is able to stop and appreciate the scenery. (Some wag once said that trout don’t live in ugly places. Neither do roosterfish, nor striped bass, nor snook.)

Below, we’ve highlighted 10 venues around the United States (and a bit beyond) that offer the golfer the chance to recognize his inner fly-fisher—and the fly-fisher the chance to recognize her inner golfer—and both to enjoy some fantastic natural settings."


"Rich in “Big Sky” scenery and wild trout, the Big Hole River (south of Anaconda) fulfills the promise that the phrase “Montana trout fishing” holds. The Big Hole is a study in contrasts, running through high mountain country, sprawling valleys and rugged canyons. There are brook trout and grayling in the upper river, trophy browns and rainbows in the mid- and lower river, with cutthroat scattered throughout. Good dry fly-fishing is available from late spring on. Base your angling operations at Craig Fellin’s Big Hole Lodge (, one of the west’s most respected lodges/guiding outfits. In Anaconda, a most memorable round of golf awaits at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design track Old Works (—perhaps the greatest course ever constructed on a Superfund site. Remnants of Old Works’ earlier incarnation as a copper smelting facility are evident around the routing, including flues and smelting ovens. Most distinctive are the course’s black bunkers, fashioned from slag, a residue of the smelting process."