A Sad Day In Divide

I was awakened at 2:00 am this morning with a phone call from Roger at the shop and all he said was, the Blue Moon next door is on fire and I’m starting to take things out of the shop. I rushed down there expecting to see both places on fire. The Blue Moon was totally engulfed by flames. The Melrose and Wise River fire trucks had just arrived and were hosing down the fly shop as the Blue Moon was already a lost cause. The fly shop is fine but the old Blue Moon is totally gone. I was also the manager of that place and and I just felt sick having to call my friends-Clay and Phillip who are the owners and tell them it had burned to the ground. I used to take pride in telling people who had never been here that Divide consisted of the Blue Moon Saloon, Great Divide Outfitters fly shop and a post office, what more do you need. People kept coming by all day today and looking in disbelief that it was gone. Neighbors and friends came by and offered any kind of help they could give. I have to thank my friend and fellow outfitter, Bob Folkedahl who I called at 5:30 this morning and asked if he could take my clients today. He was there in a heart beat.

A piece of history in the Big Hole Valley is gone.


  1. Al, I am truely sorry for your and the communities loss. This is certainly a terrible event and landmarks like this are few and far between. Maybe this event will in time present an opportunity to rebuild and start anew. Wade

  2. That is really a shame. I remember on our many river trips back in the good ol’ days, driving by the Blue Moon on our way up to Wisdom. I can only hope that this turns into an opportunity for the owners to rebuild or somehow recoupe their losses.

  3. Steve & Shari Russell

    Were so very saddened to hear about the loss of the Blue Moon next to a great fly shop. We spent a wonderful time last Fall in Divide flyfishing and thought the whole area to be very beautiful and full of the magesty of this great land. Our deepest condolences to all on the loss of a great place . . .the Blue Moon . . . and concern for the livilihood of the folks that worked, owned and frequented that great establishment.

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