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Montana => Ice Fishing Montana => Topic started by: oldschoolben on Jan 05, 2019, 05:21 PM

Title: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 05, 2019, 05:21 PM
 I live in the bitterroot valley, but Im thinking about moving to either Helena or Kalispell,  Im self employed and could move my business to either location,   , Both areas have a lot to offer ,I live for fishing so that has alit to do with my decision,  Im not a trout guy , Im more of a bass, pike ,walleye ,perch ,crappie guy , .I would like some comments about pros and cons of both lications , any input is appreciated
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Wenger on Jan 05, 2019, 05:52 PM
Of the two Helena for me.

For me personally Jordan, but that was vetoed by the wife years ago!
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: lspower on Jan 05, 2019, 05:53 PM
Moving a business to Helena is a death wish.Ive lived all over the western half of the state,Eastern MT will be my next local.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 05, 2019, 06:05 PM
Is it that hard to make  a living in Helena  ? I'm a master plumber, I figured Helena would have work , Ive called General contractors in both locations and have had good talks
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: G fish on Jan 05, 2019, 06:10 PM
OSB. Both choices will put you closer to better opportunities for fishing, as for your type of occupation no worries. Gd luck on your choice. I would head North.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 05, 2019, 06:25 PM
Yes , I'm really thinking about Kalispell,  I do wish there was some walleye fishing closer, but Noxon isnt too far,
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: monk38 on Jan 05, 2019, 07:09 PM
Lewistown seems nice
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: missoulafish on Jan 05, 2019, 08:31 PM
so many opportunities to catch fish in Kalispell area....
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: PablitoPescador on Jan 06, 2019, 12:10 AM
I've always thought that Lewistown offers a little bit of everything. Great hunting and you're not that far from Fort Peck
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: SpitzoMT on Jan 06, 2019, 04:29 AM
That would be an easy choice for me.....I'd be Kalispell's newest resident !!
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 06, 2019, 09:56 AM
For me the Plains/T-Falls area has everything I wanted. Like you I can live anywhere for work but after driving out all of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and then doing careful research this area had everything I wanted. I needed the following things in addition to a fast internet connection for work:

A good amount of local grown grass hay for horses so I don't have to get it shipped in.
Be able to walk out my door and go hunting for deer.
Good pike and perch fishing (the excellent bass and walleye fishing here were an unexpected pleasant bonus).
Small farming / ranching town atmosphere.
A good church with solid teaching.
Affordable land prices for keeping livestock on and building a home etc.
Little to no wind for the bulk of the year (I can't even begin to express how much I hate windy days).
Mountains, trees, rivers and lakes.
Good small school for my kids.
A community that leans politically libertarian and or constitutional conservative.

I originally lived outside Stevensville down in the bitterroot for a few months, and hated it. It was like living in Oregon, yuppies with a far left mentality and terrible hunting and fishing.

I moved from there to outside Kalispell near Lakeside. Housing prices were outrageous and land was insanely expensive for how much land I wanted and there isn't a ton of hay growers of grass hay. You can find it but it gets pretty expensive per ton. Not as bad as like Eureka where you have to get it shipped in but well into the $200 - $250 a ton range which is highway robbery to me.

Over toward Libby had everything I wanted minus hay and good pasture land. If I were ever to move, it would be up that direction. Your criteria may be different than mine but I would choose Kalispell over Helena if I had to choose between the two but the Plains/Thompson Falls area was the only place I found that hit all my personal criteria.

The only con here is the elk hunting is terrible when there is any at all and that is entirely due to the large wolf problem we have.

Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 06, 2019, 10:23 AM
Thompson falls is my dream ,but might be hard to stay busy with service work, Noxon is my favorite place , and I would like to fish the flathead river as well ,8f I thought I  could make a living there then Thompson falls or Trout creek would be my move
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 06, 2019, 10:50 AM
What about the Libby/Troy area? It's twice the size or more than T-Falls and if you lived in the Troy area you are less than an hour from Noxon depending on road conditions. Just be sure to get a place outside the old mine routes etc. so you don't have to worry about the whole asbestos thing.

Also what info would you need to see if a service area from Paradise to Trout Creek would meet your needs for business revenue/amount of work?
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 06, 2019, 10:55 AM
FWIW the drive to and from Kalispell from down here isn't bad if you end up moving to Kalispell area. I drive it every other week for treatment at the hospital up there. I was driving it weekly when they had me on a higher dosage. Takes about 1.5 hours if the roads are good to get from my place to the north end of Kalispell. I live 20 minutes north of Plains up in the mountains so part of that drive time is driving out the cr@p road from my place down to hwy 200.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Wenger on Jan 06, 2019, 12:01 PM
For me as far from CA as possible!  (Yet here we are  on Bozeangles) After I got of the military I could still walk some and could row, so I came to BZN to start guiding. Lewistown was very tempting at that time as housing was cheap, we had established relationships with some local ranchers for hunting and fishing Big Spring plus peck being close. Sadly most of these places have changed greatly in 25 years. Jordan on the other hand has not.  Do over, both my wife and I would have chosen Lewistown. That said our kids stayed close so all is good save the five hours to Hell Creek. :tipup:
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: wingnutty on Jan 06, 2019, 06:44 PM
Well, as far as larger MT towns are concerned you are choosing between the two best, in my opinion.  Both offer a lot and both would be great spots.  I'd be torn if I were choosing.  Ultimately, I think i would choose Kalispell for a few reasons:
1.  better turkey hunting.  I love chasing turkeys are Kalispell has good bird #s and isn't far from Idaho so you can go shoot two more pretty easily in a short drive
2.  Better bass fishing.  I prefer bass fishing personally.  So many lake options near kalispell and great diversity of species, but Helena is very great too.  I just like smaller lakes instead of larger, wind-blown reservoirs. 
3.  Better town, great healthcare
4.  close to Canada if you feel to crowded you can hop the border in about an hour and find great solitude
5. closer to a bigger city (spokane) for airports and if you want to getaway for a bit with the lady.

I'm in Polson and would never live anywhere else.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 06, 2019, 06:54 PM
What about the Libby/Troy area? It's twice the size or more than T-Falls and if you lived in the Troy area you are less than an hour from Noxon depending on road conditions. Just be sure to get a place outside the old mine routes etc. so you don't have to worry about the whole asbestos thing.

Also what info would you need to see if a service area from Paradise to Trout Creek would meet your needs for business revenue/amount of work?       I was doing new construction but started targeting more service work , repairs on plumbing systems,  broken pipes , replace water heaters, faucet repair,  all that fun stuff.  Also remodels ,and nwe construction as needed, so I need a good population
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 07, 2019, 09:42 AM
I think that is the reason we don't have much in the way of qualified plumbers up here. There was an old guy who used to do a lot of the service work around here but I am pretty sure he was an alcoholic and his business fell apart and/or he retired. Last service work I had done was a young guy who did a good job but it was an emergency and he was still backed up enough that it took way too long for him to get up here. He did a good job once he finally came up. If you made your service area the MT/ID border along 200 to the Rivalli area at the junction of 200 and 93 I would think you would have enough service calls to keep you busy but I honestly can't say for sure. You would definitely put in a lot of miles. I will amass the population data for that area and then you could see if that is enough people to keep you in steady work.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 07, 2019, 10:15 AM
Here is the 2010 data by zip code for the areas along hwy 200 from the border to Dixon. There are more people here now but probably not more than 1,000 of them if you combine all the zip codes so this data should still be relevant:
59844 - 736
59853 - 699
59874 - 1,568
59873 - 3,085
59859 - 3,270
59866 - 943
59831 - 454
      Total: 10,755

If you also served Arlee and St Ignatius which are just off of hwy 200 north and south from it's junction with hwy 93 those two zip codes are:

59821 - 2,377
59865 - 3,185
      Total: 5,562

So a total population for that service area of: 16,317

Kalispell has a population of 23,212 in 2017. (6,895 more than the Hwy 200 Clark Fork Valley)

Helena has a population of 31,429 in 2017. (15,112 more than the Hwy 200 Clark Fork Valley and 8,217 more than Kalispell)
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Wenger on Jan 07, 2019, 11:43 AM
Here is the 2010 data by zip code for the areas along hwy 200 from the border to Dixon. There are more people here now but probably not more than 1,000 of them if you combine all the zip codes so this data should still be relevant:
59844 - 736
59853 - 699
59874 - 1,568
59873 - 3,085
59859 - 3,270
59866 - 943
59831 - 454
      Total: 10,755

If you also served Arlee and St Ignatius which are just off of hwy 200 north and south from it's junction with hwy 93 those two zip codes are:

59821 - 2,377
59865 - 3,185
      Total: 5,562

So a total population for that service area of: 16,317

Kalispell has a population of 23,212 in 2017. (6,895 more than the Hwy 200 Clark Fork Valley)

Helena has a population of 31,429 in 2017. (15,112 more than the Hwy 200 Clark Fork Valley and 8,217 more than Kalispell)

You need to open a business consulting firm dude! ;D
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 07, 2019, 08:25 PM
Thanks for that information cornbread,  definitely gives me something to think about
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: wingnutty on Jan 07, 2019, 10:12 PM
only problem with that area is that it is spread out and not a lot of new construction or commercial-type construction which, I assume, is where a lot of the $ is on a plumbing business in western MT.  Keep in mind that St. Ignatius to Trout Creek/Noxon is an hour and a half on good roads.  Plains to Noxon is about an hour.  So you'd be pretty spread out. 
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 07, 2019, 10:41 PM
It would be so nice to be man pretty, I woluld love to have a sugar mama. Then I could live in Thompson falls
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: RuralMT on Jan 08, 2019, 09:26 AM
If fishing is your guiding light, I'd choose the Kalispell area if I were you...granted that just means more competition for me  :P  I can't speak for the money end of your debate, but I chose a teaching career knowing full well I'd be tight on funds, especially in Montana.  However, it allowed me to take a job where I wanted and having chosen northwest Montana, I couldn't be happier.  More lakes and streams than you could fish in a lifetime and a diversity of species to boot...came out here thinking trout were the bee's knees and am now a hardwater perch nut!
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 08, 2019, 09:44 AM
I just bid my first project for the Kalispell area,   I will try and bid some a few more,  if I get them I will move , Then start advertising for the service work, I would like to target ths flathead and as far as trout creek for work, Its in Gods hands now ,if its meant to be it will work out
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: RuralMT on Jan 08, 2019, 10:08 AM
Best of luck, and keep us posted if you make it up here! Plenty of IS folk up in this neck of the woods...I'm sure we could shorten your learning curve of the area substantially!
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Raquettedacker on Jan 08, 2019, 10:13 AM
Is there still anywhere out there left to buy a house on say 50 acres?   And what would that cost? 
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 08, 2019, 10:18 AM
Another reason I want to move to the Kalispell area as I started fishing bass tournaments again and I plan on fishing more this next year
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 08, 2019, 10:25 AM
I think for what you are needing business wise balanced against what you want for fishing that Kalispell is the wisest choice. The data I posted before doesn't count the surrounding areas of Bigfork, Lakeside, Somers, Batavia, Kila, Evergreen, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Creston. To get that data you need to go by zip code and use the 2010 census data as your low info e.g. we know Kalispell and the surrounding areas have grown a lot during the past 8 years so you are safe assuming there are at least this many people. Here is the info by zip code for Kalispell and the surrounding communities that are easily served without driving your wheels off. Going by zip code gives you a much more accurate picture of the service area vs just within the boundary of the city of Kalispell. Here is that info:

59937 - 12,588
59912 - 13,499
59901 - 49,693
59920 - 1,680
59922 - 2,408
Total population of service area: 79,868

Now an interesting thing about census data that is particularly relevant to your business type is that they count number of housing units by zip code. By housing units this means homes and individual apartments etc. Because they break it down like that it is very relevant to your business because a service call to a single apartment generates the same amount of revenue as that same service call to a residential home. So the numbers give you info that is relevant to your business directly. Here are the number of housing units by zip code for that service area:

59937 - 7,873
59912 - 6,048
59901 - 22,002
59920 - 853
59922 - 1,548
Total number of housing units in service area: 38,324

So there are over twice as many housing units in that service area as there are total people in the entire hwy 200 service area listed before. That is a LOT of potential service calls. Even if you got service call from only 1% of those housing units you are still at over 1 service call per day for an entire year.

Like I mentioned before I think this is your wisest course of action to get your business what it needs and meet your desires for quality of life.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 08, 2019, 10:30 AM
To do an analysis of competition within that service area would take more time than I have this morning while I am waiting for my boss to get in and update my work queue for the day but I think you are making a good choice.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Wenger on Jan 08, 2019, 04:35 PM
Another reason I want to move to the Kalispell area as I started fishing bass tournaments again and I plan on fishing more this next year

Plenty, just not close to any bigger town.

 Martinsdale, Harlowton, Two Dot, Jordan areas for sure. They are often desperate for new folks to move in.  Houses in those towns are real cheap, getting a rancher to part with 50 acres can be done especially if he thinks he might get some ranch help from the deal. At least that is still the case in Eastern MT, not sure about over the divide. You can Google those places to see and even call the mayors of those little places to get a feel. 

Lewistown, Livingston and around bigger towns/cities or where the farming ground is good not so much.   
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: gened on Jan 10, 2019, 01:25 AM
I just bid my first project for the Kalispell area,   I will try and bid some a few more,  if I get them I will move , Then start advertising for the service work, I would like to target ths flathead and as far as trout creek for work, Its in Gods hands now ,if its meant to be it will work out
Well, Ben if you show up to look at the job, you'll be leading your competitors.  Its hard to get people to respond.  Things are busy. Do you do new new construction only, or do you do repairs and remodeling?
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 10, 2019, 07:19 AM
Well, Ben if you show up to look at the job, you'll be leading your competitors.  Its hard to get people to respond.  Things are busy. Do you do new new construction only, or do you do repairs and remodeling?

I would prefer service work, repairs to broken pipes, replace water heaters,repair or replace shower valves, faucets , and any other issues with plumbing systems, I was doing new construction, but started targeting service work I bid a job in Kalispell just to het me work until I xan get my name out there,


Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Mtwolfer on Jan 10, 2019, 09:41 AM
Alot of people are moving to Montana! "The Last Best Place", most move to the Bitterroot valley, then over to Helena, then further east to Lewistown or Roundup areas. I made the move a few years ago, went to Helena because of "Low crime and the VA hospital is there . They claimed a modest/low population, but there is East Helena, North Helena ,South Helena and it is growing at an Alarming rate ! alot of retired guys! boat ramps packed, river bank crowded. New subdivisions popping up everywhere.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 11, 2019, 08:05 AM
Yes the bitterroot is growing ,but I just dont like living here,  I leave every chance I get, to either Noxon reservoir or the lakes in Helena, I haven't fished the bitterroot river in almost 8 years, except a couple times around Lolo for pike, thats why I want to move
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: slipbob on Jan 11, 2019, 11:45 AM

A good amount of local grown grass hay for horses so I don't have to get it shipped in.


That's an interesting thing to consider.  I've got 3 draft horses and we go through about 1200 bales a year in addition to the grass they eat in the pasture but hay is plentiful in our area and pretty inexpensive.  I've never been to Montana but it sure looks beautiful.  Hoping to take a trip this summer and do some fishing. 
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 11, 2019, 12:27 PM
That's an interesting thing to consider.  I've got 3 draft horses and we go through about 1200 bales a year in addition to the grass they eat in the pasture but hay is plentiful in our area and pretty inexpensive.  I've never been to Montana but it sure looks beautiful.  Hoping to take a trip this summer and do some fishing.

It's because so much of the state is mountains which means lots of trees and rock and not much ground for hay in those areas of heavy mountain timber. I'm not complaining at all, I love living in the mountains but if you have livestock that eat hay, especially horses that need good grass hay not alfalfa you have to be careful where you move to out here or you will end up paying $250 or more per ton to have it shipped in. What I do here is I contract a hay growing service to grow and harvest hay of the type I specify(we do a 3 grass blend of crested wheatgrass, pubescent wheatgrass and intermediate wheatgrass) and then I hire a crew of Amish kids to pick it out of the field for me onto the flatbed trailer and put it in my barn for the year. Up where we live there is no hay ground so the fields I contract are all down more toward the river in the agricultural area of the valley. It sounds like you are using about 30 ton of hay per year for your draft horses. 30-ish lbs of hay per day for each horse? If you ever moved out this way you would want to be sure to live close to good hay growing areas because to have it shipped in you would be looking at at least $7,500 a year for 30 tons of hay vs $3,900 or so if you live where you can just pick it out of the field yourself. That $3,600 difference per year adds up quick over the years.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 11, 2019, 04:31 PM
Lol its so funny hiw topics can totally change from where they start off and end up going, some good info regardless
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Jaredat22 on Jan 11, 2019, 04:35 PM
Helena!
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: wyogator on Jan 11, 2019, 06:17 PM
I have always liked the Potomac Valley. There is good river fishing for trout. Brown's, Seeley, Harper's Lakes are nearby. Helena isn't far away for walleye. There is good deer and elk hunting right at your back door. It is close enough to a few ski areas, if you are into that. You could find plumbing work in the Missoula area.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Wenger on Jan 12, 2019, 12:29 PM
Lol its so funny hiw topics can totally change from where they start off and end up going, some good info regardless

Letís not forget how common agates are in different places and how close a hobby lobby is.  ::)
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 13, 2019, 09:21 PM
Letís not forget how common agates are in different places and how close a hobby lobby is.  ::)
  lol what?
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 14, 2019, 01:48 PM
I decided on Kalispell,  now I just need to get some jobs lined up
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: Cornbread on Jan 14, 2019, 04:12 PM
Good to hear! I hope you get work lined up right away and get moved up there soon.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Jan 14, 2019, 05:49 PM
I'm heading up in the morning to meet meet a few contractors,  I actually have a service call for one of the contractors in Kalispell  meeting her tomorrow morning and try to meet a few more ,then going fishing Wednesday
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: The Linguist on Feb 05, 2019, 10:21 PM
How did it go for you Oldschool? Hopefully it went well.
Title: Re: If you could live any where im Montana ,whete would it he?
Post by: oldschoolben on Feb 05, 2019, 10:57 PM
It went well, I got a service call so that paid for my trip, caught a few pike so it was a good trip