With more than 2,600 miles of streams winding their way through Yellowstone National Park, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is but one waterway that creates the perfect conditions for some of the best fly fishing in the world. A fly fishing aficionado would easily jump at the chance to visit such a place, but one man took it a step farther. He created his own little piece of fly-fishing heaven, along the Henry’s Fork, thereby ensuring he can be streamside within minutes.

“As a young kid, I fell in love with fishing but as I got older, I never had time. Then I got exposed to fly fishing and wanted to do more with it and learn more about it,” says the homeowner, Marc, who has been visiting Idaho for years to partake in fly-fishing adventures.


Little did Marc know that fate would cast a line leading him to the perfect site, merging two objectives: finding a place where he could enjoy fly fishing and build the home that he had always dreamed of. “A friend mentioned that if he ever heard of a nice piece of property coming available along the river, he’d let me know. And then one day he called,” says Marc. “I was already on my way up for a fishing trip, so I went to take a look. When I got to the site, I saw it was a really nice piece of property and made an offer that day.”

“It was kind of funny because Marc had been going to Idaho with friends to fly fish for years. Then when he came home from this trip he said, ‘I bought seven acres and you’re going to love it,’” says his wife, Jill. “When I first saw the property, I thought ‘Really?’ It was overgrown and full of scrub. I wasn’t really good at envisioning what it could be but from the first minute Marc saw it, he knew what it would look like,” she adds.



The property is an elongated seven acres wedged between a rocky bluff formed from an ancient volcanic caldera and the Henrys Fork, a tributary of the Snake River. The site offers an immense amount of privacy for relaxing and entertaining family and friends, while offering an ideal setting for Marc’s fly-fishing habit. “When you first drive onto the property, you can see the Tetons in the distance. But then you drive down to the home and all of the sudden it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s like being in a park—it’s peaceful. The results are magnificent,” he says.

Once Marc purchased the property, he began studying various building styles and looking for an architect. After searching through dozens of magazines, he selected Ellis Nunn & Associates Architecture firm located in Jackson, Wyoming. “I liked what I saw in Ellis. I visited with him and told him all my ideas,” Marc says.

When a partner of Marc’s expressed interest in joining the project as well, the size and function changed, adding to the overall structure and feel. “Originally this home was planned as a fishing cabin, but then we increased the square footage and built the home as a vacation home,” Marc says.

“When we first bought the property, Marc envisioned a fishing cabin to take the guys to,” says Jill. “When the other partner came in, it needed to be bigger. It morphed from a cabin to a lodge. We enjoy entertaining, so in the end, we built a home that would enable a lot of people to enjoy it.”



The two couples worked together to create a masterpiece that would suit their individual and very different family needs. “We wanted to have a presence along the river and we wanted two master suites with porches on the first level. We agreed on the overall design, but we all had some autonomy on how we created our individual master suites,” he says. “I’ve always loved big porches and wrap-around porches, but I wanted something that was long, but not deep, and would take advantage of the river view.”

“We designed this home for the owners based on their needs and wants,” says Ellis. “We created lots of bedrooms and bathrooms without upping the square footage too much. The home isn’t extraordinarily large, but has lots of great space.”

Once the design was on the table, Ellis recommended a handful of log companies that could provide the logs for the home. “When we started the drawings, it was very important to get the logs right,” says Marc. “Ellis identified log producers who would do a good job and we went to several different manufacturers to check out projects they had completed.” Pioneer Log Homes in Victor, Montana, was the company Marc ultimately selected to provide the logs.

“The site was spectacular,” says Jay Pohley, president of Pioneer. “Working with Ellis was great, as he provided all his architectural drawings to us to complete our shop drawings. We stayed on schedule and stayed within budget. The contractors who finished the job did a wonderful job. All in all this was a wonderful project and a well-executed plan.”


At the owners’ request, the home contains one species of log: 12-inch lodgepole pine. The logs have a natural taper and were hand crafted, hand peeled, hand scribed, and hand notched.

With more than 7,000 square feet, the home is spacious without seeming overwhelming. It’s the perfect place to escape with family or friends. The home is surrounded by rocky outcroppings on one side, but the property also has a fair number of cedar trees, aspens, boulders, and rocks at the base of the home, which all help the home look more natural and help protect it from the area’s rough winter season.

“We used boulders to look like landscaping, but they actually to help protect the home from the ice that forms on the river in the winter,” Marc says.

“It was a challenge to design a floorplan that would meet the owners’ program and fit on the sliver of land between the river, the setback, and the bluff,” says John Kjos, project architect at Ellis Nunn & Associates. “But it worked out perfectly.”



The natural surroundings are not the only feature that makes the home stand out: the interior décor is just as appealing. “I was looking for a rustic lodge feel,” says Jill. “I tried to incorporate fish and wildlife into the theme without getting too cutesy. It was fun to do something rustic and incorporate more of an outdoor feeling than what we have in our full-time residence.”

With large, comfortable chairs and leather couches in the great room and muted but colorful bed coverings in each of the bedrooms, the home appeals to that rustic nature, without going overboard.

Despite the creature comforts of a masterfully designed and crafted home, the river and fishing is still what lies closest to Marc’s heart. “Even if I have been fishing all day, when I come home, I still enjoy sitting on the porch and just looking at the river.”

Photography by Roger Wade Studio