Josh Hedrick has always had a love for the outdoors, but his true passion is trout. He has been fly fishing the North fork of the Potomac River as long as he can remember. Before receiving his Bachelors degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from West Virginia University, he went to Idaho and Montana to Erv Malnirichs Outfitting and Guide School in the Selway–Bitteroot Wilderness in the summer of 1997. Josh completed the course with World Class Outfitters from Arlee, Montana. With the blessings of God, Josh has made his passion into a way of life by creating Smoke Hole Outfitters. His outdoor adventure is located in the heart of Smoke Hole Resort, his family owned caverns and log cabins resort nestled in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of Cabins, West Virginia.
At Smoke Hole Outfitters, Josh and his wife, Rachelle, operate a Catch ‘n Keep Trout Pond that they originally created for the kids, but can’t seem to keep the adults out of it. It’s literally a net full of fun for everyone. Although open year round, the fishing is almost non-stop from spring to fall. It not only attracts visitors who are staying at the resort, but also families that happened to be “passing through” and are lured into the excitement of the trout pond and just decide to stop and catch a few for dinner. Many anglers also enjoy the experience of landing a 4 to 10 lb. brood trout from the Catch ‘n Release Trophy Trout Stream. You always want to have your camera ready.
Josh is a member of the West Virginia Aquaculture Association and is currently spawning some of his brood trout to supplement his inventory. Josh is a fully licensed and bonded guide offering a beginner package and an extended day package for fly fishing lessons. He has been involved in two televised fly fishing tournaments with Fly Rod Chronicles, and also co-hosted a televised Smoke Hole Outfitters Youth Cast ‘n Blast, while turkey hunting and trout fishing.
Smoke Hole Outfitters not only offers trophy trout fishing, but also guides turkey and whitetail hunts on their private property. Although Josh has also been an avid hunter his whole life, he only started traveling to hunt extensively after meeting Rachelle. The two started off their adventures in New Mexico, both harvesting two archery bulls. They also took their “Huntingmoon” to New Zealand in March of 2010, planning on spending lots of time fly fishing, but ended up bringing home a white fallow deer, along with 2 Gold Plus Medal archery Red Stags. They’ve both taken dall sheep from the Yukon, Barbary Sheep from New Mexico, Mt. Lions from Colorado, amazing whitetail and a white wolf from Alberta…and the memories go on. Aside from being avid archers, they also picked up the art of long range shooting, and even host long range shooting classes several times a year at their resort.
In 2013, as Cabela’s Pro Staff Members, Josh and Rachelle hosted their very first “Cabela’s Free Fun Day” at Smoke Hole Resort. With children in mind, the day includes free trout fishing and free fishing poles, air rifle and archery ranges, hay rides, free lunch and even a free country rock concert. 2016 marked the fourth annual event, with usually over 2,500 people in attendance. Josh says, “My wife tells me I’m a kid magnet! I guess I just have patience with them. Our youth are our future and I enjoy teaching them everything there is too learn about the outdoors.”