Smoke Hole Outfitters. Fly Fish West Virginia

Flashback to May

Amelia Farrar and I were driving to Kansas City, after a week in Helper Kansas turkey hunting. As I pulled into the airport shuttle line, the car grew quiet, we both knew what was about to happen... we would be parting ways once again to return to opposite sides of the country. Fours days was not nearly enough time! Between teary goodbyes and puppy kisses, we vowed that another girls trip was needed, ASAP!  

Well ASAP  meant "as soon as I could drive back across the country" or as it happened 4 months later at Smoke Hole Resort with Josh and Rachelle Hedrick. Having lived only hours from Smoke Hole Resort a few years prior, I was familiar with both Josh and Rachelle, and was eager to get to West Virginia to fish! Amelia and Rachelle met up earlier in the summer, spent a few days fishing & hours laughing! It was at that trip that our end of summer girls fishing weekend came to light. 

Not a week later, I get a phone call from Rachelle anxious to arrange a weekend for us all to fish together. Of course my answer was... HECK YES... just let me know when and I will be there.  

 

Fast Forward... Way Forward.  

Sunday August 13th, my car is loaded the ceiling, my puppy is curled up in the back seat, and a full RedBull sits in the cup holder. My destination? Smoke Hole Resort in Cabins, WV. I had been looking forward to this trip for months. Not only was I going to be reunited with one of my best friends {Amelia}, but I was finally going to meet Rachelle. I had been following her for a year or so on social media {Instagram} and could just tell we would all hit it off. As the 4 hour drive trickled down to 3 hours, then 2 hours, then 1 hour to go, in the dark & without cell service... my anticipation grew. I don't know about you, but I love meeting new people & visiting new places so spending a weekend with Josh & Rachelle in a part of West Virginia I was unfamiliar with sounded like the right prescription.  

As I made my way up the switchback driveway to the main house, the only thing on my mind... LETS GET THIS WEEKEND STARTED! I was immediately greeted in the driveway with hugs all around! You know those people in your life where it doesn't matter the time that has past you just seem to pick up right where you left off... well it's safe to say that there was no shortage of belly laughs right out of the car door. Within minutes we settled in the for evening and began making our plans for the next morning. On the top of the list? Fly Fishing of course, duh!  

I won't bore you with all the details of the weekend, but if I am being honest there was not one boring part about the whole trip! Smoke Hole Resort is stunning! From the grounds to the cabins, the catch & keep pond to the #ItsInMySpringCreek trout, this is one place I will be going back to, immediately!  


August 14th. Rain, Rain, You Won't Keep Us Away 

We woke up to the sound of rain on the roof and a gray gloom hanging in the air. To most, it would have been enough to stay inside, pop in a movie, curl up & relax, but not for us. Rain was not about to stop us from checking out the Spring Creek. With Muck Boots in tow and raincoats on our backs, we headed to the Trout Shack. Within minutes lines were in the water, jokes were starting, and the familiar sound of "Fish On" was echoing in my head. This Spring Creek was unlike anything I had seen before. Rainbow, Tiger, Golden, Albino and Brook Trout all in one place! All eating Green Wooly Buggers! 

As the afternoon ticked away, we retired our rods, grabbed lunch, wrangled up the guys and headed to the brute section of the Spring Creek. On the docket? The Big Ones.  

fishing in the rain... that is worth at least 10 points


August 15th. Spring Run & Endless Mountain Views 

If you have had a conversation with Amelia lately, you surly know her love for Brook Trout. It is the only species she was after this weekend. She didn't care how big they were... she just wanted to catch one, a Native one! Josh, the head guide at Smoke Hole Outfitters (aka Rachelle's husband) joined us for the day. He suggested we go for a drive to Spring Run, a formerly private stretch of water that was sold to the state. Now a public fly fishing only fishery we were all excited to see what we could get to eat our dry flies. Fingerling Brook & Rainbow Trout did not disappoint!   

 

After a few hours of stealth fishing for Native Trout, we changed our gears. Time to see why people refer to West Virginia as the "Wild & Wonderful" state. The side-by-side was quickly loaded on the trailer and off we went. The "farm" as Josh and Rachelle call it hosts the most beautiful view of the valley. A 20 minute ride up to the top & a short walk out onto the rocks, I was speechless. Now, I know I live in Montana and our views are impressive, but this is in a league of it's own. West Virginia, you are beautiful! That 360 degree view will forever be in my mind. Rolling green hills, wildlife galore, and birds soaring overhead... its safe to say, West Virginia lived up to it's name. 

 

It is always hard for me to put into words the emotions I feel after trips like this. For 3 days straight I was surrounded by some of the best people I have ever met, doing what we all enjoy. For the five of use pictured above {Amelia, Me, Scott, Josh, Rachelle} the outdoors is our way of life. It is how we all collectively recharge, unwind, and find peace amongst our busy lives. Almost two weeks later and I am still laughing to myself about funny things that were said or how many times White Bread was brought up. The shear beauty of West Virginia is an attractor on its own, but when you add in great fishing, even greater friends, and the common bond that brought us all together, one can truly see the beauty that the outdoors holds.