Trout Unlimited

The Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host the seventh annual Fly Fishing for Vets Day and the first ever Ladies Fly Fishing Day in Cave Spring at Rolater Park on July 20.

These lucky folks will be able to fly fish for trout in the same pond that the kids use for the TU Kids Fishing Day. There are still a lot of trout left over from the past two kids fishing events and that means that there are still a few large ones waiting to be caught.

These free events are for all military veterans as well as active service personnel and ladies ages 13 and older. The veterans’ pond fishing time is from 10 a.m. to noon, and the ladies’ pond fishing time is from 1 p.m. until about 3 p.m. No license is required for pond fishing.

Vets and ladies are permitted to fish Little Cedar creek throughout the day with any fishing tackle of choice as long as they have a valid fishing license and trout stamp. Ladies ages 13 through 15 are not required to have a license. At around noon, the TU Chapter will serve a hot dog lunch for all attending.

Fly fishing is a great way to enjoy your time at the water and is not just a way to catch trout. I started fly fishing at an early age. I was about 7 years old and had been fishing from a boat with my father for bream. I used his fly rod which was about 9-feet long, and I doubt that I was much over 3 feet tall. I was able to catch a few and was able to cast adequately.

I enjoyed that you never had to bait a hook and did not have to wait for a bobber to go down. On my next birthday, my uncle Leonard gave me my first fly rod and I used that rod until the mid eighties when I lost it going over a waterfall in a canoe in Ellijay.

I now have several fly rods ranging from a 5 1/2-foot, two-weight that I use in small creeks to a 9-foot, nine-weight that I use for striped bass and saltwater fish. This past month I used that large rod to catch dolphin (mahi-mahi) blue runners and jacks off shore in the Florida Keys.

The smaller rod gets a lot of use and in fact I probably use it more than all my rods including spinning rods.

In small warm water creeks I can usually catch 50 or so fish and often many more in a short summer afternoon. I have caught catfish, carp, crappie and creek chubs all in the same day. As far as bass go, I caught white bass, striped bass, yellow bass, spotted and largemouth, redeye bass as well as rock bass.

Farm ponds are great places for the fish collectively known as bream. Farm ponds usually have blue gill and shell crackers but the creeks have a wider variety.

Not only will you find the pond fish in creeks but also red-breast, green sunfish, pumpkinseed, long ear sunfish, warmouth and spotted sunfish. Sometimes you just never know what you will catch.

The fish might not be large and sometimes very small but the joy of fishing far outweighs the total weight of your fly rod catch.

Ladies and veterans, if you like to catch fish and enjoy catching a lot of fish, fly fishing is the way to go. Come to Cave Spring on July 20 and join the others in learning how to fly cast and gain the skills needed to catch fish of all kinds. Be sure to sign in before you start fishing because we will be giving away a lot of fly rods as well as other fishing gear.

There will be drawings throughout the day and you might just go home with a complete fly fishing outfit. Even if you do not want to fly fish, any legal fishing gear is allowed in the creek.

Don’t be intimidated because it is a fly rod. The fish in the cave pond are used to having people around and are usually willing biters.

Remember, veterans fish the pond from 10 a.m. to noon and the ladies, as young as 13, fish the pond from 1 to 3 p.m at Rolater Park in Cave Spring. Bring a cooler with ice to take your catch home.

Paul Diprima is a member of the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and writes about fishing in Northwest Georgia and the South. The group’s website is https://coosavalley.tu.org/.

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