Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited president Ed Palmer (from left) and treasurer Chuck Nix present a check to Vivian Davis and her daughter, Thea Chelsey, during the recent Trout Expo. Davis is the environmental education coordinator for the Arrowhead Environmental Education Center. (Contributed photo)

The Trout Expo was a great success, with about 200 folks attending the Trout Unlimited educational event. A troop of scouts enjoyed the casting competitions and several walked away with fishing outfits that were given away as door prizes.

During the event we made our annual donation to the Arrowhead Environmental Education Center. Since the center opened on Floyd Springs Road, the Coosa Valley chapter of TU has given almost $100,000 to Arrowhead to help with the day-to-day operations. TU wants to thank all the folks that participated in the Chili Cook Off because without the funds raised at the cook off our support of Arrowhead would not be possible.

Raccoon Creek workday

Members of the Coosa Valley and Cohutta chapters of TU will return to Paulding County to do a stream cleanup and trail maintenance on Raccoon Creek on Saturday.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Paulding Wildlife Management Area office. The office is located at 6700 Braswell Mountain Road, which turns off of Highway 278 a few miles south of Rockmart. If anyone would like to participate, plan on being at the meeting place before 9 a.m.

You do not have to be a TU member to help, but plan on bringing work gloves and hiking boots along with the desire to make this hidden gem of a stream a little bit nicer.

Dream Trip tickets

Ticket sales for the drawing for a dream fishing trip to Idaho end March 18. The trip includes a week in a private cabin just outside Yellowstone National Park with a personal cook to not only prepare meals but also give pointers on catching trout for the five days of fishing.

Winners will also be able to use two different fly rod outfits with two boxes of flies chosen for the trip. There are over a dozen runner-up prizes.

To purchase a ticket, get in touch with a TU member or attend the TU meeting at on March 15 at the ECO Center at Ridge Ferry Park.

River through Atlanta guide service

Back before Christmas, Ken Bradshaw invited me to join him on a float trip on the Hooch with master guide, Chris Scalley. Going fishing with Chris was something I could not pass up. Chris started guiding on the river over 20 years ago and knows the river better than anyone else.

His knowledge of the river is equally matched with his skill with a fishing rod, whether a fly rod or a spinning rod. We set out in one of his jet drive drift boats from the ramp at McGinnis Ferry road and headed up river about eight miles to start our drift from near Bowman’s Island.

Since the trip was a gift to Ken from his wife Sharon, I let Ken work closely with the guide. Ken chose to use a fly rod, so I used a spinning rod. By using a spinning rod it was easier to avoid tangling on back casts, which is highly likely when two anglers are using fly rods in the same boat.

The generators at Buford Dam had just been turned off about the same time we got in the boat. The morning air was cool, and the water was dropping fast and becoming clear, improving our odds on catching fish.

Chris knew almost every rock and log in the river and which rocks or ledges would be holding areas for trout. Chris would advise where the cast should be made and how to drift or strip the fly. Ken had brought his own rod yet would switch from time to time to one of the many rods Chris had brought. Ken and I both caught a lot of fish. None of the fish were large, and almost all the fish were returned to the river. A couple of rainbows were kept for the dinner table.

Ken and I hope to have another trip with Chris soon.

TU meeting

The next meeting of the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rome-Floyd River Education ECO Center at Ridge Ferry Park. Our guest speaker will be Chris Scalley, who will be speaking about his guide service, River Through Atlanta.

The guide service’s 16 guides also do duck hunting and fishing for everything from stripers, trout and even carp. TU members please attend and turn in your sold and unsold Dream Trip tickets. All tickets must be accounted for.

The meeting is open to the public.