Tyler Brown shows off a 3-and-a-half pound fish he caught on a fishing trip to Cherokee, North Carolina, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

First, I want to thank all the folks that helped the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited this past year.

A lot of area folks participated in the Trout Expo, Kids Fishing Day, Veterans and Ladies Fishing Day as well as the 24th annual Chili Cook Off. Many of you also supported the chapter by buying raffle tickets for kayaks and supported the Georgia Council of TU by buying chances on the “Dream Trip.”

Our TU chapter thanks all of you. We most definitely want to thank the sponsors of the Cook Off as their contributions helped us financially in offsetting most of the expenses of the event.

Last but not least, we thank the cook teams that participated this year because we would not have a cook off without you. Thanks again to all that have helped Trout Unlimited.

New chapter leaders

This year we have a new chapter president, Chuck Stein. Chuck has been active in the chapter for the past several years and we feel that he has the qualities needed to take the chapter into this new decade.

Our new vice president is Mark Spota. Mark has been an active member for a long time. Mark has also been responsible for getting out emails to all our members letting them know of meetings and workdays.

The treasurer is Logan Reagen who is a fairly new member that has shown a willingness to help the chapter in any way he can.

Our secretary, Johnny Rhyne, is one of the original charter members of the chapter who has served in almost every leadership position from board member to president.

Some changes for this year

Although we gained new members each year by having the Trout Expo, it seems that in the past several years, the turn out for that event has dropped off quite a bit and most of those that came were the same that have come year after year.

We are looking at some type of similar event that can educate more of the folks of Northwest Georgia on the how, when and where to catch more trout.

This year we are trying something different with the meeting location. In the past we always met in restaurants and actually gained new members when customers of the restaurant joined out of curiosity. This months’ meeting will be at Sam’s Burger Deli on Martha Berry Highway north of Rome.

Chapter trips to various fishing locations have been something that our members have always enjoyed.

We usually have a trip to the White River in Arkansas and to Cherokee, North Carolina, as well as a couple of other destinations. This year we want to increase the number of trips to hopefully one each month.

We hope that this will bring in more members and more young members. Although Trout Unlimited is not a “fishing club” but a “conservation organization” we know that all our members fish and they all want to fish more.

Thanksgiving trout trip to Cherokee

This past November, Steve Peace, Tyler Brown and I went to Cherokee for the weekend following Thanksgiving. On Friday and Saturday the three of us lucked into quite a few fish with some large ones.

There were four fish over 18 inches with Steve’s largest fish weighing in at over 4 pounds and Tyler’s fish at 3 and a quarter. The three of us caught over 40 fish total with all but one being a rainbow.

White River chapter trip

In early fall about 20 of our members went to the White river in Arkansas. Most stayed in cabins while some brought campers. Everyone caught more than their limit releasing most of them.

All those anglers who fished without guides averaged about 25 or 30 fish, with a few being 15 inches or so. Those with guides averaged 40 fish or more. Larry Vaughn caught the largest fish of the trip — a 23-inch monster.

Chapter meeting

This month’s meeting will be at Sam’s Burger Deli at 3268 Martha Berry Highway in Rome on Thursday, Jan. 16. It’s the place with the Volkswagen bus airplane.

If you plan to eat, please arrive by 5:30 p.m. to order food. Our speaker will be Jimmy Jacobs, nationally-known outdoor writer and avid trout angler. Jimmy will also have copies of his newest book as well as the older ones. He is a speaker you do not want to miss.

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