Trout Unlimited

Fly fishing is a very enjoyable pastime and a great way to catch fish. For the past six years the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited has hosted a fishing day for veterans and active military at Rolater Park in Cave Spring.

This year TU will combine the veterans fly fishing day with the first ever ladies fly fishing day.

The Coosa Valley TU Fly Fishing for Vets Day was modeled after the original Fly Fishing for Vets held in Atlanta by the nonprofit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Ken Griffin from the Flint River Chapter, who started the first Vets Day, came and spoke to the Coosa Chapter about the Fly Fishing for Vets program and within a few years the Coosa Valley Chapter hosted the first Fly Fishing for Vets Day in our area.

Last year’s veterans fishing day saw the first women veterans participate and the idea of a women’s fishing event was spawned. It was decided that since our chapter’s members would already be there at Cave Spring the easiest thing to do was to have the veterans fishing day the same day as the women’s event.

This year’s Fly Fishing for Vets Day will begin at 10 a.m. on July 20 at Rolater Park with all veterans allowed to fish with fly rods in the pond at the cave and no license or trout stamp required.

Both vets and the women will be allowed to fish in Little Cedar Creek at any time during the day with any legal fishing equipment as long as the angler possesses a valid fishing license and trout stamp. The time for veterans to fish in the pond will end at noon.

At 1 p.m. the women anglers will be the only ones allowed to fish in the pond. Ladies, do not worry if you do not know how to fly cast because we will have instructors to teach you the basics of casting and hopefully you will be able to take some fish home for the dinner table.

The ladies pond fishing will end about 3 p.m.

It looks like we will have several members of Georgia Women’s Fly Fishers to assist the TU members in instruction. These same instructors from TU will teach the veterans. Some of the vets who attended previous events may already have some casting skills and our guys and gals will be happy to help improve their skills.

All our participants will not go hungry because from noon until about 1 p.m. or so a hot dog lunch will be served for all the vets and the women. Throughout the day there will be drawings for door prizes. In order to be eligible for a prize, you must register before you begin fishing in the pond. Prizes will be fishing related.

These events are free and the only requirement to fish the pond is that you must be a veteran or a woman or both. So that means that a lady veteran can fish in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

As I said earlier, fly fishing is fun. Fly casting does not require strength unless you are fishing for larger fish such as striped bass, tarpon or other large game fish. The secret to fly casting is timing and feeling the weight of the line as it moves through the air.

I have heard fly casting described as a gentle waltz between the angler and the rod and line. It is not how fast you move the rod so much as when you begin to lift the line from the water to speed the rod slightly to propel the line behind you, and when you feel the weight of the line behind you, then you bring the rod forward to send the line out over the water.

I have been assured that there will be plenty of fish in the pond and the creek for this event, so bring a cooler with ice so that your fish will not spoil.

TU work day at Johns CreekMembers of the Coosa Valley Chapter of TU as well as the Blue Ridge and Upper Chattahoochee Chapters will meet at Johns Creek in The Pocket for a stream habitat improvement project on Aug. 24 th at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend. All workers will be fed.

More details about the work day and the vets and ladies fishing day will be in the next articles.

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/.