Trout Unlimited

I don’t know about everyone else, but I wish I were fishing right now. The question is, where would I go?

The past several weeks of rain have caused all the lower elevation trout streams to run extra high almost every day. The small brook trout streams are also above normal, yet fishable because they are high elevation streams that are feeder streams of most of the heavily stocked streams.

Trout Unlimited in Georgia has been very active working with the U.S. Forest Service and the DNR in restoring and enhancing many of these native trout streams. In fact, streams have been selected to be restored to have only brook trout by electro shocking the stream and carrying the exotic rainbows and brown trout in buckets downstream to be released back into the stream below natural or manmade barriers.

There are many other headwater streams that have all three types of trout, and though the trout compete with each other for food and stream space, the brooks, rainbows and browns reproduce naturally and their populations are stable. Hatchery-raised brook trout are stocked in many streams such as Amicalola and the Hooch. Most of the streams that have native brook trout are located in the Toccoa River watershed or the Tennessee watershed and are never stocked.

Brook trout, as well as rainbows and browns, are usually small in these small headwater streams, but if you are quiet and wear camouflage, it is possible to have a great day catching these small beauties. On some of these headwater streams it is possible to get the Georgia “trout grand slam,” which is catching three species of trout all in the same day.

If you would like to know how to find these high elevation streams come to the free trout expo that is taking place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rome-Floyd River Education ECO Center.

There will be a lot of TU guys there as well as U.S. Forest Service personnel that know the mountain roads and can tell you how to find the best streams that are easy to get to and stay relatively low and fishable even during these long rainy periods.

More on trout expo

When the water is too high to fish it is a good excuse to join a bunch of other folks that love to fish and are willing to share some of their secrets. The best spot to talk and learn about trout is the TU Trout Expo. This is a chance to pick the brains of Trout Unlimited members, Forest Service professionals and DNR guys.

Some of these guys may not reveal their favorite “honey holes” but will gladly answer any questions you may have about trout fishing and Trout Unlimited.

Have you ever wondered if it is best to wade upstream while fishing or down. The answer may be in what type bait, fly or lure you may use. Some lures or flies can be fished either upstream or down, yet are sometimes most effective one way over the other in certain situations.

Have you ever gotten a fly rod and never used it because it wasn’t rigged properly, or you just do not know how to fly cast. The expo will have fly casting demonstrations as well as hands-on basic instructions for the novice. There will also be some seasoned fly casters that can help good casters improve their distance and accuracy.

We will be selling chances for the fly fishing adventure for two to a private cabin in Idaho complete with five days of fishing, two custom fly rods, reels and line, six nights lodging with all meals and five days fishing, including a float trip.