This is a chance to learn about trout, trout fishing and the work and efforts of Trout Unlimited, not only in Georgia, but the country as a whole. This event is free — open to the public, and all ages are invited to attend.
This year the Expo is returning to the Rome-Floyd E.C.O. River Education Center which is located in the old pumping station at Ridge Ferry Park in downtown Rome. The doors open at 10 a.m. Feb. 23, and the event will end approximately 2 p.m.
If you are eager to learn about trout fishing there will be seasoned anglers that will lend their expertise in all types of trout angling techniques. Trout Unlimited is not just for the fly fishermen and the Coosa Valley chapter is proof.
More than half of the Coosa Valley members rarely use a fly rod for trout. If you want to learn the newest methods in bait fishing or better ways to bait hooks to avoid short strikes or just curious as to how the old timers did it, there will be someone to answer every question. Corn, crickets, worms and power bait rigging will be covered.
The state-record brown trout was caught by local angler Charlie Ford on a spinning rod with a Yozuri lure. The state-record brook trout will also be on display. Charlie, Andy Edmonds and I will be there to help the rookies learn how to rig for the big fish and how at the same time not rule out the little fish.
Trout can be caught on almost any lure imaginable and we will have most types on display.
There will be fly fishing experts willing to share their knowledge. Members of the Cohutta chapter will give hands on instructions to anyone wanting to learn. If you already know how to cast but need to improve your skills there will be some master casters to guide you. Becky Strain, holder of the bonefish on fly rod world record will also be around to instruct in fly casting.
The E.C.O. Center is not large enough to do hands on casting instruction indoors but weather permitting will give instruction in basic casting and advanced casting out on the lawn. If the river is cooperating and not too high, the instructor can help you with on the water drift control & mending for the perfect drift.
Fly rod rigging can be confusing to some because the best rigs not only involve a piece of leader and the line, but also a backing line, the fly line, a tapered leader and a tippet to which the fly is attached. We will be there to show you the best and the easiest ways.
SOME OF THE OTHER EXHIBITS
Advanced fly-tyers will be showing off their skills in the E.C.O. Center.
Kevin McGrath, state chairman of BTB will be there to educate us on what is going on with Trout Unlimited across the state.
The Department of Natural Resources will have their fishing simulator that allows you the feel and thrill of catching a variety of huge fish.
Cedar Creek Outfitters and Blue Sky Outfitters will be there with a variety of camping, boating and other outdoor gear.
The Coosa River Basin Initiative will have a display.
Buddy Reece will have information about Project Healing Waters which is an outreach program for our wounded warriors that have returned from the Middle East.
Eric Lindburg will be there to introduce people to the Adopt a Stream program.
The US Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resources will have displays & will be able to answer questions about when and where to fish and camp.
The recipient of the last TU scholarship at the University of Georgia will be talking about the graduate research project that the TU endowment helped to fund.
Rodney Tumlin will have a display on Trout in the Classroom.
Joseph Fincher and Zane Holcomb are recent graduates of the Georgia TU Trout Camp. They have a PowerPoint program that explains all about the camp and will answer questions about how your child can qualify to attend.
I have only covered a few aspects of the Trout Expo and will tell more about other exhibits in the next article. Don’t forget, Saturday, Feb 23 at 10 a.m. at the E.C.O. Center at Ridge Ferry. Admission is free. Hundreds of dollars worth of great fishing related door prizes will be given away and it is open to all.
Tickets are still available for the fly fishing trip for two, fishing five days, food & lodging for six nights and two custom fly rods and more and more. For details call Paul at 706-766-5083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the Expo.
The next meeting of the Coosa Valley Chapter will be Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the E.C.O. Center at Ridge Ferry Park. A presentation will be given about trout in Northwest Georgia. Final plans for the Expo will also be addressed. The public is invited and members are urged to attend.