To begin with we fished for bream, sometimes bass, and rarely catfish. Worms and crickets were the baits of choice and being only 3 or 4 years old I was not coordinated enough to use artificial lures.
Live baits are always a great way to catch any fish and as long as it is convenient to use and carry live baits, anglers using them are almost always successful.
As I got a little older I was allowed to go with my dad on nighttime crappie trips. This type of fishing was from a jon boat using minnows fishing under lanterns at Allatoona or Weiss. This type fishing was great fun & I learned a lot.
As I got older, six or seven, I went with the family to the mountains and to the trout streams. I was there with a short little open face spinning rod, a small bobber and the trusty red wiggler and I caught a fish. I am not sure if my first mountain fish was a trout or a sucker or some other little wild fish, but I liked that kind of fishing.
The water was moving, the fish almost always faced upstream and the surroundings were wild with the noise of the water playing a song in the background. Trout fishing was great!
Soon my skills improved and I began using artificial lures. I used a lures called “Super Duper,” “Shyster,” “Mepps” and other spinners. My uncle Leonard gave me a fly rod and my first fly rod was twice as long as I was.
As time progressed I found out that carrying a box of worms or crickets was not necessary. I knew that live bait worked well, but a small box of lures or flies tied to my belt allowed me to fish for hours without baiting a hook and I caught fish.
Summer after summer I returned with my folks to places like Potato Patch Mountains, Holly Creek, Jacks River, Mountain Town Creek and fished for hours in pursuit of trout.
I watched as the adults fished and learned how to approach streams without spooking fish. I learned that certain places held fish while other places that looked similar were barren of fish. I was learning to “read the water”.
Over the years I have fished a lot of places for many types of fish and trout fishing is still my favorite past time.
I am growing old and my body will not allow me to climb over the boulders like I once did and I just don’t have the stamina to spend hours wading slick bottom streams. I want to pass on my knowledge so that others can become familiar with trout fishing and grow to enjoy it as much as I do.
The members of the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited share my enthusiasm for trout fishing and are willing to share their knowledge. We are planning another “Trout Expo” that is open to anyone who wants to learn about trout, trout fishing and Trout Unlimited. There will be someone at the Expo that can answer almost any question you may have about trout and trout fishing. Where to go, when to go, what baits and lures, fly rod or cane pole, where to camp and what the laws are just some of the questions our experts can answer.
There will be professional guides who make their living by taking people to the water to catch fish and they will give away some secrets and give you pointers on how and where to find the biggest fish or just how to be successful.
We will have representatives from the US Forest Service that know every stream and river that is on the National Forests of North Georgia. These folks are experts and know which creeks have wild trout and which streams are best suited to the novice anglers.
The Department of Natural Resources will have representatives who are responsible for stocking and managing the stocking of our put and take streams and enforcing the laws that protect the streams.
TU members will be at the Expo to answer questions about fly fishing, bait fishing and lure fishing and will give hands on instructions in fly casting, fly tying and more.
There are programs that Trout Unlimited provides such as Trout Camp for kids between the ages of 12 and 16. Two of our trout camp graduates will be there with a presentation about trout camp and how your child can attend.
If you want to know more about trout and trout fishing and develop an understanding of why I love trout fishing please come to the Trout Expo.
The Expo will be at the Eco Center at Ridge Ferry Park on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. until at least 2 p.m.
The admission is free, the knowledge that is available is priceless, so please come and learn. There will be door prizes for outdoor gear given away all day long and Trout Unlimited memberships will be available, free for women and half price for men.
Tickets for the dream trip, fly fishing vacation will be available at the Expo.