HAMP CROSS and Chuck Head of Team Unicoi Outfitters, who placed first in the inaugural Gold Rush Cup Challenge, are shown during last year's competition. (Photo by Kenny Simmons)

Building on the success of its inaugural event last fall, the Gold Rush Chapter of Trout Unlimited, based in Dahlonega, Ga., has decided to expand its annual Gold Rush Cup Fly Fishing Challenge into a two-day event this year.

The second annual event, which will take place this fall on the beautiful and picturesque waters of the Chestatee River, will allow two-person teams to match their skills against other teams on the beautiful and picturesque waters of the Chestatee River. Scheduled from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 6-7, it will again be held at Frog Hollow in Lumpkin County, Ga., one of the most popular trophy trout streams in the country. In the event of inclement weather that weekend, a rain date will be provided. Directions to the venue and other details can be found online at www.goldrushtu.org or www.froghollowflyfishing.com.

The opening day will feature the Amateur Qualifier with the winning two-person team moving on to compete in the Gold Rush Cup Challenge the following day. Entry fee for the Amateur Qualifier, a new category of competition this year, is $250 per team, and this competition is not open to past or present professional fishing guides.

The professional competition on Sunday has an entry fee of $500 per team. The winning two-person team in the 2009 inaugural event was from Unicoi Outfitters and consisted of Chuck Head and Hamp Cross. The grand prize in this year’s Gold Rush Cup Challenge is $1,500, plus two quality, custom-made fly rods. Team awards presented on both days will include first, second and third place recognition, as well as Best Angler Award for the most total inches caught by one individual. The “catch-and-release” competition will be conducted according to Gold Rush tournament committee rules and regulations.

On each day, a maximum of 10 two-person teams will be permitted on a first-come basis, while a minimum of five two-person teams must be registered in order for a competition to take place. The deadline for registration is Saturday, Oct. 23, and the registration and entry fee for each team is non-refundable.

Attendance is open to the public with fly casting, fly tying and rod building demonstrations being provided by Gold Rush Chapter members and sponsors. Food and drink will be available for purchase. There will be no charge for attendance or parking.

If an insufficient number of participants register for this event, all funds for individuals and businesses will be returned.

A kick-off dinner will be hosted at the site of the tournament in Frog Hollow on the Friday night before the competition;. It will begin at 6 p.m., and there is no charge, but donations will be accepted to help offset the cost of the event. A participant captain’s meeting will also be held at Frog Hollow on the Friday evening prior to the tournament.

The tournament committee is still accepting corporate/commercial sponsorships for the event, and sponsors will receive a display table and business hyperlink to and from the Gold Rush Cup Challenge website. Corporate/commercial sponsorships cost $50, and free table space will be provided for appropriate non-profit organizations. Competing teams are encouraged to obtain team sponsors to help defray the cost of their entry fees.

More details about the event, as well as a detailed listing of the rules, are posted on the Gold Rush Chapter website at www.goldrushtu.org. All proceeds from this event will go to Trout Unlimited, a 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization.

The mission of Trout Unlimited’s Gold Rush Chapter is to promote, educate and inform the public about the joy of fly fishing; conserve, protect, and restore the coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in the North Georgia area; and assist the T.U. national organization to do the same at the national level. More information about the local chapters’s many activities and community service projects can be found at the group’s website.

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Jimmy Booth

Jimmy Booth

Lifelong Georgia resident Jimmy Booth, who was a longtime Atlanta area journalist and public relations consultant, moved in fall of 2006 from Peachtree City, Ga., to Dahlonega, Ga. He and his wife Margo have become involved with several Dahlonega-based not-for-profit cultural arts and historical organizations working to keep alive the traditional mountain music, art and folkways which are a vital part of the area's heritage. Jimmy graduated from Emory University, where he served as editor of The Emory Wheel. During his journalistic career, he worked as publisher or editor of several Georgia weekly and small daily newspapers, and he was a section editor for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Now officially retired, he handles publicity for some of the events and organizations in the Dahlonega area.