OK, so Brad Pitt and his co-stars from the movie “A River Runs Through It” probably won’t be there. However, legendary North Georgia fly fisherman Rocket Roy Lowe is expected to be on hand for the festivities, as well as a group of competitors including some of the best fly fishermen from these parts.
The event is the first annual Gold Rush Cup Fly Fishing Challenge to be held on the beautiful and picturesque waters of the Chestatee River. It’s being sponsored by the Gold Rush Chapter of Trout Unlimited, based in Dahlonega, Ga. The venue, which has been carefully chosen, is one of the most popular trophy trout streams in the United States, Frog Hollow in Lumpkin County. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (a rain date will be provided). Directions to the venue can be found online at www.goldrushtu.org or www.froghollowflyfishing.com.
Attendance is open to the public with fly casting and tying demonstrations being provided by Gold Rush Chapter members. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Event tickets are $5.00 per person, and children 12 and under will be admitted free. A number of raffle items will also be available.
This is a fly fishing challenge which will permit two-person teams of contestants to match their skills against other teams to earn a $1,000 grand prize, plus two quality, custom-made fly rods. Individual awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Registration to compete is open to the general public, on a first come basis, and the deadline for entry is Thursday, Oct. 1. Participants must be members of the national organization of Trout Unlimited, and membership is open to the general public (see www.tu.org). A maximum of 10 two-person teams will be permitted; however, a minimum of five two-person teams must be registered for the event to take place.
A $500, non-refundable registration and entry fee for each two-person team is required. Business or corporate gold level sponsorship of a team or for a business/corporate booth is $200, and silver level sponsorships are $50. In the event 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 5 p.m., and the cost is $10.00 per person. A participant captain’s meeting will also be held at Frog Hollow on the evening prior to the tournament.
The competition will be conducted according to Gold Rush tournament committee rules and regulations. 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 conserve, protect, and restore the coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in the North Georgia area, while assisting the T.U. national organization to do the same at the national level.
In addition to the monthly chapter meetings, the Gold Rush Chapter is actively involved in conservation efforts that include assistance to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forestry Service to ensure and enhance the environment and to perpetuate fish species by constructing and maintaining various stream structures. The chapter also initiates and works with other organizations in stream cleanup, assists with stocking of streams, and monitors water quality conditions of local streams. The chapter has been engaged in teaching the sport of fly fishing and conservation practices at several locations including North Georgia College and State University, Brenau University, and Lumpkin County Middle and High Schools, Outdoor Activity Day at Unicoi, and Kids’ Day at Amicalola Park. The chapter has also supported the efforts of “Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing” by providing volunteer and equipment assistance to their programs in the area. According to Healing Waters, these events serve military personnel and veterans who have been wounded, injured, or disabled to aid their physical and emotional recovery by introducing or rebuilding the skills of fly fishing and tying and by using and enjoying these skills on fishing outings and as a lifelong recreation.
Top photo: ROCKET ROY LOWE, a legendary fly fisherman from Clarkesville, Ga., is expected to be among those attending the first annual Gold Rush Cup Fly Fishing Challenge. (Photo by Kenny Simmons)
Bottom photo: JAMES PETERSON is shown at Frog Hollow, site of the first annual Gold Rush Cup Fly Fishing Challenge. (Photo by Kenny Simmons)