Event in Blue Ridge celebrates trout fishing

BY THE NUMBERS3 Trout species in the Toccoa River — brook, brown and rainbow15.5 Miles of trout water in the Toccoa River tailwater30,000 Average number of trout stocked in the Toccoa River tailwater in recent years

The Georgia General Assembly proclaimed the town of Blue Ridge the Trout Capital of Georgia in 2010. The surrounding streams and rivers provide strong evidence for the proclamation.

The Jacks River and Noontootla Creek that are located in Fannin County are two of the best streams for catching wild trout in the state. Also near Blue Ridge is Rock Creek, one of the more popular stocked streams in Georgia. Additionally, Fannin County is home to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chattahoochee Forest National Trout Hatchery, where many of those stocked fish are raised.

The centerpiece of all of these trout waters is the Toccoa River, both above Blue Ridge Lake and in the reservoir’s tailwater downstream to the Tennessee border. The tailwater below the dam offers what arguably is the top destination in Georgia for dry-fly fishing for trout.

All this angling abundance will be the focus of the first annual Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures on April 29-30. The event is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited Chapter, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Lodging Association and Southern Trout Magazine.

The event opens with a special edition of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The Blue Ridge Trout Train will travel along the tailwaters of the Toccoa River, while hosting a charity auction.

Downtown Blue Ridge’s city park hosts a Break-Out Event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Local angling guides and experts will share fishing tips, while vendors offer the latest in fly-fishing and outdoor gear displays.

There also will be booths manned by non-profit angling and conservation groups. A Kids’ Korner provides hands-on, outdoor-oriented activities for the youngsters. Food and beverage vendors round out the event.

More information about the Blue Ridge Trout Fest is available at blueridgetroutfest.com.