Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited (BRMTU) Chapter 696 celebrates brook trout on April 24 when it shares with the public world of trout fishing and cold-water conservation the hundreds of hours of collective, successful work on Georgia’s brook trout streams.
More than 200 seats went on sale in early March online for the fine-dinner event, Back The Brookies. Ticket holders will eat and drink, learn about and celebrate brook trout (trout of all kinds, really), and place their best bids on outdoor recreation services; great fishing gear and accessories; fine art, dining and wines; and local outfitters and guided fishing trips. Hosted by BRMTU, the $50 a seat social kicks off at 6:15 pm, April 24, the night before the gates open to the 5th annual Blue Ridge Trout & Outdoor Adventures Festival (BlueRidgeTroutFest.com).
BRMTU scored something of a coup when Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited, the nationally acclaimed cold-water conservation organization, accepted an invitation to speak at the event that will gather anglers, river sports enthusiasts, woodland recreationists, educators and conservationists who collectively support trout and trout fishing in Fannin County, the official Trout Capital of Georgia. Wood joins this gang of trout anglers and community volunteers to confirm the organization’s national and local commitment to restoration, improvement and protection for the only indigenous trout east of the Mississippi River. Many swim in streams just beyond the Blue Ridge city limits.
TU’s national program, Back the Brookies, includes the localized work on brook trout habitat in Fannin County accomplished by the collective efforts of Trout Unlimited, the USDA Forest Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited (BlueRidgeTU.com) and many other TU chapters across Georgia, who will be recognized at the event.
BRMTU presents the evening at White Path Creek Event Center just a few miles outside Blue Ridge. The camaraderie that’s familiar among outdoor recreationists – and a silent auction – surrounds the celebration devoted to learning about native brook trout, their streams, their habitat and the art of fishing for them.
The evening also features Speaker David Ralston of the Georgia Legislature, sponsor of the designation in 2005 of Fannin County as the Trout Capital of Georgia; brook trout experts of the US Forest Service will share local stories of hard work and success on brook trout waters in the Chattahoochee National Forest; and a short film and speakers’ program highlights the work and accomplishments of the organizations and agencies that have helped to “Bring Back the Brooks” (produced by freshwatersillustrated.org) in the Southern Appalachian Mountains that shadow Georgia's favorite mountain town, only 90 miles north of Atlanta via I-575, but a million miles away from the big city.
Tickets for the dinner are on sale online now through April 17. Net proceeds benefit the education, conservation and public-outreach programs of BRMTU.
Anglers fish the "blue-line" tributaries of the upper Toccoa River for native brook trout.