BLUE RIDGE, GA – The official Trout Festival of Georgia returnsto Blue Ridge in April when thousands of outdoors enthusiasts descend uponGeorgia’s top trout-fishing destination – Fannin County, the Trout Capital ofGeorgia – to benefit cold-water education, service, conservation and recreation inNorth Georgia via the mission of Blue Ridge Mountain TU Chapter.
“The Festival is built around the fact that Fannin County has become a trout-fishing destination for fishermen from all over the nation,” says House Speaker David Ralston (representative, 7th District) about the Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures event, April 28-29, in Blue Ridge, Georgia. In 2016 Ralston led the effort that gave the Festival its official status.
“More than 3,500 trout fishermen and other outdoors enthusiasts visited the event in 2016 that drew 70 vendors, crisscrossing the spectrum of outdoors fun,” says event chairperson Lynn Brincks. “Outfitters, retailers and non-profit organizations will share the park again on April 29 with thousands of visitors browsing displays of fly-fishing gear and fly-tying demonstrations, drift boats and fishing guides, kayaks and whitewater services, outdoor clothing and trout art, food trucks, a beer garden and
live music! ”
Whether wading a stream, floating the river or casting from the bank of a lake, trout fishing in
Fannin County exemplifies the sport for trout fishermen of all levels. Located about 100 miles north of Atlanta, the Toccoa River is the spine of local trout-fishing opportunities. Its watershed harbors wild-trout streams deep in the forests of the Appalachian Mountains, trophy brown trout in the tailwater downstream from Blue Ridge Dam, private-access trout fisheries, and put-and-take fishing at small highland lakes. Rock Creek, one of the Toccoa’s largest tributaries in southeast Fannin County, supports the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, which annually raises hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout for stocking across North Georgia.
“Trout fishing in the Southeast is not exclusive to Fannin County, but what Fannin County – and Blue Ridge – bring to trout fishermen is one of the finest and well-rounded destinations for trout fishing close to the region’s largest population center,” says Don Kirk, publisher of Southern Trout Magazine. "Fannin County was named by legislative resolution in 2010 as the official Trout Capital of Georgia. We regard the Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures to be the premier event of its type in the Southeast."
Located among the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains just 90 miles north of downtown Atlanta, the festival opens April 28 with an exclusive fund-raising High Country Boil & Silent Auction – a seafood-and-fixin’s-eat-with-your-hands dinner and auction hosted at Mercier Orchards, Fannin County’s family owned and operated premier apple orchard now in its fourth generation and featuring Mercier Hard Cider and wines. Tickets for the dinner, 5:30 to 9 pm, are only available at BlueRidgeTroutFest.com.
“The High Country Boil brings you the food, drinks and a 360-degree view of the north Georgia mountains, but you’ll remember the evening much more for sharing a great evening with your family, friends and neighbors and placing your winning bid at the silent auction, where there's something for everyone,” says Jan Hackett, executive director of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, co-presenter of the dinner and festival event along with the volunteers of Blue Ridge Mountain TU Chapter. “It will be a perfect way to start your weekend in Blue Ridge and the Trout Capital
Saturday festival’s Breakout Marketplace is where you can stroll among almost 90 vendors of outdoors gear and services targeted at outdoors recreation in Fannin County. Local outfitters and fishing guides, fishing gear and tackle reps, kayak liveries, hiking clubs, mountain bikers/cyclists, whitewater outfitters and an impressive list of local experts in all things outdoors gather at the all-day Break-Out Marketplace, Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 7 pm.
The downtown City Park will be the site of live music entertainment, and foo trucks. A beer garden offer great eats and beverages. Commercial vendors and local shops of outdoor recreation and gear will be on hand to share the latest outdoor products and services. Expert anglers will provide free fly-fishing instruction, and local guides will share inside information on North Georgia trout fishing.
“We’re really excited about having the capable instructors of Atlanta Fly Fishing School and several local outfitters and guide services returning to this year’s Trout Fest,” says education chairman Howard Winkler of BRMTF. “They’ll present free hands-on seminars covering trout fishing topics and skills throughout the day – everything from reading a stream, to casting a fly-rod, to the tips and tactics for successful trout fishing right here in Fannin County, the Trout Capital of Georgia.”
Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures also features a number of conservation-related exhibitors and recreation providers, reinforcing TU’s commitment to protecting and improving cold-water fisheries.
Bob Borgwat, event communications
Lynn Brincks, event chairperson
Email to: info@BlueRidgeTroutFest.com