Conserving, protecting and restoring cold-water watersheds of North Georgia.
By Josh Duplechian/08-10-22
Editor’s note: The float season has begun. The first oar stroke has likely been taken. We’ve shoved off into the flow of the known and inherently the unknown. As rivers go, the formula is simple. There’s one direction to go. What happens between boat ramps is up to you. With that, we at Trout Unlimited want you to be the best boater you can be this summer. Safety is paramount, which is why we’re dedicating the next few boat blog posts to this topic.
Don’t cut corners with your safety device
For years now I’ve used our throw bag as a line to tie up our raft. Whether at a lunch spot, camp or boat ramp, my go-to method has always been to use our family’s safety device as a dual-purpose bow line.
Sounds dumb, doesn’t it? It is, and I’ll be the first to admit that I often cut corners to save us from having too much gear.
I realized this not too long ago when Down River Equipment posted about this on Instagram. As soon as I saw the post, I knew that I was who they were talking about. Guilty as charged.
The throw bag holds a rescue rope to help pull someone out of fast water. I don’t care what type of rope you use—after years of unpacking it and tying it around every tree on the river, it will start to fray and break down. Not to mention we are often in a scramble to shove off which typically means that my safety rope is left packed incorrectly, which will eventually lead to a missed throw. A missed throw could lead to big problems. I don’t want that, certainly for my own family, but also for those I travel with down rivers.
I finally set my frugal ways aside and bought a proper bow line bag with the appropriate rope to secure our boat safely at camp or at our favorite lunch spot. At the end of the day, it’s $40 that will possibly help to prevent a problem down the line.
For now, my throw bag lives attached near the rower’s seat where it can be packed correctly and be ready should we need it while out this summer.
One more thing while I’m at it. If you haven’t practiced with your throw bag in a while I’d recommend doing so with your friends or family. You would be surprised at how easy it is to miss your mark if you don’t have the proper skills to help save a life.
The BRMTU South Holston River Trip in Tennessee takes place May 2-4, 2023 . Just three spaces remain open.
Cost: $75 per person ... includes a bed at Redbrick and Farmhouse at Holston Castaways in Bluff City, TN, and three evening dinners.
Trip coordinator: Harmon Smith, phone: 770-540-4608.
The board of directors of Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited #692 in mid-July agreed upon its six-month outlay of funding grants and chapter enhancements. More than $18,000 was earmarked in cash, gear, equipment and materials for conservation programs and organizations, community outreach programs, veterans' services and student groups affiliated with Trout Unlimited.
The following outlay budget will be distributed between April and October 2022:
In other business ...
Shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited (or your favorite charitable organization) — no fees, no extra cost.
Collectively, Trout Fest '22 was a success that returned record fundraising for Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited #696. More than 4,000 visitors passed through the gates of the 2022 Blue Ridge Trout & Outdoor Adventures Festival (Trout Fest) last April. Ninety vendor spaces were sold out, and sponsorships rocketed to new heights!
Trout Fest proves why Fannin County -- the official Trout Capital of Georgia -- is among the most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds! From every angle, Trout Fest '23 was a smashing success. The kids fishing pond (yes! live trout!) ... the wildlife artists ... the outfitters/guides ... the agencies in attendance ... the food trucks ... the mountain bikes ... the live music ...and much more!
Net proceeds of more than $25,000 help the chapter fund its conservation, education and community outreach programs. Some of these programs and agencies include:
Save the date -- the 2023 Blue Ridge Trout & Outdoor Adventures Festival opens its gates on April 29. Planning for it begins in September. Have you got skills you'd like to bring to Trout Fest? Our staff can always use volunteers to help build a bigger, better event each year.
Bob Borgwat, event coordinator