The Trout Unlimited Cohutta Chapter in Kennesaw, Georgia successfully completed its 4th Veterans and First Responders Fly Fishing class. The class consisted of three sessions held on September 1st, 8th and 15th at the Boys and Girls Club in Canton, Ga. We had five women from the Marietta Veterans Center, four first responders from the Cherokee Sheriff’s office and several veterans from multiple branches of military service.
Our volunteers were two certified casting instructors, Dr. John Mauldin and Rene Hesse. Veterans Josh Holbulz and Donna Bell shared how the therapeutic value of fly fishing has helped them through difficult times in the military and after being discharged back into civilian life.
Our experienced, patient, friendly, and wonderful TU Cohutta volunteers helped mentor the participants. Classroom activities included discussions on equipment used in fly fishing, entomology, fly tying, flies used, knots used, as well as useful fly fishing websites and YouTube sites.
Jimmy Jacobs, noted author of multiple fly fishing in Georgia books, gave a presentation about his book “Fly Fishing for Peach State Trout.” All the students received Jimmy’s autographed book and a box of flies tied by our master fly tier, Ron Minick.
On October 4th and 5th, the class fly fished on the upper Etowah River at beautiful Montaluce Waters. We provided the equipment and guides for all the students. They experienced the tug of the rainbow trout on their fly rods, and all the students caught multiple fish. This is truly where the magic of fly fishing comes alive.
All the veterans and first responders loved the class and had an awesome time at Montaluce. The beautiful surroundings and crystal-clear water provide a peaceful and soothing environment for the mind, body, and soul.
We look forward to continuing to grow our program with our spring class in 2023.