Trout Camp Group

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TU Trout Camp June 5 – June 10 2016

Applications for the 2016 Trout Camp are being accepted now thru March 15, 2016.

2008-camp-catch-copyWhat exactly is trout camp and who is eligible to attend? Trout camp is open to any applicant , male or female , age 12 thru 15. Camp is limited to 24 youths and these 24 slots are divided between the 12 Trout Unlimited chapters in the state with each chapter sponsoring two campers. The cost is $500 per camper and Gold Rush Chapter has a sponsorship of $250 per camper selected to off set this cost.

Trout camp is held each year at the Rabun Gap – Nacoochee School located between Clayton and Dillard. 2016 will be the 13th year Georgia Trout Unlimited has had trout camp and is unofficially recognized as the model for other states to go by.

DSCN2250-copyEach chapter has a screening process for their applicants because we only want to send campers who are genuinely interested in conservation and learning about our great outdoors and resources. Gold Rush Chapter has a short questionnaire that we ask the applicants to fill out and return before the March 15th deadline. We may also set up an interview with potential candidates. The selection committee will then review these and select what we feel will be the best two campers to represent the Gold Rush Chapter at camp.

CharlieWe realize this is a big decision for parents to let these young people out of their sight for a week and we do not take this lightly. To help make this decision easier (hopefully) we provide the following safeguards :
1) These young folks are never without adult supervision
2) There is normally at least one adult per child and sometimes more
3) Every adult mentor must submit to and pass a background check each year
4) The school nurse is available if needed
5) Room and board is provided and campers ( and at least 12 adult mentors ) stay in the school dorm at night

DSCN2075-copyThese are some of the most pressing concerns the parents normally have. What exactly will these kids be doing at camp? Each camper will receive a fly rod and reel, a fishing vest, flies, fly box, Cosa Del Mar sunglasses, and much more. Several hundred dollars worth of equipment that is theirs to bring home and that they are expected to take care of and keep up with. They will fish each day, learn to cast a fly rod, tie knots, tie flies, learn stream etiquette, entomology and more. They will help stock trout into a stream, visit Lake Burton fish hatchery, and attend a class at Smithgall Woods where they will have an “in stream” session finding fish food (bugs). They will assist the DNR and Forest Service in building stream structures for trout. These are a few of the things they will be doing.

Entomology-at-Smith-GallThe day starts at 6:00 am and the lights are out at 10:00 pm. The day is non stop and there is absolutely no down time. After the evening meal they will have time to shower and get their gear ready for the next day. As the week goes on, 6:00 am seems to get earlier and earlier! This is a great experience and will hopefully have a positive impact on these young people for the rest of their lives.

Find out more about trout camp at

Classroon-castingOur deadline for having applications and questionnaires returned is March 15, 2016. This will give the selection committee enough time to review all applications, make the selection of what we feel are the best candidates, notify the candidates and reserve a spot for them at camp.

Email Mike Thorton,, if you’re interested in being sponsored by the Gold Rush Chapter of Trout Unlimited.