The TU Teens Club of Gallipolis, OH is the first of its kind in the mid-west region. Shannon Mayes is a teacher at the Gallia Academy Middle School and founded the club in 2013. TU Teens is part of the Recreation On Campus for Kids (ROCKS) program at GAMS. The club is strongly affiliated with the TU Madmen Chapter 447. In its third year, Shannon, along with some help from volunteers, has worked with nearly 50 students this past school year to introduce them to fly fishing and conservation. Shannon is pictured above holding a giant koi they caught during one of the club’s outings for the beginning fly fishers.
By Shannon Mayes
This has been a very busy summer for TU Teens Gallipolis. Our regular season has concluded with several fishing trips to some local ponds here in Southern Ohio. Students caught many fish including: blue gill, largemouth bass, catfish and even a giant golden koi! It was huge! Several students also hit some local streams with me and caught some rock bass, long-eared sun fish, spotted bass, and some feisty rock bass measuring up to 10 inches.
In late June, a group of seven students joined me and other chaperones for three days of action packed fishing on the Elk River. We stayed at ELK SPRINGS RESORT in Monterville, WV. This was a great trip with Hunter Cook catching, and releasing, two rainbow trout over 26 inches each! Everyone had a blast and everyone caught very nice fish. Lots of snakes; thankfully no one was bit!
The next couple of months were full of trips. We took trips to Virginia and fished the Whitetop Laurel Creek and Green Cove Creek. Many fish were caught, even some native brookies! We also got up close and personal with a black bear and saw a couple ruffed grouse. Other trips included 2 different trips to Tennessee to fish the South Holston River and the Watauga River. Because of the water release schedule, we also fished some smaller streams in TN including: Laurel Creek, Stoney Creek, Beaver Dam Creek, and the Doe River. Outstanding fishing in all, but we really liked Laurel Creek. The fishing was fast and furious and although the fish were small they were fighters.
Recently we took two young fly fishermen to the mountains of West Virginia for some brook trout fishing. These are small mountain streams with a healthy population of native brook trout. Although I will not mention the names of these 2 streams, native brook trout live in many of West Virginia’s small streams and most small mountain streams on the eastern side of the state have fishable populations. Please be considerate of these fragile streams and practice ethical catch and release on all native brook trout streams. These wild fish are delicate and a wonderful resource to the state.
Our next trip with a group of young fly fishermen/women will be November 12 and 13. We will be traveling north to Wooster, Ohio to fish Apple Creek. The local chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources work together to stock this stream twice a year. We hope to go up there in the chilly November weather and catch some stocked rainbow trout. Wish us luck!
Shannon Mayes, TU Teens of Gallipolis Coordinator