North Georgia Trout Online, Inc. is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) dedicated to the promotion and protection of trout fishing in North Georgia.
Cooperation with city, state and other non-profit organizations, such as Trout Unlimited, allows NGTO to make an investment in our community and state.
NGTO Officers and Board of Directors
Joined NGTO in 1998
I have enjoyed being outside ever since I can remember, and it has only gotten worse as I have gotten older. Happily married to the same tolerant woman for over 30 years with 3 children and 2 grandchildren that I spend most of my time and money on. Having grown up in Doraville, I consider the Chattahoochee my home river, and hope everyone realizes what a true blessing it is to have a river that has wild trout so close to home.
I caught my first Hooch trout in the spring of 1974 at Jones Bridge, literally sitting on an old washing machine (it was a dump back them) on a flyrod that had a straight leader, a hook, and a cricket for bait. From that point on it was many memorable trips to Jones Bridge, and it seems like every weekend at Rock Creek and Coopers Creek.
I enjoy every aspect of fly fishing including tying, furling leaders, Kids Fishing Events, Flings, Fly Fishing for Vets, and participating in fly fishing competitions. Since I joined NGTO fifteen years ago, it has been both an invaluable source of expertise and knowledge, and the "place" that I have met some of the finest folks on earth that are now my friends.
As a barefoot eight year old, carrying a cane pole around my hometown reservoir in central South Carolina, I saw a man fishing the outflow with a flyrod and just tearing up the redbreasts. I thought it was artistry in motion and determined to try it some day. By my mid-teen years, an 8 foot Shakespeare 7wt accompanied my father and me on many of our local fishing trips. If the bass weren’t active on our conventional tackle, I’d spend my time rollcasting a popper along the shoreline weeds and pads as we drifted by.
When I came to Georgia in 1968, I was quickly taken by both trout fishing and the ultralight spinning craze. All things considered, I was well-served by both for many years. In 1998 I stumbled across NGTO on the web and things haven’t been the same since!
By the time I had updated my 30 year old fly tackle, I found myself volunteering for various trout fishing-related civic activities. And then somehow, my new fly gear began to get upgraded and added to. Then came rod building, books and videos! Oh, my!
Most importantly, the past five years have re-introduced me to the joy I felt as an eight year old, watching that bobber disappear.
Born in Brunswick, Bill "THE EG" Egeland attended the University of Georgia and obtained a Master's degree in Geology. He works in an analytical laboratory in Suwanee.
Originally from St. Simon's Island, he fished in the coastal and offshore areas of the Golden Ilses before heading off to college. He has been in the Athens/Atlanta area since 1984. He moved to Cherokee County in 1990.
His first experience with the addiction of trout fishing was in 1998 on an outing to Amicalola Falls where he simply wanted to let the kids have a chance to fish. A recent stocking had the pond full of stocker trout and he soon joined the kids catching the stockers. That episode infected him with the trout virus. A search of the internet led him to NGTO. His trout fishing experiences have been expanding ever since.
I was introduced to trout fishing quite by accident when my wife purchased a canoe one day so that we could go out and paddle around on the ‘Hooch near Duluth since we couldn’t afford a larger boat for Lake Lanier. As has been my habit when water is involved, I carried ultra-light spinning gear with me to try my hand at catching whatever might be in that little river. Much to my surprise, I landed a rainbow trout on my third cast! All the years of longing for the swamps and bayous of the Deep South that I had learned to love when I was a student at LSU suddenly disappeared as I felt another tug two casts later. Upon returning to the house that evening a quick google-search turned my attention to a very informative web site – ngto.org, and I have antagonized the membership since that day with painful-to-read posts full of poor grammar, syntax and spelling.
It has been a joy to meet and associate with many of the wonderful and knowledgeable members that make up North Georgia Trout Online and I hope to make worthwhile contributions to NGTO that are in line with our mission statement and in the spirit of the founders of this wonderful organization. It’s a privilege and an honor to serve the members of NGTO in supporting a worthy cause.
Growing up in South Florida, fishing was a way of life for me. I pretty much fished for anything that swam in the salt from offshore to the intercostal waterway and the estuaries. It wasn’t until I moved to Georgia in my early 20’s that I found my first fly rod. Initially I started fishing for bluegill and bass on Lanier and by chance, I stopped at the park at Buford Dam and saw people standing in the river down below. That curiosity lead me down a path that I can’t turn back from. As I’ll never forget that first SNIT (standard nine inch trout) I hooked on a dry fly. Needless to say I’m hooked for life.
It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to the Hall of Fame and later onto the Board of Directors of NGTO. I am excited to give back to such an amazing organization that has been a big part of my life since joining in 2004. NGTO has allowed me to meet so many great people over the years. It is here in our NGTO community that I have found some of my closest friends, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
I grew up in farm country in the Midwest where my grandparents started me fishing for bluegill and catfish at the age of 6. I moved to bass fishing and hunting in my teens so I pretty much grew up in the outdoors. I was a diehard bass fisherman for many years until moving to Roswell GA in 2003. Learned how to fly fish for trout in 2009 and ran into RScott at Island Ford in 2010. He introduced me to Hooch fishing and NGTO. Been a member ever since and treasure the friends and knowledge as a result of my relationship with NGTO.
Iíve been married for over 30 years to Julie and have been blessed with 3 sons. My oldest Connor is a Citadel graduate, my middle boy Art works downtown and my youngest son Kellen is going to Columbia College in the fall on a lacrosse scholarship. Watching them grow to men has been a source of joy, pride, and amazement. For all the members with young children, treasure the moments, participate in their growth because they grow up unbelievably fast.
What I love about fly fishing for trout is the tranquility of the stream, the camaraderie of good people, and the beauty of the fish. Iíve been blessed to meet and fish with fellow anglers from all over the East Coast and those are the memories that keep.
I was born and raised in northern Maine. I have been an outdoors person since age 3, my Dad took me fishing, trapping and hunting. I enlisted into the US Army in 1982. I served in various assignments around the world as an Active Duty Military Policeman. I retired in 2003. A primary goal was to learn how to fly fish. 2004-2010 - work kept me limited to one trip annually. I now get to fish at least once a month, and working on increasing that. I joined NGTO in October 2010, where I have "lurked" and learned much about fly fishing in GA. There are some influential members, that have pulled me out of my shell and getting me involved. Bret Nelson (Gatorbyte), Mark Adams (Bonedog), Scott Brown (RScott), Chuck Morris (Chuck Morris) and B Karma (Mark Crowell). Over the past few years, I did attend a couple of The Flings. It truly personifies the fellowship in fly fishing. I look forward to assisting from the organizational side now. I am humbled to have brought on as a Director. I am eager to learn, volunteer my support and of course to lend my hands to assist with all NGTO efforts.
(Da Da's Fishing)
Raised in the beautiful North Georgia mountain I fished from a very young age. My first home was on a small creek and I spent most of my Summers fishing from a single lane bridge that crossed the creek. Later I would go with friends to fish, what I now know are our beautiful blue lines, but to me they were just creeks. I would spend as much time chasing salamanders and crawfish as I would trout. These early years impressed upon me a love for all things fishing. For most of my young life if I was near water, there was probably a fishing pole in my hand. Life happens and while my love for fishing didn’t die, it did fade as work and other priorities took most of my time. Flash forward to 2010 I now have a wife and a small daughter. I rediscover my love for fishing when I decide to start taking advantage of the great tail water that was just a few miles from my house. Being OCD by nature, the first thing I did was start researching on the web about the best methods for catching these river trout. Research lead me to NGTO. NGTO lead me to fly fishing and more helpful friends than I knew what to do with. Now years later, I have the opportunity to serve NGTO as a member of the board. I can only hope to give to the next generation as much information as was given to me.
Born and raised in Atlanta GA, I actually found my love for fishing in Michigan, where my family would take an annual vacation to visit Grandpa Ray. Once I caught the bug there, it never left and anywhere I found a body of water I had a line wet.
I mainly fished for warm water species in ponds, on Lake Lanier, and Lake Hartwell. I would frequently pull a fly rod out to throw poppers to bream and bass.
My species of choice and love of fly fishing changed several years ago when I was driving across the Chattahoochee River and saw a man fishing from a kayak. I realized that I had lived within 15 minutes of the river and only been on it once as a child.
I bought my own kayak and started chasing trout with ultra-light tackle, then remembered the old fly rod I threw poppers with was in the basement. Game over, lights out, the fat lady sang, I found my thrill.
Since that day I have committed countless hours each week fishing, reading, tying flies, guiding, and participating in competitive fishing. In 2016 I left the corporate world and started Big T Fly Fishing, an online fly shop and guide service.
Executive Advisory Board Members
The NGTO Executive Advisory Board is made up of former Board of Director members and past Presidents of NGTO. These individuals represent a wealth of knowledge on all things related to North Georgia trout fishing and the operations of NGTO. The Executive Advisory Board is a non-voting team, providing input and guidance to the active BOD members. The NGTO Board of Directors is grateful for their continued service to the organization.
Growing up in South Florida, I fished the beaches, ponds, and estuaries for as long as I can remember. I have always loved the outdoors and have been an avid camper, angler, and diver all my life. I moved to Georgia in the fall of 2006 and quickly became addicted to trout fishing.
I was introduced to NGTO shortly after moving here and it was instrumental in helping me learn to become an avid trout angler. The network of anglers and friends I have made through NGTO has really enriched my life and I am honored to be able to give back by serving on the Board of Directors. I hold a Masters degree in Psychology and I am a licensed professional counselor specializing in working with disadvantaged children and adolescents. My job can be difficult, but is always rewarding. And there are times that I am able to use fishing to allow these kids to briefly escape the troubles of their daily lives.
I grew up in Oregon and Wisconsin. I moved to California as a young adult to escape the Wisconsin winter, and earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Cal State University Long Beach. I met my wonderful wife Shannon at about the same time, and we have 2 fine sons. I work as a Project Manager for a mechanical contracting firm, specializing in large commercial and industrial HVAC installations, and am founder and President of Engineered Flies LLC , a small manufacturer of hard body flies.
One of my earliest memories is of a fishing trip with my Dad at the tender age of 3, so fishing has always been a part of my life. In high school it was prowling the shore of Lake Michigan casting for trout and salmon, in my 20s it was riding the party boats on the Pacific off the southern California coast, and when I moved to Atlanta in 1994 I discovered fly fishing and the Hooch. My search for more places to trout fish in Georgia brought me to NGTO in 1999. Being part of the NGTO community is a source of pride for me, as there are a lot of really great people here that share my passion. I am honored and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors, and hope that I can contribute in meaningful ways to help make NGTO as much fun for others as it has been for me.
I grew up on a dirt road in the foothills of north Georgia. My Dad first took me fishing when I was about 4 or 5 years old and the addiction took a firm hold on me. From junior high through high school graduation pretty much everyday after school was spent with a fishing rod, shotgun or rifle in my hands. 11 years ago I heard about this site called NGTO and read the reports about this new delayed harvest thing at Smith Creek. I drove to Helen, got some much needed help and flies at Unicoi Outfitters and proceeded to catch a few at Smith. At that point I was completely hooked on fly fishing. I have since made many wonderful friends on NGTO and it is my honor to serve on the BOD.
I am proud to say that I am true Georgia Boy, Born & Raised Here. I was destined to be a fisherman from the time I was born, As it was Dr. Fish that delivered me.(honestly). I caught my 1st fish at the age of 2, Thanks to Family Photos I know that it was trout at Andy's Trout Farm in Dillard,Ga. THANKS DAD you started a lifelong obession. After yrs of fishing , I began to develop an interest in Fly Fishing, Tried it and the Obession went to another level. I first found the NGTO website in 1999 and after Lurking for several months, I joined up in 2000. Since joining I have made many new friends, learned more about fishing, and had many enjoyable outings. These outings have enabled me to combine a lot of my favorite activies, Fishing, Camping & Outdoor Cooking. In June of 2003, I was honored to be chosen to be on the NGTO B.O.D.. I look forward to working with all the members of NGTO and all members of the fishing family.
I am a Georgia native having lived in Gwinnett and Walton counties all of my life. Life growing up as I remember was some form of hunting, fishing, or camping most any given weekend. A lot of our trips were on various WMA's in the North Georgia mountains fishing for trout. I believe the first time I gave fly fishing a try it was from encouragement from a coworker around 1998 on the Chattahoochee. I was reluctant as I really enjoyed the "catching" part of fishing! But the addiction soon took hold and fly fishing soon became my main method for fishing. I'm married to my wonderful wife Lori and I have two daughters Alexandria and Bailey and stepdaughter Ava. I have worked for General Mills for the past 19 years. I am in the maintenance department in the role of machinist/fabricator. Prior to General Mills I worked in a small machine shop that paved the way for my mechanical manufacturing background. Art has also always been a big part of my life. Working with metals in my job so much is partly where I get my desire to incorporate them into my artwork. Sculpting is my favorite medium to work with. I have always felt that being an active member of NGTO that I was really a part of it. Now being on the BOD I am even more excited of things to come and ways that I can help this GREAT organization!
Sam Alatar (SlowStreamer)
My father was not a fisherman, so I did not get into fishing till we moved down to Georgia and I went to Valdosta State College in 1984. However, I did not start fly fishing till March of 2007, a week after my father passed away and I decide life was too short and I had always wanted to learn how to fly fish. I taught myself from videos, books and by practicing on the lawn as well as along the shores of Lake Lanier. I loved it, and in my relentless search for more information I stumbled across NGTO. I realized it had information on fly fishing in my area and I checked out the forums and posts and signed up on May 2007. Shortly after there was a "East Meet and Greet" which I decided to attend. That was the first time I met Chuck, Mark, George and Bret. I immediately felt welcome to the group and it has just gotten better each day from there. I have made a lot of new close friends that love life and enjoy fishing with the same passion as I do. What more could anyone ask for.
I am honored to have served as a NGTO Board of Director member and hope to give back to an organization that has given so much joy to me.
I grew up in suburban Atlanta close enough to walk to and fish the Chattahoochee River where I spent endless hours exploring the banks, canoeing and fishing. After two years in the service, I attended the University of Georgia, graduating with a B.S. in Biology. I taught high school for a few years before I went back to UGA and began working on my M.S. in fisheries biology. My study was about the natural reproduction of rainbow trout in a few north Georgia head-water streams. Before I finished my degree, fate drew me back to the Chattahoochee River when I was offered, and accepted, a temporary job at Buford Trout Hatchery. This job soon morphed into a permanent job as the Superintendent of Buford Trout Hatchery. There I began a family, finished my M.S. and spent the 27 years in the best job anyone could ask for. I worked for, and with, many wonderful and dedicated people and had the pleasure of raising and stocking millions of trout into the rivers and streams in north Georgia. In 1998 I became aware of NGTO and began following posts. I eventually began posting and was asked to moderate the ASK the DNR forum which I still do even though I retired in December 2008 and moved to Covington where I enjoy the life of a small farmer.
Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. I was introduced to trout fishing at about age 3 by my father. In the early 1950's, an elderly neighbor introduced me to the fly rod, and thus began a lifelong affair.
As an undergrad at Penn State in the early '60's I was fortunate to be able to take George Harvey's 10 week long fly tying course. My life at the tying bench had a very sound beginning. It was also about this time that I built my first fly rod. (A 8' Fenwick, if memory serves me right.)
During my career as a Naval Aviator I was able to fish for a wide variety of fish around the globe.
I attended a Fall Fling and was quite impressed by the people, the comraderie and purpose of NGTO. I joined shortly thereafter.
Through this board I have met and made many friends. Many of these friendships transcend trout fishing. I have taken much more from this site than I can ever hope to give. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a member of the Board Of Directors.
My introduction to fly fishing was several years ago when a friend and I went on a long float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, tossing hoppers and dries to cutthroat trout. And I've been hooked ever since (pun intended). Before I found the fly rod I fished in Florida and Tennessee bu mostly chucking plastic worms at bass but with a few salt water missions over the years. As a kid in Fort Lauderdale I fished for mullet in Jupiter Inlet or tried to catch whatever mutant fish lived in the canals.
My job as a consultant with a very large global technology company keeps me on the road more than I'd like but I do try to get on the Hooch when I can, as well the many trout streams that wander through the Southeast. Even though we've lived in the Atlanta area since 1985 it's only been in recent years that I've had the pleasure of wading around North Georgia in search of trout.
Like many folks I found NGTO by stumbling around the internet in search of fly-fishing information. And what a jackpot of information and good people I found! I am very pleased to be associated with this organization, its directors, its bretheren and sisteren (is that a word?) organizations and the many volunteers who help with events and conservation efforts.
Tie your own flies - fish need to laugh too!
An Atlanta native, I hold a BA from Emory University in Psychology (that degree and $1.35 buys me coffee). Currently living in Buford, I am a Security Director at a metro mall.
I have been ultra light spin fishing since I was 10 years old. My wife, Betty, and I decided to start fly fishing about 8 years ago after "lurking" on NGTO for a year. After many wind knots and lost flies to trees, Betty laid down the long rod - but she still graciously allows me the opportunity to fish and tie 'til my heart is content. I fatefully met up with two NGTO members at the dam - B983 and Mike Smith. Thanks to their insistance that I could truly fly fish, the rstars..."
My father bought me my first fly rod when I was about 11 years old at a garage sale for a couple of bucks. I cut my teeth on that 9 foot fiberglass rod, but that was all it took to get me hooked on fly fishing. Being an avid backpacker as well, I was able to combine my two passions and spent much of my youth hiking and fishing the mountains of north Georgia.
I spent 10 years driving submarines for the US Navy, but returned to Atlanta in the early 90’s to start a career. I work for North Highland, an Atlanta based management consulting firm, with my specialty being business process design and project management. Like many, I happened upon NGTO searching the web for information on trout fishing. I believe that NGTO is one of the greatest online communities out there and I am honored to be able to serve others as they pursue their passion for trout fishing in north Georgia.
Aaron Sago, married, father of three, an avid fisherman, author of Fishing the Chattahoochee Delayed Harvest - A Detailed Guide, and technologist. When he's not working on NGTO or writing, Aaron works full-time at Silverpop - the industry leader in Email Marketing solutions - (www.silverpop.com) as a Sr. Technical Project Manager.
Aaron created NGTO in 1994 out of a love for the outdoors and the love of fly-fishing. It is his hope that this little contribution will serve to create a higher awareness of conservation in our little corner of the world.
"I am very proud of what NGTO has become and feel quite fortunate to be part of such an incredible group of people. The richness that my friends here on NGTO have brought to my life cannot be measured in words."
I started fly fishing when I moved back to Atlanta in 1995. I had been living in Florida and fishing the salt-water flats but with moving to Atlanta, I knew that I was not going to be able to get to them very often. So I bought my first flyrod and out I went. As any newcomer to this sport knows, I did a lot of fumbling around. By a stroke of luck, and a lot of rewards points on my Visa card, I was able to make a trip to New Zealand. This was the beginning of the end for me. The Fly Fishing Bug bit me. I had some great guides that taught me more in two weeks then I could have learned by myself in years.
My work took me all over the US and I fed my addiction with as much fishing as I could. Early this year I changed careers and now I am in the Atlanta area all the time. So I may not be traveling to as many places as I have in the past, but now I can devote my free time to other things I enjoy, such as NGTO. I will also spen/P>
"The Ole Man"-Jack Edwards is one of Georgia’s pioneer fly fishers, having taken up the fly rod around the age of 8 in 1950. Jack caught his first trout- a fat brookie, in Wildcat Creek the same year. A native of North West Georgia, Jack is a retired Delta Air Lines Engineer. Even though Jack had his first fly tying kit at age 10, he has only been tying flies "in earnest" for about 20 years. Jack got his first computer in 1998, and shortly thereafter noticed a newspaper article about NGTO. Thus began a new circle of cherished friends and fellow trout fishers.
"It has been an honor to serve the people of NGTO as a Director and as Treasurer for 13 years."
Jack currently resides in his hometown of Cartersville, Ga.
When I was a boy of say 6 or 7 my Uncle, who was a scout master, would occasionally bring slides of trips he had made with his troop in the Cohuttas, on the Coleman or maybe the Chatooga of backpacking, canoing and flyfishing. It lit a fire in me that still burns today, to be in the backcountry experiencing the wilderness and chasing trout. I bought my first flyrod at the age of 10 with money from collecting Coke bottles from ditches. It was an old used SouthBend fiberglass with an Oren-O-Matic reel that I think I paid $10 bucks for "on time" at what had been the old general mill store turned pawn/hardware/convenience store. The old textile mill next door had a pond filled with brim that loved to take poppers. I spent that summer riding my bike, with rod attached, to that pond in search of those brim.
Many years later in '95 that fire was rekindled when I was invited to go backpacking with some friends in the Smokies on Noland Creek to flyfish. Having no fly rods I headed to BassPro. I walked in to the fly shop, looked around and was overwhelmed. I explained to the sales guy, who was Ron Reed, about my trip and that I didn't have the budget for those big name rods but wanted a multi piece for backpacking. He said "I can set you up, I'll be right back" and disappeared. He returned shortly with a 8' 4pc 6wt Dogwood Canyon rod and the click paw reel with line, leader and a few dozen flies he picked for that time of year. I think I got that whole rig for $75 and I still use the rod today. No I didn't catch any trout on that trip as I had no clue on how to fish those tight and narrow mountain streams, but boy, did it really light up that fire for camping, fishing and being in the outdoors.
As my intrest in trout and flyfishing grew I found NGTO and my flyfishing experiences are ever expanding with the Smokies being my favorite trout waters. I've learned many of the aspects of trout fishing from tying flies and build my own rods through NGTO and all of those people who make it what it is, a great resource right here in my own backyard. NGTO has brought me some really good people that I call friends and I'm honored to be a past President.
Born and raised in Nothwest Georgia I reside in Cartersville. I've been a Information Systems Manager for 15 years and now work for Taylor & Mathis, Inc.
Born in Alabama in 1953, Patrick and his family moved to Georgia in 1983. Patrick holds a BS and Masters from Auburn University in Botany and Plant Pathology. Currently living in Duluth, GA, he owns and operates Prestige Shrub & Tree, Ltd.
His first fishing experience came at the age of 4 when he would travel to Double Oak Mountain outside Birmingham, AL with his h were to be found in the shallow pools at the base of the spillway! His father further instilled Patrick's need for fishing, with stories of big Muskeys in the Great Lakes and fly fishing for trout in Gatlinburg.
Patrick's love for fishing, more specifically trout fishing, became an obsession, as some of his family call it, shortly after moving to Atlanta. Soon after discovering NGTO, the addiction was complete! He now splits his fishing time between salt water on the coast and fresh water in mostly Georgia and North Carolina but is not above heading west to fish in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming!
Pat is also the author of two regional guidebooks, The Definitive Guide To The Tuckaseegee Delayed Harvest and The Definitive Guide To The Nantahala Delayed Harvest.
One of his favorite quotes is an ancient Babylonian proverb "The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span, the hours spent in fishing."
Steve has been flyfishing for trout since 1975. He learned on the Chattahoochee tailrace and eventually discovered the many streams of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. He quickly learned the art of backpacking with a fly rod, staying in the Park's backcountry for days at a time. His second son was born twenty-three days early while Steve was wading the waters of Hazel Creek. He says his wife encouraged him to make one last trip before the baby was born!
Steve has now taught both his sons how to flyfish for trout and they have fished together on such great waters as the Madison, Yellowstone, Gibbon, Henry's Fork, Firehole, and Lamar Rivers out West. He has also taken them to the White, Norfork, Little Red, and Hiwassee Rivers here in the East.
Steve is a Sergeant with the City of Atlanta Police Department, and he and his family reside in Newnan, Georgia. In his spare time, he builds his own fly rods and ties his own flies.