With all the competition from the myriad of electronic devices, games and apps available, it is hard to get the attention of our kids and grand-kids long enough to interest them in the joys of fly fishing. But there are some simple tips to move them away from the internet and videos to sampling the art of catching fish.
It starts with you and your patience in guiding and being the role model for your kids to pick up fishing skills. Remember that fly fishing is a fun sport, so let them experiment and play while learning new movements. Let them learn at their own speed and keep in mind that attention spans will likely not be as long as you would wish.
For very young kids, say 4 to 5 years old, the main idea is to get them interested. How they catch fish is not that important. Even a worm and bobber can do the job. Before you know it and as they get older, they will be asking for more and moving up to their first fly fishing rod.
This doesn’t mean “kid-sized” equipment. A small rod and light weight line is actually harder to work with, so a 4 to 5 weight line and a 7 to 8 foot rod is a good compromise. Remember that this learning is to be a fun experience.
Buy the best equipment you can afford and don’t try to just hand down your castoffs. Fly fishing equipment prices have dropped considerably in the past few years, so it is possible to pick up a good quality rod and reel appropriate for younger anglers at an affordable price point. Knowledgeable staff at the Minturn Anglers fly fishing shops in Denver, Minturn or Vail can quickly guide to you to the right equipment. While you’re there ask about their Kids Camp to kick-start your child’s fly fishing training.
Be sure to bring your youngster along with you to help pick out gear. Add a few accessories such as a small fly box and flies, forceps and nippers. The kids will also appreciate “real” fly fisherman sunglasses. Before you know it, it will be your kids who will be coaxing you to get out on the water!