Fly fishing with young child...any tips??

DannyW

Active Member
I've had my kids attached to me in and around safe water since they came into the world. If you are excited about fishing, they will be too! Just get them outside, bring lots of snacks, and make sure they are having fun. Actual fishing will come pretty quick, but you have to be patient in those early years.
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Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
No, I'm sure they are 100% safe, I mentioned that I would never wear one because IMHO they could be dangerous if I were to slip and fall. Falling backwards and crushing them on a rock would be why. My ass is the only thing I've broken so far.... :D
Kinda what i was thinking. I certainly carried my kids in a backpack on easy hikes, or on the beach, but never wading.
I've fallen backwards while wading more than once, and prefer not to challenge Murphy's Law too much!
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
People talk about snacks. Yes, that’s important, but think about what kind of snacks. I suggest high value snacks like chocolate. M&Ms are good. My kids would not be impressed with Cheerios on an outing. I want them to associate these outings with Dad with a good time and I’m not too proud to buy some love with chocolate. I also made a mistake one time. I sat my son down for lunch, no blanket, just a stream side PB & J. Well, that stuff is sticky on little fingers and in no time his hands were covered in fir needles and jelly and dirt and peanut butter, all of which quickly migrated pretty much everywhere on him. Now we do ham or salami sandwiches.
 

driftboatdan

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Anyone ever bring them fishing when even younger in one of those backpack things?
251AA304-029C-4F05-B932-2BD6BEFB584C.jpeg My little guy is 7 now and loves fly fishing and conventional fishing. I started him fly fishing in little pocket water creeks, places where you can just flip out a bushy dry fly and hook a dink behind every rock (around 5) The echo gecko is a great kids rod also...Some kids are really interested in it and some are not. My oldest son (12 yo) has just started to want to go fishing, but he’s been much less enthusiastic about the sport.
 

Krusty

Huge Erect Member
WFF Supporter
Fished with our kids from a canoe on small lakes where we could frequently go ashore and explore/swim, etc.. Kids need variety. A canoe is big enough for them to take shaded naps with a beloved security blanket and the family pup. Spent many a fine day on Brown's lake in EWA with our kiddos....who have done the same thing with our grandchildren.
 

Smalma

Active Member
have introduced a number of youngsters to fishing (including my 3 kids) and have couple thoughts on how best do that.

1) Any trip is always the kids trip - not mine. The trip length, activities, etc. during the outing driven by the kids interest with emphasis of having fun. Always planned the trips in comfortable weather and included snacks or a burger stop. It was not uncommon to have spent more time chasing tadpoles or turning over rocks or bird watching than actually fishing. Emphasis on having fun while "fishing" even if little time was actually fishing.

2) With the kid's every "fishing trip was wired". I would pre-scout the plan outing by fishing the chosen spot (hopefully the day before) to assure that the young angler would meet with more or less immediate success. If we were going to target say perch I would make sure I had the spot and method wired - remember a "catfish trip with my son and two neighborhood kids where they fished with bobbers and nightcrawlers we picked the night before. The entire time on the water was basically constant bobbers going down (yes I risked creating a young Ira) and non-stop laughter.

I carried the above thinking to the extreme with my oldest son. We began "fishing when he was 2 or 3 and by the age 6 two or three times a year I would take him steelhead fishing (in the late 1970s- early 1980s; a very different time). It was not until he was 12 there was a trip where he did not catch a steelhead! Fitting my philosophy at the time as I helped him land a steelhead his first question was always is "how is the dorsal fin?" If the fin was deformed he was allowed to take it home for dinner if perfect he would hold the fish in the water briefly and watch it swim away. BTW every steelhead he every caught was on barbless hooks.

Now more than 60 years later he now takes me fishing. allows me to have fun, has a snack or lunch, and does his best to assure that I catch a fish. It has been interesting to reflect back on the 70 years we have fished together. The first fifteen years or so our relationship was one of me sharing my love of fish and being a mentor, then decades as fishing (hunting) partners and in the last decade or early roles have essentially been reversed.

My early investment has been repaid many times over!

Curt
 

Riogrande King

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Anyone ever bring them fishing when even younger in one of those backpack things?
Yes! Our daughter's birthday is May 30. Rather than miss the Green Drake hatch on the Ranch we carried the precious cargo in a mosquito net (this is key!) equipped bassinet. Graduated to a child-carry backpack when she was a little older.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I'm sure glad that you all enjoy taking your children fishing. I had one bad experience with kids fishing and one time was enough. I was going fishing one summer day and when I picked up my buddy after work and his wife said we had to take his two boys along. I've never heard to kids complain so much in my life. It was supposed to be up to their dad to make sure it was fun. He ignored them. After about 2 hours of their complaining I said we ought to call it a day. I never ever took him out again.
the boys were 4 and 6.
 

cms829

Active Member
I'm sure glad that you all enjoy taking your children fishing. I had one bad experience with kids fishing and one time was enough. I was going fishing one summer day and when I picked up my buddy after work and his wife said we had to take his two boys along. I've never heard to kids complain so much in my life. It was supposed to be up to their dad to make sure it was fun. He ignored them. After about 2 hours of their complaining I said we ought to call it a day. I never ever took him out again.
the boys were 4 and 6.
Bad parenting cant fix that! You cant just ignore them, lol.
 

Jojo

Trout Thank Me
WFF Supporter
I'm sure glad that you all enjoy taking your children fishing. I had one bad experience with kids fishing and one time was enough. I was going fishing one summer day and when I picked up my buddy after work and his wife said we had to take his two boys along. I've never heard to kids complain so much in my life. It was supposed to be up to their dad to make sure it was fun. He ignored them. After about 2 hours of their complaining I said we ought to call it a day. I never ever took him out again.
the boys were 4 and 6.
Hahahaha.... old men complain as much as little kids do!
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
Kinda what i was thinking. I certainly carried my kids in a backpack on easy hikes, or on the beach, but never wading.
I've fallen backwards while wading more than once, and prefer not to challenge Murphy's Law too much!
I want to add to this, so as not to be misunderstood.
It's a comment on trusting myself to wade with a kid on my back. Honestly, whenever I see pics on this board of you guys out fishing with your kids, in a backpack, boat, whatever, my visceral reaction is "Wow, what a great dad! Lucky kid, lucky wife!"
 

Mark Mercer

Member
I started all three of mine at around 5 years old, bought them a ultra lite spinning rod, threw them in a little jon boat and headed to a local lake down the street. We would search for pan fish beds and and I'd let them have at it with small nymphs, they do have a short attention span so getting them into some action was the best way to get them hooked on fishing (it worked).

When they hit about 9 years old I'd hand them a fly rod and start showing them how to cast, the only problem was the younger one's didn't want to wait but as long as they caught something when we went it was OK.

After teaching fly casting for a number of years I had to put a age limit on them, I found teaching most students younger then 9 quite difficult, if not impossible.
 

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Hey all! My wife and I are expecting a baby boy around May 23rd! Of course I am already thinking that hes going to be a fly fisherman and cant wait to bring him with me. I am curious if any of you have any of your own stories about what you found worked, what didnt? What age did your kid begin? Etc. We have a pond on the property with panfish and largemouth....so We'll be dunking worms at an early age. But interested to hear your fly specific experiences with your young ones.
Kids need immediate success and lots of it to hold their interest due to short attention spans. Do not rush the child, sit back and enjoy, watch for his curiosity, he'll probably want to follow his old man but not if he's pushed.
 

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