Perch or bass on the dry for a 4-yr old

I have a 4-yr old son who I am trying to get into fishing. I would much rather introduce him directly to fly-fishing than to a zebco at happy-jack's fish farm. This might not be the right way to go, but I just have to try this first.

I remember when I started fly-fishing in the south, we had ponds that were loaded with small bass and perch which were both very willing to take a big bushy dry. Does anyone know of any ponds or lakes on the east side with some easy access (no wading needed) and enough room for a back-cast from shore where my boy and I could give his new 3-weight a shot? I will look at the map and randomly try out a few places, but scouting with a 4-yr old can be quite a challenge. So I just thought I would ask in case any of you knew of a possible place and were feeling magnanimous.

If you are on the fence about giving up any info, I understand. If it helps, I can assure you that we will be c&r with barbless hooks, and you could always PM me.

David Holmes

Formerly known as "capmblade"
If I were you I would wait about 5 years before even thinking of taking him anywhere. I have a six year old and he already hates fishing because of all the times I dragged him somewhere and he got bored by fishing. He would literally rather go shopping with his mother now than fishing with me (groan!). At least with his mom he might get a transformer or something. With me its going to be 3 hours of not catching anything and not letting him drive the boat.

And is it his fault? No, no, its my fault. I ruined him already.

Also, at 4 my kid could barely handle a fork, much less a fly-rod.

But, if you're still serious about this, Deep Lake in Nolte State Park near Black Diamond has perch, bass, etc and if the water is down a little bit there's "beaches" with back-casting room. I remember days at Deep Lake where every cast got you a fish with two or more following it eating its barf.

I would also suggest one of our many rivers (in a few weeks when they drop to sane levels). Often you can find a sandy bar that only gradually gets deeper so the kid can't just fall in and disappear. The Snoqualmie in downtown Snoqualmie can be like that if you follow the trail downstream from the park behind the bowling alley. The Middle-Fork Snoqualmie has lots of places like that. Or lower Snoqualmie at Chinook Bend could work, too.
You could hook him up on tons of sunfish right at the boat launch of lake #12, east of Black Diamond. Getting feet wet, optional.

I had both of my boys rollcasting by the age of 5, I think the younger of them was 4 years old when I taught him to lobcast in the quick water at Rocky Ford (which also introduced him to fighting some big fish... lol! i gotta dig out that photo, he's so little) I started them with rolls and lobs. Backcasting came next, and I discouraged false casts to keep them tangle free. Getting them into fish wasn't as difficult as teaching the hookset and handling line/reel to bring a fish in.

The younger of my boys, 11, still enjoys it but not so much as he used to - I think because it's starting to seem uncool. My 16 year old liked it until he was an early teen, and again, I guess it got uncool. I think both of them will come back around to it as that's what I did (that's my hope) - I flyfished into my mid teens and then dropped it in favor of skateboarding, partying, rock bands and rock climbing... then I came back to it. Both of my boys got advanced enough that they could present nymphs and dries from wading or a drift boat - so, it is possible - go for it man! Just be really forgiving of poor form and encourage the hell out of em when they throw decent casts.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

[edit] A few more thoughts on fishing with little ones: I found that (through a little trial and error) I had to make the fishing experience more kid friendly by making sure I had yummy snacks, juice boxes, that sorta thing - a notch above what they usually get so it seems sorta special. I also learned the hard way not to try to fish for too long. Try mixing in some other fishing related stuff like picking up rocks and seeing what kinda bugs are under there, and how they might match what's in the box... Little ones are great with their natural curiosity for this stuff.


New Member
If you live somewhere close to N. Snohomish county, Lk. Cassidy has a big population of 6" crappie. There is a slot limit, so they need to be released, but if you get up there on a warm evening, the fish go crazy for surface bugs at sundown. There is no shore access, so you need a boat, but I've had my best fishing (in my float tube) about 50 yrds. south of the launch, anywhere from 10' - 200' off the lily pads. Just about the time fishing really gets hot, it's too dark to see the fish take the flies, and I've had great success switching to wet patterns thereafter.

And as an added bonus, there seems to be a good population of bats that comes out shortly after the crappie start to bite. What kid doesn't like dodging bats.........

Good luck
check out Larson lake just to the south of Kaufmans fly shop in Bellevue, it's nothing you'll get too excited about but the kid will get into plenty of bluegill there...have him 'help' you tie a san juan worm, or some fluffy panfish thing and let him lob cast it with an indicator:thumb:

maybe lake Boren in newcastle as well...
Thought you might appreciate a little inspiration in your endeavor (and I shamelessly take this opporunity to show off). Here's a pic of my older son with a fish on nymphing the Cedar and my younger when he was a wee tot fighting a rocky ford rainbow... :D You can do it man.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Took my 4 yo neice to the Gold Creek Trout farm on the one nice weekend in April and she had a blast! She lasted maybe 20 minutes, and we caught fish easily with the provide peice of bambo, 8-10 feet of mono, and some powerbait like mix of trout pellet mash mixed with water and flour.

Easy fishing, just flick the line out to the edge of the schooling fish and they move to it right away and would only take it in the first few seconds after it hit the water. Once it was on the bottom of the pond (maybe 12" - 18" deep) pick it up and cast again.

Downside was you have to keep the fish, they charge by the fish and how big it is. We stopped at four and did eat them. They weren't bad, and it was nice they clean the fish for you so you don't have to mess with it!

Funniest thing, I need to go and get a picture of the sign that said "$20 fine for catch and release"!! Her white wool fishing hat was great too! Plus the guy got irritated when I cut the line since the hook was buried way down in the last fishes throat. I didn't have my Rising tool and hadn't noticed the hook removal too.

Still it was a great way to spend and hour and time with her and my sister and brother in law. She loves talking to me about fishing now and practices with grandma casting at the pond with her Barbie spinning rod! I'll build her a fly rod for her 6th or 7th birthday, unless she asks me to earlier!

Check out my blog post and gallery on it if you want!!65B5C5FF1ED0E6F5!271.entry


Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
Just remember that when taking a 4 year old fishing it's not about you, or fishing, it's about him having fun and him wanting to go again.

The last two lake openers I've taken my son to Cottage Lake, not because it's great purist's environment (the Ospreys taking advantage of the buffet is fun) but because we can sit on the doc, eat chips, drink soda pop, catch a few fish, and after an hour we can go play on the play ground. We have blast and he wants to go back all the time.

I've taken him fly fishing but again I hedge my bets because we go to a friends private pond, row out in his little pond skiff, and catch cutthroat every other cast. It's more about the boat ride and "touching the fishies" than it is about any sort of fishing experience.

Make it fun for him and you both will have fun in the long run, :beer2:


Active Member
i am taking my 4 year old great grandson to sprague or williams lake on saturday. we can hardly wait. if he gets bored we will play baseball in the public access. mike w
My son will be 5 on the 4th and I am also looking to take him fly fishing this year. He has wanted to for 2 years now. I took him last year and tied a royal wulff behind a bobber and about 18 in of leader and he caught his first fish on a fly. I am waiting for the rivers to drop a little so we can get out there he cannot wait. We fished the Hamma Hamma over here and he likes it he can play on the gravel when he gets bored.


Active Member
Boy, I wish you guys were around when I was trying to take my kids fishing. My daughter is 18 now, and doesn't interest her one bit. My son, doesn't really like fishing, but, sure likes to tag along with me. When in the boat, I let him row, and I fish. But, I agree with every one else, make it fun for them. Being out to long isn't much fun. Hey, I get bored when there is no fish being caught too.


Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
I think you have to introduce them to fishing, of any kind, early on. Hopefully it'll be a pleasant experience with a shortage of boredom. Whether they stick with it as they get older is something we as parents have no control over. I firmly believe that there are two kinds of people: Those who like to fish and those who don't. I'm lucky, my son has the fish gene but my daughter has never had any interest in even joining me for an afternoon. Even my son, who loves to fish, gets beat down when the fish aren't showing any interest...dealing with the boredom inherent with fishing takes some maturity (and adult beverages).

Atdwash- good luck finding a place to take your son. I can't recommend any place specific that has a willing supply of bass/perch. The MF Snoqualmie, once the flows are down, would be fun for you both if you hit it late in the afternoon/early evening when the sun is off the water and those feisty little cutts start smacking anything bushy you throw their way. There's a nice campground up there so you could camp for a night, do a little fishing and a lot of funning.