If there is one thing more important than going fishing, it’s getting kids to go fishing! All too often I hear ‘the young of today’ being written-off as stuck in front of their X-Box or glued to You Tube. Well, do something about it! Get them out into the nature and stick a fishing rod in their hands! The transformation can be wonderful!
Keeping outings with younger kids short and interesting, or varying the activities and locations throughout a longer day is the key to holding their attention and making it an experience they will be keen to repeat again and again. Making it not all about the fishing but looking for bugs, talking about ‘survival techniques’ and generally mucking about all become part of a wonderful experience.
Another common misconception is that fly fishing is ‘too complicated’ when compared to coarse fishing (using a fixed-spool reel and throwing a bait or lure). In fact, the opposite is true. The tangles you might get into when fly fishing are much more straightforward to deal with and with the added bonus that you will not be cutting off and wasting a hundred meters of line every now and again! The act of casting a fly, even using a simple ‘roll cast’ is great fun and just challenging enough to make it worth doing in the eyes of most kids.
I will always try and include some small stream fishing in a day out with youngsters, as this has the highest likelihood of catching a fish. But, having said that, many times I have seen kids just simply having great fun mucking about in the water, and that’s just absolutely fine by me!
I have a secret weapon when it comes to coaching younger clients – my ten-year-old son, Corwin! He has been absorbing all of my hints and tips from a very young age and is already a quite accomplished fly fisher (this season he even beat me to the first fish!) He really is a very good coach but also, as does any kid, loves a good muck about – this can be a great outcome for the parents, who might want to be a bit more into the fishing!
To read about a stunning family fishing day out read this story: Assynt (Family) Fly Fishing!