Kids and fly fishing: First the butterfly net then the rod

People often ask me if I have taught my kids to fly fish. Truth be told I do not think fly fishing is a great recreation option for little kids. There are too many nuances of fly fishing such as casting, fly patterns, knots, presentation techniques, etc.

I have started taking my kids fishing, but I keep it simple. Dunking worms and stocked ponds are what I focused on this year. Next year I might introduce a spinning rod with a simple lure, but that is it. I focus more on keeping trips fun than worrying about them mastering the art of angling. I bring snacks, frisbees, sand toys, butterfly nets (more on this below), extra clothes and shoes, and make sure the day is about them and not me. To be honest taking the kids fishing is a lot or work, but they love it and I cherish the memories we make on our trips.

Butterfly nets are especially handy. They provide something to keep them occupied while I untangle their messes in their fishing lines. Sometimes my kids end up spending an hour just chasing minnows, and that is perfectly okay with me. At this stage I want my kids to associate fishing trips with fun.

As mentioned above I incorporate other activities during our fishing trips. Sometimes we play at a lake beach, explore the forest, or float the river.

If they are bored it is time to change the activity, eat a snack, or wrap it up for the day. I know if I keep trips fun for them now they will gravitate towards fly fishing on their own.

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