Fly fishing is a great pastime for any age, with a calm atmosphere and plenty of time for bonding, and the like. However, getting children into fly fishing isn’t an easy task, as they can struggle to see the fun that you can experience when fishing. While some kids will love it from the beginning, you’ll need to try some different tactics for others, so they can give the activity a fair chance. Here’s a guide on how to get your child excited about fly fishing for you to try.
Show Off Your Catches
The first thing you should do is show children the physical results of what happens on a fishing trip and what you’ve accomplished while fishing. Bringing home your fish or taking pictures and showing it off at home before you even go on your first trip with them can really excite them. Sometimes, this is all you need, as they want to recreate your success and have that accomplishment for themselves.
Bring Your Kids
The next step is bringing your kid with you on a fishing trip. However, you should keep this simple, as you don’t throw them into the deep end. Keep the trip as close by as possible and bring some other things to do so they can enjoy the outdoors alongside with fishing. If you can, try to keep the trip to only a few hours, so they just dip their toes in the experience. You don’t want to scare them off by taking all day on the first trip.
Start With Success
Fishing is a game of patience, with a lot of fish not biting and sometimes even getting away from the line. This can be very discouraging, especially for newcomers and children. That’s why trying to score an easy win can be a huge step and really encourage people to enjoy the time. Your best bet is doing some research on the local fish and picking areas with fish that are easier to catch, increasing the chances that your kid will catch something. This can be huge for their future love of fly fishing, as the first catch always turns into a memorable accomplishment.
Show Off the Mechanics
Kids don’t have too much fun catching fish, and some kids like learning more about how the rod works and all the cool features of a fishing technique. A lot of kids thrive off curiosity—and using that to spark their interest in fishing can be very useful. Try showing off how you put together a fly-fishing rod and the mechanism behind the reel. You can also teach them casting techniques and show them an online fly shop, which can spark a lot of interest in a curious child.
Make It All About Bonding
Fishing is a lot of fun by itself, but a lot of the benefit of fishing trips with people is the bonding moments that happen during these trips. Highlight that when bringing your children on a fishing trip by focusing on talking with them and creating fun memories that they’ll want more of once the day is over. This way, even the more quiet moments of fishing become fun for the family and bring everyone together.
Take It Easy
The biggest drain on any newcomer’s excitement is feeling pressure from something that should be easy. Keeping everything as chill as possible and lowering your expectations makes fishing much more likely to succeed than stressing about every little mistake. Just focus on having fun over getting fish or achieving the perfect form, and your kids will quickly grow to love fishing. Other factors like skill and success rate can come much later once children really commit to fishing as a passion. Otherwise, you’ll just drive them away from the hobby as they fret because of simple mistakes. Remember that they’re new to this, and fishing takes a lot of skill and patience.
Play On Your Kids’ Strengths and Talents
Every kid is different and has unique skills and thoughts that you can use when getting them into fly fishing. Try changing your strategy to take your kid’s likes into account, and you might find a lot more success. For example, a competitive kid will benefit from healthy competitions and goals they can accomplish and compete against, while a kid who likes fish can catalog and identify the fish using fishing guides during the trip. This is honestly the best thing you can do when getting a child into any hobby, as it ties the new hobby to things they already know and like.
Fishing isn’t a quick event, and it can sometimes take hours of patience and willpower to catch just one fish. Make sure you explain this to your children before they set expectations for themselves. If you wait till after the trip, then their lack of success during the day will discourage them. Helping them understand that they may not succeed or even catch a single fish before on their first trip can help to offset disappointment and elevate success.
Make It a Whole Day Trip
One of the best tricks on how to get your child excited about fly-fishing is making the whole day something to remember. A fishing trip can take a few hours, but it doesn’t need to be the only thing you do on that day. You can always go out for food and go shopping at a local mall, as well as do other fun activities that’ll entertain your kids. This will help them tie good memories and feelings to a fishing trip.
Sweeten the Deal
Although some people may say that this is bribery, bringing some of their favorite foods can really make a fishing trip exciting for kids. You don’t need to bring expensive foods, but some favorite treats can make those long hours at the beach or lake a lot shorter. Just like with taking it easy or going out afterward, the goal is to create a place they enjoy while fishing at the same time.
These tricks are great for increasing the chances your kid will like fly fishing. Even if they don’t love it, they’ll likely want to go just to hang out and enjoy the safe place you make for them on the trip. Fly fishing can be an escape from the world, and you can create that space for your kids with our simple tips.