Teaching kids about fly fishing can seem daunting to many parents at first. The nuance and intricacies that lead to success for anglers are difficult for even beginners to achieve much less a younger child. Add this with the proclivity for young anglers to become easily distracted and disinterested and a fly fishing trip may turn into a long, or very brief, day on the water. Here are some tips to get young anglers interested in fly fishing on your local waters.
Teaching Kids Fly Fishing
Following these steps, parents will find the most success on the water when fly fishing with their kids. Starting with lower expectations will often leave you feeling more accomplished by the end of the day. Keeping trips shorter will also help these excursions. a 4-6hr trip is the sweet spot, and will keep spirits and focus up for most of the day.
1. The first step to introducing kids to fly fishing is to understand where you'll be fishing. Choosing a creek you know there will be hungry or typically aggressive trout in will make your job much easier. A stocked trout stream where kids can have visible targets will hold their attention for much longer. Small waters also trump larger rivers. Small streams will be easier to stalk and make shorter, more precise casts on, increasing your odds of success.
2. Slow down and simplify. Don't hit the stream expecting the young angler to make a 40' cast and catch trout. In fact, you shouldn't even expect to use a traditional fly cast. Shorter roll casts and water hauls should be simpler casts and much easier for a young angler to build accuracy and consistency. Instead of making 2000 casts in hopes to get in front of the trout's face every now and then when on the water, have the mindset to make fewer, more precise casts throughout the day. Allowing kids to focus on each cast in particular will improve their accuracy and consistency much faster than rushed casts and in turn lead to more bites. Save the traditional fly casts for the backyard after a few successful trips on the water and your child is hooked.
3. Make the trip about more than landing a trout. Unless you happen to be out on one of those rare days where the trout are absolutely eating anything that touches the water, you will likely need other things to hold your kids attention while on the water. An easy opportunity to teach your kids not only about fly fishing but the entire ecology of the stream is showing off the bugs which the trout eat. This will not only narrow down which flies you should be throwing, but provides a fascinating learning experience that will hold their attention on the water. Brush up on these bugs and the other critters that find their way into a trout's stomach in our article on What Do Trout Eat.
4. Attention to detail. Rod angle, minimizing slack, a speedy hookset, maintaining tension during the fight are just a few of the small details beginning anglers make that seem inconsequential but can make a huge difference in the course of a day. This is where your guidance can be crucial and insure more success.
Trout Fishing with Kids
Another fun aspect of teaching kids about not only fly fishing but trout fishing in general, would be to teach them about the different species of trout. Taking kids to a stream with multiple species is a great way to further engage young anglers on the water by adding additional goals to your outing. Learn all about the various trout species of North America here.
Fly Fishing with Kids in North Georgia
Here in North Georgia the best opportunities for kids revolve around the Georgia stocked trout streams. North Georgia's Delayed Harvest Trout Streams provide more certainty for less experienced anglers to find hungry trout. Wild trout may be smaller but can be more consistent if you know where to look. Keeping casts short keep young anglers out of the trees and rhododendrons and save you from a dwindling fly box. Our articles on the Best Flies for North Georgia, and Fly Fishing North Georgia will point new anglers to the area in the right direction.