A trip to our ranch might be the perfect opportunity to expose your child to fly-fishing. We’ve got Orvis equipment available to rent and the Buffalo Fork River is right outside your cabin door.
Now, getting your child hooked on fly fishing might be a challenge. Tom Rosenbauer, a fly-fishing guide and author who produces a podcast for Orvis, has 10 tips he’s either tried or gotten from other guides on how to introduce kids to fly-fishing. You can hear Tom talk about these tips on his podcast. The list starts at the 21-minute mark.
1. Go fishing
Start with a simple rod and reel setup. This is an easy introduction that lets your child experience the basic principles of fishing without getting into the technical aspects of fly-fishing.
2. Start with the prey
Kids love catching critters like frogs, turtles and snakes. Show them crickets, beetles and other bugs that serve as the prey. Then you can explain to them how those insects are used to create flies, which are used to catch fish.
3. Take the kids to fly tying demonstrations
Many kids get into fly tying long before they do fishing. It’s like a craft project to them. They like the colored elements and the chance to be creative.
4. Pick the right time and place
The first experience needs to happen when the fishing is good and it’s easy. You want them to experience some early success.
5. Go after sunfish or panfish
The first fly-fishing trip should be fishing in shallow water for sunfish or panfish. These fish are generally easy to see, which lets your child watch how they react when going after a fly.
6. Scout the fishing site
Fish at the spot you’re thinking of taking your child to make sure the fish are biting.
7. Find riffled water
If you’re fishing in a stream for trout, find a section where there is pool with shallow to moderately deep water that moves at a moderate pace. Tie on small streamer or wet fly and have them cast across the current and follow the fly on the tip of the rod.
8. Skip the boat
Bank fishing is better than boat fishing, especially for a beginner. There are too many obstacles in casting and line handling in a boat. Fishing on a bank gives a novice angler the opportunity to take their time and learn.
9. Shorter is better
Keep the kids engaged. This means fishing trips shouldn’t be all-day affairs. Limit the outings to an hour or two at the most.
Make sure to bring snacks and drinks. Kids need nourishment to keep them going.
It’s An Adventure
Any chance to get your kids outside is a win and Tim’s tips might just what your child needs to peak in an interest in what could be a life-long hobby. We’ll do what we can to help when you’re at the ranch.