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  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    I think it is time to introduce my eight-year-old daughter to fly fishing.

    She has been on small boats since she was eight weeks old and has fished with kiddie spincasting reels from before she could cast one. That said, I always tried to keep things appropriate to a short kiddie attention span. We'd go out on the boat, drop a line, and if she wasn't getting into fish within 30 minutes, I'd pull up anchor and we'd head someplace for ice cream. If the weather was less than perfect or the water was choppy, we'd stay home. I wanted to avoid having a bad experience that might turn her off from boats and/or fishing for life.

    We live in the desert right now, so she hasn't been fishing lately, and there's no opportunity for fishing close to home or appropriate for introducing a kid, but we're going to be back in the US (maybe in the mountains of North Carolina) for a visit at Easter. I asked her if she wanted to learn to fly fish and she gave me an enthusiastic yes. She loves the outdoors and going on safari (she says she wants to grow up to be a wildlife biologist), so I'm optimistic this could work out well.

    My inclination is to call a local fly shop and see if they can arrange for a kid-friendly guide to give her a little casting instruction on a local pond with panfish. I could teach her to cast myself, but I'd rather not doom her to a lifetime of my casting mediocrity, and I generally believe that it is better not to try to teach these kinds of skills to people you love.

    Have any of you been through this yourselves? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

    I really want my daughter to love fly fishing. I have these visions of taking her with me on fly fishing trips around the world. On the other hand, I also know that maybe she just won't love it as much as I do. If that's the case, I will bottle up my disappointment and accept it with good grace. But I certainly want to stack the deck as much as I can...

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    "My inclination is to call a local fly shop and see if they can arrange for a kid-friendly guide to give her a little casting instruction on a local pond with panfish. I could teach her to cast myself, but I'd rather not doom her to a lifetime of my casting mediocrity, and I generally believe that it is better not to try to teach these kinds of skills to people you love."

    I think you are on the right track in contacting a fly shop for a guide and casting instruction. They could probably put your daughter on a sweet little Bluegill pond where she could have some steady action without the boredom. If she's catching fish on a fly rod I think the torch will be lit!

    Hope it works out for you both, it would be great to have your daughter as a fly fishin' buddy!

    Denny

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    I started my daughter fly fishing at 5. She'd had a little toy bamboo rod a rod maker friend had made for her at 3 but by 5 she knew it wasn't real like Daddy's. So I got her a TFO Finesse 7'-9" 3wt and got her started. We lived on a small trout pond at that time and it was easy to go down and fish for 15 or 20 minutes -- whatever she had attention span for. She's 16 now and doesn't fish a lot but we go into the national park in the summer and she'll stick five or six fish and fish with quite a bit of patience and smoothness and then be done, hour or two on the water. We ran into three otters on our last outing this summer. It was very cool. I love to watch her fish. I tell her I spend all day trying to get grown men to do what she does very well.

    I've also guided a lot of young kids, as young as 5. I guided one client's three grandsons over a series of summers starting when they were 5 and 6. A couple of those three are still fishing, one pretty seriously. Feels good to have a hand in that.

    My thinking on it is give them as long of a rod as they can handle, keep things simple (pick it up and lay it down), and get them in a spot where they have a real chance to reach and catch fish (while keeping them safe).

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    Girls are funny about it...most seem to really like the adventure at the time but I have seen many not pursue it beyond that. My daughter is now 15 and still very much enjoys to fish but she rarely if ever comes and asks me if I can take her. When she comes along she enjoys it and maybe after awhile she will decide to pursue it on her own accord.

    She took it up at 5 and one thing's for certain Girls are wayyyy better than boys...No matter the age. Women listen so much better and are not clogged with the notion that they can do anything. 8 is an ideal age to get the young lad on the water with a fly rod and if nothing else you will always have a grand fishing companion to tag along with you.

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  9. #5

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    Like you my daughter ahs been exposed to fishing from birth. I recall wading the Yellowstone with her in a Gerri Kiddie Pack when she was about a year and a half and her mother being peeved as she had, without my awareness thrown her sun hat into the drink. She fished with a child's spin cast rod baited with worms and a red and white when little and has enjoyed the outdoors all her life. She took a fly casting lesson from a professional instructor as a teen (a good idea) but young women have other interest besides hanging out with daddy on some river.

    Now she is grown and again like you, lives in East Africa. We thought about taking a cast on the Mara River but there where just too many hippos and crocs. So we flew to the Seychelles and fished there and she and her now novice fly fisher boyfriend had a blast. Last summer they visited us in Montana and they just loved fly fishing for trout. I just had to wait for her to grow up but she casts quite well now.

    W18 165 BS Cr. vs.jpg

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    I think it is time to introduce my eight-year-old daughter to fly fishing.

    She has been on small boats since she was eight weeks old and has fished with kiddie spincasting reels from before she could cast one. That said, I always tried to keep things appropriate to a short kiddie attention span. We'd go out on the boat, drop a line, and if she wasn't getting into fish within 30 minutes, I'd pull up anchor and we'd head someplace for ice cream. If the weather was less than perfect or the water was choppy, we'd stay home. I wanted to avoid having a bad experience that might turn her off from boats and/or fishing for life.

    We live in the desert right now, so she hasn't been fishing lately, and there's no opportunity for fishing close to home or appropriate for introducing a kid, but we're going to be back in the US (maybe in the mountains of North Carolina) for a visit at Easter. I asked her if she wanted to learn to fly fish and she gave me an enthusiastic yes. She loves the outdoors and going on safari (she says she wants to grow up to be a wildlife biologist), so I'm optimistic this could work out well.

    My inclination is to call a local fly shop and see if they can arrange for a kid-friendly guide to give her a little casting instruction on a local pond with panfish. I could teach her to cast myself, but I'd rather not doom her to a lifetime of my casting mediocrity, and I generally believe that it is better not to try to teach these kinds of skills to people you love.

    Have any of you been through this yourselves? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

    I really want my daughter to love fly fishing. I have these visions of taking her with me on fly fishing trips around the world. On the other hand, I also know that maybe she just won't love it as much as I do. If that's the case, I will bottle up my disappointment and accept it with good grace. But I certainly want to stack the deck as much as I can...
    I suggest you read these two articles by Tom Rosenbauer. I think the first article will be especially helpful, especially about teaching kids under 10 years old.

    Tackle Tips for Kids

    Family Friendly Fly Fishing by Tom Rosenbauer
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  13. #7

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ifitswims View Post
    Girls are wayyyy better than boys...No matter the age. Women listen so much better and are not clogged with the notion that they can do anything.
    This is as true as anything you can say about fly fishing. I tell people men must fish more to compensate.

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  15. #8

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    My wife too who took up fly fishing as an adult was a very fast and attentive learner. She took lessons both at a fishing school owned by friends of mine and then a private instructor who has magnificent form, a beautiful caster. Now she fishes spring creeks and bonefish flats. So she is casting to this fish and I say, "Where did you develop that cast? That's not the way Chouinard taught you". "I was imitating you", she informed me. Oh.

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  17. Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    It definitely takes a whole new level of patience. That being said it is incredible to watch them hook up on their own.

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  19. #10

    Default Re: Thoughts on Introducing my Daughter to Fly Fishing?

    Coincidentally, what made the biggest impression on me, of the FFS's Denver stop, was what seemed to be a big jump in the number of women attending, presenting, and repping for manufacturers.

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