Fly fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spread the joy of your beloved hobby with your kids. They’ll get to learn a valuable life skill while spending time with you. Additionally, fly fishing can help your kids explore beautiful parts of the country. You can turn a fly fishing trip into an adventure that your kids remember for years to come.
Fly fishing allows you to tailor your kids’ experience any way you like. You can take them out for a single day, a few hours, or on a multiple-day excursion. It’s wonderful for all skill levels as well. You can start when your kids are really young and help them develop a technique over the years. This is why so many families like to fly fish together. They get time to bond, enjoy each other’s company, and experience the thrill of hooking trophy fish.
Quick Tips to Get Your Kids to Like Fly Fishing
You love fly fishing, but how do you instill the same love for the sport in your kids? Luckily, we’ve pulled together a few quick tips that will help you make the experience all that more fun and memorable below.
Kids always seem hungry, and having plenty of snacks on hand can make fly fishing seem more like an adventure. Before you go, see what snacks your kids would like to have. You can pack fruit, jerky, nuts, a fun trail mix with candy, water, string cheese, dried fruit, and juice. Let your kid pack their own snacks in a small bag and carry with them. Include them in the entire process to generate excitement about your adventure.
Let Your Kid(s) Bring a Friend
Everything is more fun with friends involved. When you bring up the idea of fly fishing, ask your kid(s) if they’d like to ask a friend to come along. If you’re worried about having too many kids, rotate which kid brings a friend on each fly fishing trip. You can also ask your kid what their friend would like for snacks, so no one feels left out. Make sure you have enough rods for everyone too.
Focus on Having Fun Versus Catching Fish
Don’t make the entire trip about catching fish. Instead, the fishing trip should be about having fun with each other. This is where bringing a friend along can increase the fun factor. Get your kids excited about being at the lake, pond, or stream. Talk about the different fish in the pond they could catch, tell stories, and relax. This trip is all about having fun whether or not your kids actually catch a fish.
Bring Your Kids on Your Fishing Trips
If you’re an avid angler, bring the kids early. This will help pique their interest in fishing in general. It’s also a great practice run for longer fishing trips. You can start teaching your kids about the different fish, fishing spots, and gear they need on these trips. They’ll be more prepared when it comes time to fly fish.
Go Fishing Somewhere Well-Stocked
To start out, bring your kids to a well-stocked pond instead of a wide-open stream. A well-stocked area increases the chances of your kid hooking a fish, and it’ll spark their excitement much sooner.
Bring Them Fishing on a Camping or Cottage Trip
One of the best things you can do is combine the fly fishing trip with a camping or cottage trip. This way, your kid will have plenty to do if they get bored fishing. You can teach them other skills to match their new fishing skills. There will also be something for everyone to do, and it’s easy to accommodate more friends if you have a campsite or cottage as your base camp.
Until your kid falls in love with fly fishing, short trips are going to be key. This is especially true if your kids are younger. They have shorter attention spans, and you want to prepare for this by shortening your trips. Start with an hour or two in the beginning. You can gradually lengthen them.
Your attitude is going to play a pivotal role in how excited your kids get about fly fishing. You want to be very enthusiastic about the whole deal. Get excited days before, include your kids on every decision, and involve them. The more control and input your kid has, the more excited they’ll be to get out and fish.
Type of Fish to Easily Catch for Children
You want fish that are easy to handle and quick to take your bait because your kids will get more and more excited as the fish bite. Generally speaking, any panfish will be relatively easy to catch. They’re also known for biting very quickly. We’ve picked out a few easy fish and what lure you’d use for them below.
- Panfish – Panfish are the easiest way to get your children fishing. Not only are there a lot of panfish in little ponds, but they put up a decent fight and are easy to catch.
- Crappie – Crappie are a species of panfish that grow to between four to eight inches. These fish like both wet and dry flies with a smaller hook.
- Walleye – Walleyes grow between 12 and 17 inches, and they’re very feisty fish. Wooly Buggers or Clouser Minnows ranging from bright yellow and white to black and purple are great flies to use.
- Bass – The average bass is 18 inches long, and they love to breach the water. They like dry flies like the Popping-bug variety.
What Age to Get Your Kids to Start Fly Fishing?
The best age to get your kid interested in fly fishing will vary from child to child. However, you have to remember that fly fishing is slightly more sophisticated than traditional fishing. It is a sport that caters to all ages, but the best age range tends to fall between 8 and 10.
By this age, your kid’s natural curiosity will pique enough that they’ll want to take the rod and have you teach them how to cast. They’ll also be able to grasp the slightly more complicated instructions that go with learning how to set up a rod, cast, and work the fly through the water. Aim for 30 minutes your first session, and be patient. If you can keep them interested the entire time with the rod, you’ve done very well for your first outing.
Best Beginner Fly Fishing Gear for Kids – ($300) Echo Gecko Fly Rod Kids Kit
This sleek fly fishing rod comes in four pieces for easy portability. It has a bright green and yellow color scheme for maximum visibility, and there is a small lower grip that allows for two-handed casting.
It’s a medium-fast rod that has a very slender grip with an EVA handing and fighting butt reel seat. You’ll get a fast tighten reel seat, and the rod comes with a lifetime warranty against damage or defects. It also casts very smoothly and allows for quick returns.
Have a Backup Spinning Rod – Kids Fishing Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
This fun fishing kit comes with everything you need to outfit your kid with their first spinning rod. You’ll get a lightweight rod that is soft and flexible without being fragile, and the kit comes with kid-friendly fishing lures and equipment.
There are two kits available in black and blue coloring. The lures are smaller to fit into your kid’s hands, and the soft carrying bag will protect all of their equipment between uses. The non-slip EVA handle allows your child to get a firm grip to haul in their fish.
1. Can a Two-Year-Old go Fishing?
You can take your two-year-old out fishing, but they’re most likely too little to grasp what is going on. You won’t be able to hand them a rod and expect they’ll understand what you want them to do with it.
However, you can bring them out and get them excited to see the fish. You will want to make these very short fishing trips to local ponds or streams because your child is too young to have a long attention span. Bring snacks with you when you take them out.
2. Do I Need a Fishing License to Take my Son Fishing in Ontario?
Yes, if you’re under 65. You’ll have to be in possession of a current fishing license to take your child fishing in Ontario. Your child won’t need a fishing license until they’re 18.
In Ontario, a fishing license is an Outdoors Card plus a special fishing license tag that you keep with the card or attached to the back of the card. Most Canadian residents will need a license and a Fishing Version Outdoors Card to fish if you’re between 18 and 64. Anyone under 18 years old or above 65 years old are exempt from this law.