FLY FISHING WITH KIDS
By Brian Bradfield
Here is Ethan with a 4th lake Rock bass caught on the fly
Fly fishing with kids can be a chore. Sure there are plenty of beautiful photos of parents taking their kids out fishing or of their child holding their first fish while smiling ear to ear. But let’s be honest here…there is a lot of work that goes into making each trip a success, especially when you take more than one of them out for an afternoon of fishing.
As they got older I began to set them up with their own rod, and fish with them. We would fish local ponds and other small creeks that hosted tons of easy to catch warm water fish like smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, rock bass. These are fish that don’t require precision drifts or perfect casts, Ideal for young kids to cut their teeth on.
Katie and I went fishing on a cold
February day on one of
Lake Ontario's WNY tributaries....
this is just one of the brown trout
we caught on that day.
As their skills improved I began to take them to spots that Dad likes to fish, spots that did require more attention to detail, spots that were challenging, spots that didn’t give up their fish so easily, spots that they saw Dad holding a big fish. This is when frustration would set in and they would always want to go home within the first half hour of not getting any bites. So we would work together to get our fish. I would guide their hand as they made a drift, or hook a fish and let them reel it in. The point was that we were figuring out this challenge together. And that made all the difference!
They can all catch their own fish now, although they have yet to master the tougher places, like a local spring creek or Lake Ontario tributaries. But my oldest son Jonathan is well on his way! He can now dead drift a nymph at our local trout stream and pick up a few fish before I can have everyone else set up.
Here, Jonathan fishes a fall down where we hooked a large female lake run brown trout, but couldn't seal the deal.
We enjoy tying flies at the kitchen table from time to time. And let me tell you my eight year old Katie is the best fly tier out of all of them!
On a recent tributary fly fishing trip,
Ethan found the snake,
Jonathan caught the snake,
and Katie holds the snake before its release!