Back to School – Kids Fly Fishing
I always dreaded going back to school in the fall, and August fishing was a great late summer distraction from the reality of Trapper Keepers and textbooks. Nowadays, we try not to close out August without a few Future Champion Angler Floats–trips where we bring a youngster or two along. Some of our favorite river expeditions of the year involve children–their excitement, sense of wonder, and gratitude can rejuvenate even a weary guide’s season as we swoop into the fall.
Tips for fly fishing with Kids:
*Pick a short float, or go wade a small stretch of stream. Even the most attentive young angler will lose interest after a few hours.
*Bring squirt guns, water-cannons, inner-tubes and other floaty vessels. If the youngsters don’t feel like fishing, there’s a million other fun things to do on the river.
*Bring lots of food, lots of snacks–even a few items that Mom says no to at home!
*Bring a litter bag and gather as much garbage as you can. Offer one Skittle for each piece of junk picked up.
*Bring an extra rod–and one you don’t mind breaking. Can you say Temple Fork?
*Get out of the boat and look for critters like frogs, snakes, and crawdads. Bring a bucket and create a temporary portable aquarium.
*Rocky Mountain Whitefish are your friend. As one of my young clients reported the other day after landing a whitey, “That’s the prettiest one of the day!” You can’t argue with an 8-year old girl!
*Focus on the thrill of the release. Whether you’re letting go a frog or an 18″ cutthroat, make sure to highlight how cool it is for a creature to return to its natural environs.
*Remember that the day is all about the young angler. Try to set your own personal fishing goals aside and follow the above guidelines, and you will have a fishing partner for life!
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork