Fly fishing is a sport that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
The age that a child learns to fly fish is really irrelevant.
I was not always so good at this.
When my two oldest kids were both younger than five, I was not as patient as I became later.
Not having as much fishing time as I would have liked, I sometimes resented the feeling of having to teach fly fishing, instead of just being able to lose myself in my passion.
I have watched adults, as they try to learn good casting technique, have a great deal of trouble.
As I have pointed out before, a good friend of mine and an excellent flyfishing instructor has mentioned to me that he often finds it easier to teach women how to flyfish than men.
I think there is a correlation between teaching children and women, and why men are often difficult students.
Let’s face it, there is often a male ego thing that gets involved when we try to learn new things.
We hate to discover that we don’t know how to do it right! But, that is only part of the problem, in my mind.
Link a young person up with a fly angler that is competent and capable of connecting.
It is very important to have an instructor that is familiar with the needs of young people.
The energy level of a child is not that of a teen, and a teen doesn’t have the same energy level as an adult.
All of this goes to suggest that if you are concerned about teaching your children how to cast, in case they might not pick up on it, don’t be.
Your fear probably is a result of your own struggle trying to learn how to fly cast because of the preconceived ideas you had about it before you learned.
Don’t let that stop your favorite kids!
You don’t have to worry about teaching kids about leaders, knots, and matching the hatch!
That can all come in good time, and in fact, if my experience is any kind of indicator (no pun intended), the child will express his or her interest and ask the right questions when they are ready.
Alex had no concern at the beginning of the day about leader sizes, what a fly is supposed to represent, or how the fly is tied to the leader, but at the end of the day, he was tying flies on himself, understood a little more about the principles of fly line and rod weights, and also more importantly, that he was having a great day!