Fishing With Kids
I had a bit of a revelation this last week. It was an interesting sequence of events that made me realize a few things about kids and fishing.
Here’s what happened.
First a little history: I grew up with a passion for fishing. I spent time fishing the Teton River, Both forks of the Snake and local lakes. My older brother loved fishing the south fork with big rapalas and would take me with him. This was my first introduction to fishing. I grew up excited to fish with bait and spinners. That excitement soon evolved into my passion for fly fishing.
So, when I became a parent, I really want to instill that same passion for fishing to my kids that I grew up on. But, I wanted them to experience the passion I had for fly fishing. I would take them in the backyard and teach them to cast. I’d get them the cheap fly fishing boxes. Despite my attempts I didn’t see the passion catching on. I just figured it would come with time.
Well, about 2 weeks ago my brother called me and said he and his son (7 year old) wanted to go fishing with me. He kept telling me that his son was absolutely crazy about fishing. They lived in Iowa for a bit and would go chase down bass in the Midwest. We planned the date and me and my kids met up with my brother and his boys. His son was so excited. He had his own Zebco rod and his own tackle box. It took me back to when I was a kid and the old tackle box that I inherited and how awesome I was with my own tackle box.
At that point it donned on me that I might be approaching the whole fishing scene wrong with my kids. I could see the fondness in my son’s eyes as he looked at his cousin’s tackle box and goodies inside it. I decided I needed to go back to my roots and equip my son with the same things that got me excited when I was his age. I went to Wal-mart and got the Zebco rod and reel and a tackle box. I even bought my 9 year old daughter a pink Shakespeare combo rod and reel.
The next day we went fishing and I couldn’t believe the buy in/excitement that my kids had. A few casting lessons and dad helping hook some bass and the kids were in heaven. We fished most of the 4th of July. Later that night the kids were crazed about catching a Tiger Muskie and sure enough the lake didn’t disappoint as we landed a big dog late in the afternoon.
I realized that day the passion for fishing was beginning to set in, but not on the terms I had hoped for, but the terms my kids had.
I had hoped to get them hooked on fly fishing from the get go, but I believe that might have been a bit premature. We still practice casting in the backyard and take fly rods with us to the lake, and I am confident that the passion they have for conventional fishing will evolve into fly fishing as mine did way back when.
Feel free to share your experience with kids and fishing.
Here are a few pics from our outing.