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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was chatting to a fellow fisherman the other day (with a young daughter) about this as I have a 17 month old daughter and am ITCHING to get her out on our nice, warm, glacial waters :oops: with me. She definitely loves puddles at this point lol.

When did you get your kids out? When did you start them on the Spey rod and any tips or things that you found got them hooked early?

What are you earliest/fondest memories of fishing as a child? For me it was our annual trip to the cottage in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada where we would bass fish with worms with our dad off the dock and rocks. Also catching a 15lb pike that nearly pulled me out of the boat as a youngster. I hadn't touched a fish that morning and everyone else had caught lots. I still have that pic and whenever I see it I can remember my feeling in the moment!

I'm aware that for me going forward, time on the water will be shared much more often than before I had a kid.

Thanks a bunch.

Kris
 

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ASAP. Either they love it or hate it. You have to expose them to nature and either they root or don’t. Same with fishing, it’s a craft. The highest end of fishing is an art form. Plenty those people here. Having your child embrace it would be awesome.
My first fish was a leopard shark with gramps NE of Alcatraz.
Good luck
 

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Started my kids early sihing with a worm for panfish. Maybe 5 YO. After that, bnrought them for trout (I did the casting) on a fly at 8-9. Now my son, for the first time at 10, is fully able to cast on his own and is enjoying it. I didn't push; went with the flow. Did not go the spey route, but my son is clearly interested... I always brought them to where catching was easy as it's the key to success...

Just my 0.02$
 

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Agree. Start early. Make it fun.

For us, started in a boat on a lake - drifting nightcrawlers for trout. Both my kids. About kindergarten - started bringing to river with a flyrod. Chuck and duck with a nymph and strike indicator. A couple hours then hot chocolate. Graduating to day floats on rivers and spring creek dry-dropper action to big fish. A couple of add on trips to rivers to when on vacation with family. For my older son, he was 16 when we took our first multiple day float dedicated to fishing. Subsequently taking him to fish for bonefish. Recently back from MT where he now easily outfishes me and is much better with a spey rod than me. Thanks for letting me remember 20 years of fishing with my kids.

Good luck!
 

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I started my son at about 1 year old. I live in Idaho and at the time lived near the railroad ranch on the Henry’s Fork. Very easy wading. He’d sit in a child backpack and I had a pacifier tied to the frame so he could grab that when he wanted to. We fished at least a couple days a week like that. He loved it…Even as a little guy. As he got older he loved fishing with me. He’d go all over Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Yellowstone with me. Super fishy little guy. I even took him to Mexico to fish for bonefish, Tarpon and Permit when he was 13 years old. Then came his teenage years and fishing trips he would have jumped at when he was little became a hard “no”. Video games and movies took over. It’s hard to get him to go fishing now…but when he does, he has a smile ear to ear. He’s graduating from high school next year and I offered to take him bonefishing in the Bahamas for a week as a senior trip. He said NO! Can you believe that! But, the love for fishing is down there somewhere and when real life requires that he find a healthy way to deal with stress and the never ending demands, I hope he remembers how good for the soul it is to be outside and starts fishing again. I don’t know if I started him too early or not, but I think back on all the fishing we did together with extremely fond memories and have hope that we will make more memories standing in water waving sticks in the future.

Jake
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ASAP. Either they love it or hate it. You have to expose them to nature and either they root or don’t. Same with fishing, it’s a craft. The highest end of fishing is an art form. Plenty those people here. Having your child embrace it would be awesome.
My first fish was a leopard shark with gramps NE of Alcatraz.
Good luck
Awesome first fish and to do it with Gramps, even more special! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Started my kids early sihing with a worm for panfish. Maybe 5 YO. After that, bnrought them for trout (I did the casting) on a fly at 8-9. Now my son, for the first time at 10, is fully able to cast on his own and is enjoying it. I didn't push; went with the flow. Did not go the spey route, but my son is clearly interested... I always brought them to where catching was easy as it's the key to success...

Just my 0.02$
Very helpful advice regarding the process. I think not pushing resonates with me across parenting and it's something I've had to learn (fast and quick lol) otherwise I become frustrated. Especially helpful to remember when you are so passionate about something like fishing and wanting those around you to enjoy it as much as you. Thanks Simon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agree. Start early. Make it fun.

For us, started in a boat on a lake - drifting nightcrawlers for trout. Both my kids. About kindergarten - started bringing to river with a flyrod. Chuck and duck with a nymph and strike indicator. A couple hours then hot chocolate. Graduating to day floats on rivers and spring creek dry-dropper action to big fish. A couple of add on trips to rivers to when on vacation with family. For my older son, he was 16 when we took our first multiple day float dedicated to fishing. Subsequently taking him to fish for bonefish. Recently back from MT where he now easily outfishes me and is much better with a spey rod than me. Thanks for letting me remember 20 years of fishing with my kids.

Good luck!
Awesome to hear your stories. Really appreciate you sharing. Reminded me of my first time fly fishing with my dad and older brother with a guide as a 15 year old. It became a space of solitude for me even from that age. You got me a little emotional thinking about the next 20 years!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started my son at about 1 year old. I live in Idaho and at the time lived near the railroad ranch on the Henry’s Fork. Very easy wading. He’d sit in a child backpack and I had a pacifier tied to the frame so he could grab that when he wanted to. We fished at least a couple days a week like that. He loved it…Even as a little guy. As he got older he loved fishing with me. He’d go all over Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Yellowstone with me. Super fishy little guy. I even took him to Mexico to fish for bonefish, Tarpon and Permit when he was 13 years old. Then came his teenage years and fishing trips he would have jumped at when he was little became a hard “no”. Video games and movies took over. It’s hard to get him to go fishing now…but when he does, he has a smile ear to ear. He’s graduating from high school next year and I offered to take him bonefishing in the Bahamas for a week as a senior trip. He said NO! Can you believe that! But, the love for fishing is down there somewhere and when real life requires that he find a healthy way to deal with stress and the never ending demands, I hope he remembers how good for the soul it is to be outside and starts fishing again. I don’t know if I started him too early or not, but I think back on all the fishing we did together with extremely fond memories and have hope that we will make more memories standing in water waving sticks in the future.

Jake
Thanks Jake for taking the time to write. Such special moments. I mean, The Ranch from 1yr old? How epic is that. That would be a dream for me with my kid. I have a backpack too but am a little worried about our rocks here in BC...think I could get away with it in Salmon season though. We'll see. Also can't believe he said no to the bonefishing. I found fly fishing to be a very special sanctuary for me from 15 years old so here's hoping he will too!
 

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You got good advice above. I started my son on a fly rod at 7 years old. He preferred tree climbing and throwing rocks in my pool. He luv'ed the fire and tea/lunch on the river. The mistake I made was thinking flogging the water for hours with no bite would be interesting to a 7/8 year old. We may see the Zen in it- they are bored :) As others have suggested, take them to a trout farm or something similar to let them have some success first. Fly rods for "fish of a thousand casts" can come later.

Also- if you do go the fly rod route- make sure they are wearing impact resistant eye wear. Have fun!
 
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Awesome to hear your stories. Really appreciate you sharing. Reminded me of my first time fly fishing with my dad and older brother with a guide as a 15 year old. It became a space of solitude for me even from that age. You got me a little emotional thinking about the next 20 years!
It's been an amazing ride. It goes by fast. Enjoy the ride. As someone once told me - "don't sweat the petty things, just don't pet the sweaty things".... whatever that really means - seems like good advice! :)
 

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We took my son who is 19 months old camping a few weeks ago on the rapidan river here in virginia. Our campsite was right on the stream and he loved playing in it. I took the rod out and let him cast it (really me holding his hand and casting) and as soon as we stopped he kept saying "more". So of course we fished some more. I caught a brook trout and he was very excited to touch it. Now anytime we see a body of water of any kind (including the ocean) he points and says "river".

He also loves pulling fishing books off of the shelves and we look at the pictures.
 

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Both my boys started bobber fishing in local lakes when they were 5 or 6. I would tow the driftboat around and they caught enough fish to have fun. When they were about ten they got a two-handed and started going to the river to learn. Once they turned 11 they got to go to the Snake for a five day fishing trip each fall. It took K two years to get his first fish to hand. His younger brother O got his first within 20 minutes the first morning.

They both still fish with me when they can and I treasure those times very much. This last November K and I spent five days together on the Snake and touched zero fish. It was still a great trip. One afternoon after fishing hard all day in a strong wind, I had hit a wall and was ready for cocktails at the cabin. He was leading the way down a run that at low water you can keep fishing all the way around a rocky point. We had fished it several times that trip but had always pulled out at the point. As darkness was falling I kept waiting for him to pull out but away he went around the point - throwing perfect cast after perfect cast. I shook off my grump and followed him. When we met up at the end of the run in the dark he said I should have pulled out but it looked fishy and I don’t get to fish with you that often. I almost cried I was so proud.

Enjoy your time on the water with them as they grow up too quickly.
 

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Before he could even walk. He was an avid fisherman until around age 12 when he finally beached his first fly caught steelhead. Absolutely no way to compete with X-Box. He's 33 now, and if it's not online he's not interested.

Have the neighbor's 12- year-old twins tying flies and getting with it though.
 

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I started both mine pretty young, 3 or 4 fishing small Sierra streams and local bluegill and pay to fish trout ponds. There need to be other things to get them loving the outdoors if the fishing is slow. I remember my older son at about 6 or 7 stomping around in the shallows of a beaver pond with a skim of ice still around the edge, which was more fun than fishing because “I’ve never seen a frozen pond before, Dad”. As a New Englander, I had forgotten that my Cali-born kid hadn’t experienced things like ice and falling snow. But that illustrated it’s all about watching butterflies, chasing grasshoppers, flipping over rocks for crayfish, skipping rocks and, sometimes, catching fish.

They are now 23 and 17, and haven’t been bitten by the fishing bug the way I was. They are both competent casters, and we still fish together on backpacking trips. But they both love the outdoors, and they are two of my best buds. It worked out.

But I plan to have fanatic flyfisher grandkids…
 

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Success is key, fish a method and location where they will catch fish !! Start simple. Leave your Rod at home or in the truck.. focus on them. Dont worry about perfect form or what You think they should be doing.. I remember taking my son out to some Prime salmon spots off BC's westcoast in the boat... All he wanted to do was get back to the dock so he could fish for the mackerel and perch with his own rod...
enjoy the moments !! there is no such thing as too early..

CR Greg
 

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Tomorrow is the Hallmark Holiday known as Father's Day. My two sons took my wife and I out for dinner tonight. We are so proud of them which is just how parents should feel. When they arrive in our life we think we can mold them but creating a fisherman is not so easy.

When my oldest was five or six I took him out to the Feather River to fish for steelhead or actually to watch me fish for steelhead. In no time he was bored watching me cast repetitively with no results and wanted to go home. There were spent salmon on the bar, some of them pretty ripe. I took out my pocket knife and dissected one of the "fresher" fish showing him the gills, the heart, the shrunken stomach the bones and explained each to him. Then I gave him my knife and set him to work on a corpse of his choosing and waded back out. He went at it with a will. When we got back home his mother was appalled by my choice of babysitters and her reeking first child.

He learned to fish but never found the predator spirit that all fishermen share. Thirty years later he is a little squeamish about slimy things and maybe I contributed to that. As parents we make a lot of mistakes but mostly our kids forgive us for them.

A rare float on the Dolores with the boys. Keeping their slalom boats race ready was a challenge.

Water Boat Paddle Lake Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies


The Middle Fork of the Salmon. Number one son rowed the kitchen barge.

Water Boat Watercraft Plant community Mountain


I could out fish them but never out paddle them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We took my son who is 19 months old camping a few weeks ago on the rapidan river here in virginia. Our campsite was right on the stream and he loved playing in it. I took the rod out and let him cast it (really me holding his hand and casting) and as soon as we stopped he kept saying "more". So of course we fished some more. I caught a brook trout and he was very excited to touch it. Now anytime we see a body of water of any kind (including the ocean) he points and says "river".

He also loves pulling fishing books off of the shelves and we look at the pictures.
Love it!
 
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