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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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