: Teaching kids to cast?
05-03-2005, 07:40 PM
Any do's/don'ts on teaching the young ones to cast? How old, equipment etc???
My daughter is six and I think she would enjoy practicing for short periods. Just don't want to try and start her too early if she's not physically able to do it.
Any thoughts or experiences. I figured I'd start out with my lightest/shortest outfit, a St Croix LU 7'9" 3wt
A 5wt, rubber legged poppers and a pond full of bluegill worked for my kids. Lessons were given on the lawn first, just to get the fundamentals together before the trip (for safety's sake). My son eventually stuck with it and got his share of nice stripers on the fly.
The most important thing to teach them first is safety:
a) cast with the wind blowing away from the casting side
b) turn around, reach across or cast lefty when the wind is coming the other way
c) wear eye safety when learning
d) pinch all barbs
e) avoid swift currents, slippery rocks and angry surf
f) did I mention casting only as the wind allows?
Good luck with it!
05-03-2005, 11:27 PM
You might want to read the article on sizing fly rods to body size at ... http://flyanglersonline.com/
Some fly fishing clubs put on youth schools ... my club puts on several each year ... one is for members only ... they teach the kids about casting, fly tying and equipment.
Read/look at together a copy of the "Curtis Creek Manifesto" great book for beginners.
Also, if you are going to fishing apart in a river (a mistake) ... make your daughter stands up stream (so you can catch her as she floats by) and give her a new fishing vest (Sterns Life jacket with pockets). I did these things with when teaching my son, it will help your peace of mind in the river.
A hat, sunglasses and barbless hooks are also all good ideas for safety.
A six year olds attention span is short, so be ready to look for snails and crayfish ... skipping rocks ... a little swimming ... and then ice cream. The real key in the beginning is spending some one on one time with Daddy.
Don't think you will get any fishing time for yourself ... tying on flies and untangling lines will take up all your time. Oh you can take your rod ... so she can fish while you fix her rod ... then by the time her is fixed ... yours will need to be fixed and so on ...
Juro is right ... Blue gills are the game fish of choice to start ... in a lake ... not a river.
In a few years your daughter will have a better casting stroke then you, out fish you and love the sport ... you will know then you did it right ... Good Dad!
05-04-2005, 03:43 PM
I started my kids (1 girl and 2 boys) fly fishing very early at about age 3 by taking them to a small stream (not more than 20' across in the beaver ponds) close by that was fool of small brookies and cutthroats. I took a 7'6" 4 wt rod and some dry flies, made a cast, handed the rod to my young 'un, had them set the hook when the fly disappeared, and reel in the fish. All three of them loved it!
We also took them to a small pond that was full of panfish with the same rod and small poppers. They also loved catching bluegills and crappie.
At age 6, we got a medium action 7' 4 wt rod and I taught each of them to double spey from the right bank and snap-T from the right bank with it by using both hands. Using both hands took care of the problem of wrist strength and the double spey and snap-T eliminated the problem of having to learn how to make a backcast. We took them to small steams or ponds and let them cast to the fish themselves. Although both my wife I and took our rods along because the kids insisted we "fish" too, we never made very many casts and spent most of our time watching, coaching, and helping them remove tangles or tie on new flies. The three of them still talk about how cool it was and how much fun they had, and their ages are now 13, 18, and 25. In other words, don't expect to do much fishing if any yourself until they reach about age 8 or 9, at which point they will want a different rod.
As was mentioned, be prepared to let them rumage around in the water turning over rocks, etc. to find nymphs, larvae and assorted other things. They all let us know when they were tired of casting or fishing because they would just put the rod down and start looking for bugs. Be prepared to answer a ton of questions about the bugs and why fish eat them because eating a bug is gross.
05-06-2005, 12:13 AM
taught me to cast in the late 50's when I was 8, but I watched him cast for a few years before that. I learned on a 9' 5wt bambo set-up on the Quinny, thats all we had at the time.... it worked. Front yard practice came later with my older brother as a warm-up to opening day. As I got older Dad bought more fly rigs, but always 5-6 wt, 9'. He knew a good thing when he fished it. We used those rods for everything. Trout, Bass, Pickerel, Kivvers (Suns) Perch.
I have since taught both my kids to cast with 9' 5wts. They both picked it up in about 1 hour, but I used the local grade school first before going to the river. Now they don't even think about it, comes natural, we just hold up the fish and hoot at each other up and down the river.
Kids adapt pretty easy. I dont think you need any fancy equipment unless they are real young.
05-07-2005, 12:55 AM
Okay. First post , first time here. Never-the-less. I struggle with the same situation except sitting here in MN we have abounds of fishing opportunities 20inch browns 5 miles away, Blue ribbon WI streams 45 minutes. Walleye, Northern Pike, Bass, Slab Crappie, ...
Fishing with kids. Better than fishing, almost. but it is time with my daughter. not about fishing, it is about us. Do you remember fishing with your Dad or watching TV with Dad? Do you tell fish stories or lawn work stories about your parents?
If I want to fish, I go fishing. If I want to be a mentor and spend quality time with my daughter, I take her with me. AND SHE LOVES TO GO FISHING!
so my first post 2 cents. take it easy all before is good advice. I even pulled out the ******Gasp!********** spinning and baitcasting gear just to get her into the experience. hehehe
05-09-2005, 09:34 PM
first time poster here as well, I think the equipment is right on, that is what I'm thinking about with my kids, right now (close your eyes) my daughter (2) is using a scooby doo pole just to get her out there, just got my son (4) a little bigger pole neither has the interest in trying a flyrod yet, but it will come I just like to take them out, even if all they do is throw rocks in the water. At least they are out there.
the fun is just begining.
05-10-2005, 09:18 AM
Thanks for all the advice.
Last night was our first practice session on the lawn and lasted about 10 minutes. I opted not to let her use one of my rods (thought this would be easier on both of us) and splurged at Cabelas for one of their 100% graphite Traditional series (8' 5wt). Good looking rod with a nice medium action all for $54 with tube, gota love that! (especially after she caught site of a daddy long legs on a tree and tried to smack it with the rod tip :whoa: )
Anyway, she did great. Main issue for awhile will be her strength as she had a little trouble keeping her wrist straight. I'm thinking about tying a bandanna or something around her arm and rod butt and think that will help her tremendously. Best thing was she thought it was fun for exactly 10 minutes, that's about right for a six year old on the lawn. After a few more practice sessions, we'll be on the farmpond and the real fun will start.
05-11-2005, 12:03 AM
That's funny. 10 minutes is all I got out of my 7 yr old. 3 weeks ago.
I've seen a lot of would be hunters ruined walking miles and for pheasants and narry a shot. Only an idiot would sit next to a tree for three days waiting to see a deer pass by, that be me. Hey, everyone just wants to shoot, right? So, now I take folks shooting clays in my reletives back yard in the country until they are sick of it, hopefully sore, then we go hunting the next day. And rarely do I expect the newbies to share my enthusiasm and tenacity, spelled persistent lunacy. A couple hours and see what happens. Don't burn them out.
Simple bobber rigs with bait for panfish in the park go miles and miles toward a love of fishing. No one likes to spend the day learning blood knots on the water and untangling birds nests. The initial goal is a love of fishing. If they catch fish, they will love fishing. And most anywhere you can cath sunfish from shore with a few worms. If you don't, it is a losing battle to the preasures of soccer. At early ages, let them catch fish. BTW, I don't keep those fish either. I suppose it is ethics but truth is I hate cleaning fish :hihi:
So when I took up flyfishing, I thought I'd bought my last minnow and hadn't loaded fresh line on those reels in years. Then I had to teach my daughter... I take an approach that she should love fishing, then we can refine it, but first she will love fishing.
Nice rod choice for her.