Today my wife and I took our daughters to a local park for some outdoor family time. Close by is a small pond of a few acres that is loaded with bream, bass and crappie.
While the kids were exploring the playground, I assembled the 4 wt that I keep in the back of my car for emergencies and tied on a small yellow popper.
My oldest daughter, who recently turned 9, came over and asked if she could fish with me. Last summer I spent some time teaching her how to use a fly rod. She now knows the basics and enjoys catching fish.
I sent the line out a few yards and hooked a nice bream. Once the hook was set, I turned it over to her. She took the rod, and with some gentle guidance, kept the rod tip bent and the line taut while she landed the fish. The picture below tells the story – just look at the smile on her face.
Upon seeing her sister’s success, my soon-to-be 5-year old also asked for the opportunity to catch her own fish. Once again I cast out into the pond, and once again the popper was met with an aggressive tug by a bream. I set the hook and asked my youngest daughter to hold the rod and gently turn the reel. I kept the rod tip low and bent, and soon the bream arrived on shore.
Angling, particularly fly fishing, is often referred to as a solitary sport. While this may be true, it can also offer a great opportunity to spend some time with your family and make some great memories.
Teaching kids to fish does require patience, but the payoff is in the smiles and their continued interest in sharing experiences such as this one.
I recently saw a commercial with the tagline “Don’t let your child be the one that got away.” Make some time this year to get out and fish with your family.