So, what age are kids ready to fly fish?
There’s really no set age. Each child is different. Some start as young as 5, while others may not be ready until they reach their teens.
First, you need to have the ability to recognize your child’s development skills. And you need to be keenly aware of the moment when fly fishing is no longer fun for them. Some kids may only be able to handle 10 minutes to a half hour of fly fishing before they become bored or frustrated.
Childrens’ attention spans are limited and can be quite short.
When you’re teaching children to fly fish, plan on devoting all of your time on teaching. In other words, don’t plan on fishing yourself or you will become frustrated and impatient.
Be sure to implement the KISS rule, which translated means: "Keep It Short and Simple."
One important thing to remember is to always stop fishing before the child stops having fun. Of course they won’t want to stop, but if you head for home while they’re still having fun, they will look forward to the next fly fishing trip.
What You’ll Need
First, you should attempt to teach your child how to cast and set a hook, as well as good fly fishing etiquette.
Use barbless hooks when fly fishing with children, or pinch the barbs down.
Before taking your child fly fishing, buy them a good pair of childrens sunglasses to protect their eyes from hooks and damaging UV rays. Eyes can become sunburned from the reflection of the sun off the water, which is painful and confusing for a child.
When taking kids near water, be sure they are wearing a child-size life jacket that fits properly. Take along a bottle of sunscreen — and apply it often. There’s nothing like a painful sunburn to curb a child’s desire to go fly fishing again.
Be sure your child is wearing children’s fishing boots or shoes in order to prevent discarded hooks, broken glass and other debris from causing injury.
Kids most likely won’t take fly fishing seriously at first. All they’re interested in is having fun doing something new. Have fun with them, and try to help them catch at least one fish in order to pique their interest in the sport. Chances are, they won’t care if the fish they catch is the smallest fish you’ve ever seen. Species has nothing to do with it either. All they care about is catching a fish
Once that first fish is landed, your child will be hooked on fly fishing for life!