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Questor

Girl genius - Another fly fishing success story

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Questor

I finally got my 12 year old daughter to come fly fishing for bluegills on Saturday. She's always got her friends that she prefers to her lowly parents, but I digress.

We had a great time. We went to my "guaranteed" spot for wading and fly fishing for bluegills and gave her a quick lesson on the goals and the techniques to achieve them, then promptly found some fish she could cast to. She started catching them within a minute and four hours later I had to request that it was time to leave because we had company coming. This, as any of you parents are quick to observe, is quite a feat. It is unusual for a kid that age to do something with their parent for that long. In the end she said "it was kinda fun."

It was a perfect day for it, being calm and sunny. We used popping bugs, my favorite tool for introducing new fly fishers.

As she was casting, I observed that she appeared to discover the single haul and the roll cast on her own. Maybe she's some kind of flyfishing prodigy.

Now my wife of nearly 20 years wants me take her fly fishing. That's the first bit of interest she's ever shown in it. Obviously I'll be happy to take her.

One bit of advice that I can give is that lessons in fishing be kept low key, with minimal instruction, and maximal fishing fun. It's important to pick a fine day for it. That approach has worked with my kids and my 15 year old son is to the point where he uses the fly rod in preference to other techniques sometimes. I think fly fishing excursions could be something my kids and I do together long into the future. It would be cool if my wife would take to it also.

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Fishbreath1

You just wait, and soon they'll be haulin in big 'ol trout on a regular basis. I wish my elders would take that approach. When I was a kid, the instruction for everything was loud, excessive, and in-your-face. I pretty much hated everything introduced to me until I could do it on my own.

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Questor

Fishbreath1:

(love that handle!)

My son has already started hauling in some big trout. Fortunately he had to learn a new technique in the process. We were fishing the biggest, deepest pool for miles and the water was rushing into it. There just had to be trout there. I showed him that in a situation like that, a streamer is a good thing. He fished it for a while with no hits. Then I showed him why we have to carry some secret weapons with us. The secret weapon in this case was to attach a quarter ounce split shot to the leader to get it down deep enough to fish. He caught a 20 inch brown trout within a minute. It was his first trout on a fly rod.

My son and I did have the conversation about whether he'd rather learn fishing techniques from me or learn by himself so he could get the enjoyment of discovery. He preferred to have me teach him some methods. He's really got other interests, and fishing isn't a major one.

Regretably the teaching technique you describe is still used too often. I see it particularly at shooting ranges. I just cringe when some guy addresses a loved one like a drill sergeant when there are simply better ways to convey the concept.

Another important thing I've learned was that my kids always need to decide when it's time to go home. I don't want to wear them out or make them tired of fishing. I usually end up negotiating a few more casts, or maybe even another half hour, but we pretty much stick to their time table.

I did another post recently about letting go. My son is to the point where he can function on his own with a fly rod and it was fun to just split up and let him fish his way.

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Fishbreath1

At work I teach folks in a progressive manner, meaning I tell them what to do and then they do it, learning from mistakes. I don't mind mistakes as long as they aren't expensive. Its all about patience, and fishing is a good thing to teach because its something you can do your whole life.

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rushing

Sunnies are a great way to introduce anyone into flyfishing especially if you wish for them to graduate to trout fishing. With sunfish you can find a nice pond or lake with fast action and open shoreline so they have plenty of room for a backcast. It helps to build up their confidence so they don't get completely discouraged when they graduate to the small confines of a small stream. Congrats on finding something you can share with your daughter.

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Quickstrike

Great story!

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Questor

My wife came with me on the 4th and we had a good time. Conditions weren't as optimal because of more wind, but we did alright and I think she'll come with me again soon. Interesting how it took my daughter's feedback to legitimize fly fishing for my wife.

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