Fly Fishing: Teaching The Kids Good Ju Ju

For many, the fly fishing season is over until next Spring. It is time to clean  and stow gear, tie flies, study and plan for next year and get through the grey days of Winter. 

In that planning, are you considering the beginning process of teaching your child or a child how to fly fish? Depending upon the child’s learning style, you can introduce some how to materials during the Winter? I would advocate less how to written material and much more visual materials such as videos and movies.

It is a good time to assess what gear you have to share. Rod, reel, fly box, tools, float tube, fins, etc. will need to be put together. Do this in advance and turn over possession of these items to the child. Let them have a sense of ownership, whether new or used.

If you are somewhat intense, focused, self absorbed: realize a trip with the child must be primarily about them…start to finish. Relax and enjoy the teaching experience. More than once, I have wanted a fishing experience to be so perfect that I ended up ruining the experience for a loved one as my negative energies emerged, because the trip was not turning out as I had hoped. Of course, this only compounded the negative vibes. 

It will be easier to anticipate frustrations, missteps, tangles, bloopers and just give the day over to patient teaching, then have to apologize for being an intense, demanding, impatient task master. 

Pick a pond, lake, small stream that is safe, probably productive and go forth and teach and enjoy. Make the planning process fun for the child and create the magic now that will carry them through life. They will remember your gentle hand and encouragement years later. How would you want them to teach their children?

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