We love kids fly fishing trips here at Montana Trout Outfitters. They are the future of our sport and sharing time on the river with them is a special treat. Our only rule is that the top priority of the day has to be having fun. If something is fun kids want to do it over and over again. It it’s boring, stressful, and full of tension then that kid may never want to go fishing again. This past week we had a bunch of kids out fly fishing from ages 5 up to 19. Some days we fished hard all day with youngsters that were engaged and itching for more. Other days we made lots of stops to chase frogs, crayfish, and butterflies. A couple trips lasted the full 8 hours while one float was a quick 4 hour trip. At the end of each day the kids were all thrilled and looking forward to their next time fly fishing.
Before any kids fly fishing trips we make it a point to talk with the parents, grandparents, or group leader. We like to get an idea of their expectation of the trip and provide some insight on how we like to run days with kids. Of course, everyone wants their youngster to catch a pile of fish and love every minute of the day. We always hope for that to, but it’s important to lay out the framework of a great kids fishing day.
Taking a kid on a guided fly fishing trip is a special gift and a solid investment in their fishing future, but it’s not the typical guided trip anglers are used to with their buddies or spouses. The more laid back the adult angler approaches the day the easier it will be both on the guide and young fly fisher. The day has to be about having fun and as soon as any kid seems to be not having fun it’s time to change up the program. Get out and skip rocks, go swimming, anything that’s fun for the kid. By keeping the emphasis on having fun that youngster will want to go fishing any chance they get.
It’s also important to celebrate any catch with these new anglers, no matter how big or small and whatever the species. They will have plenty of years to frown at whitefish and pike minnows, but in the moment all they know is they caught a fish and a positive reaction from you will go a long way to creating a life long angler. So take a kid fishing this year! It’s good for your soul.