You May Be Surprised that Your Kids May Like Fly Fishing More than You Do

I will tell you a trick Rusty used to get kids to like fly fishing, and they couldn’t stop!

Hi, I’m Elena, Rusty’s wife. My husband is a real outdoorsman and fly fisherman, so he spends very little time on the computer. When he comes home from a fly fishing outing, I love listening to his stories about fly fishing and/or hiking with the customers and his veteran friends. So, I can’t let these stories remain just between him and I (pretty much), and I don’t want them to remain forgotten.

On the first weekend after July 4, Rusty had a family of 4 with 2 kids (10 and 13 years old) who booked guided fly fishing on the upper North Umpqua River. The children’s grandfather who is a fly fisherman wanted to introduce fly fishing to them. He and the parents were skeptical that the kids would like fly fishing. But… at the end of the day their grandfather said that the guided outing exceeded their expectations. They couldn’t stop fishing, they LOVED it!

You think that fly fishing started with the fly rod and casting? No, it started with a bug net! It is important to understand how the ecosystem of a river works including bugs and flies, because this is what is imitated in fly fishing. So, Rusty guided the kids to the water with an insect net, and let them collect, observe insects, be curious, and just have fun (actually there’s a smart word for bugs and flies—entomology).

This activity got them hooked. Richard Louv, author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, says that “nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide”. Isn’t it beautiful to observe children being fascinated by something so simple, such as insects? Unfortunately, in our modern society our kids are getting more and more isolated from nature and wildlife. It felt heartbreaking when I read that the average American child spends over 7 hours a day in front of a screen, and only 4 to 7 minutes a day in “unstructured play” outdoors. I do believe that “if our world needs anything right now, it’s a new generation with interest in and sympathy for the green world.” I can vent a lot on this topic, but let’s get back to the fly fishing outing…

After this short introduction in entomology, the kids couldn’t wait to start fly fishing, and they kept fishing till late afternoon. As I already said, they loved it, although they didn’t catch a fish! Rusty always says that fly fishing is not about catching fish.

Although I don’t like bragging, but I do believe that Rusty has a talent in teaching fly fishing to kids (I’ve seen it not only once).

There are so many benefits for our children of being outdoors from building confidence, creativity and imagination to exercising and moving. Fly fishing is only one of many ways to get your kids outdoors. Don’t let them suffer under nature-deficit disorder. Here you can get more ideas.

If you want to see astounding photos of freshwater insects, this link will take you to National Geographic. 

There is a great course in entomology on The Catch & The Hatch.

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