Tom Rosenbauer: 10 steps to get kids hooked


Tom Rosenbauer is a name you’ll recognize if you pay any attention to fly fishing. He is an acclaimed author of several books, the Fly Rod & Reel 2011 Angler of the Year, and is currently the Marketing Director at the Orvis company. Courtesy of the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast, Rosenbauer brings us ten steps to help get young kids involved in fly fishing. He also offer 3 tips geared toward getting teenagers interested in fly fishing.

  1. Get kids into fishing first (there are easier ways for young kids to fish than fly fishing).
  2. Show kids bugs, minnows, frogs etc (the stuff fish eat) first. Then show them how the flies imitate those critters.
  3. Introduce kids to fly tying. They love the creativity of crafting flies. Many kids start tying long before they start fishing.
  4. Pick the time and place carefully. Take them when the fishing is good and easy.
  5. The best thing to start kids out with are sunfish/panfish that live in shallow water. These fish take flies easily and are easy to see. Go first yourself to the location and scout it out–make sure the fish are there and eager, that there’s room for back casting and not a lot of people around.
  6. If you do want to introduce your kids to fly fishing for trout (not recommended initially), take them to a stocked pond or recently stocked river.
  7. If you fish with kids in a stream, find some moderately deep, riffled water. Tie on a streamer or wet fly and have them swing the fly (fish usually hook themselves this way).
  8. Bank/wade fishing is better than boat fishing for many reasons.
  9. Don’t try to do it all day long. Keep their first outings to an hour or two. If you keep them out too long it will turn them off.
  10. Have snack and drinks for the kids.

“This week I give you a 10-step plan for getting a kid into fly fishing. These are proven methods based on my experience and that of others I’ve talked to in the course of researching a book called Family Friendly Fly Fishing that I’m working on. I’ve also added three additional tips for getting teenagers into fly fishing.”

Listen to the full podcast HERE. The section about kids starts at around the 21:15 mark.



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