Making Memories Worthy of Two Lifetimes

Making Memories Worthy of Two Lifetimes

Father's Day approaches and there is no better time to take a kid fishing!

Introducing a kid(s) to fly fishing can seem daunting, but if kept simple, fun, and rewarding it can and will be quite easy. My son accompanied me as a wee one, spending countless days peering over my shoulder from a kid carrier backpack. Many unintelligible sentences were spoken and clearly understood, we had our own "fish'n" language. As he grew so did the desire to make his own way, add rubber boots, a push-button casting outfit with a floating torpedo bubble, sans hook. A fisherman was created.


His first introduction to fly fishing is where I recommend you start as well. Head out on a warm summer's day, arriving high in the upper watershed of a forested stream. This year look to the coast range for some solid opportunities as most of our Cascade river corridors are still dealing with the effects of last summer's terrible fires. Be sure and check the fishing regs. These small stream fish are not large but numerous and willing players. If you fish above an anadromous fish barrier (waterfall, culvert, etc.), resident coastal cutthroat will be your catch. Anywhere steelhead can reach, you should find both cutthroat and rainbow. This is a small pool, short cast, sometimes just dapping a fly fishery. A stealthy approach is best as these fish are well attuned to their environment. They attack a fly with reckless abandon, providing a visual reward for the effort. It's important you let the kid do the fishing; each pool brings new challenges and discoveries. One to five fish from a pool is about max as they wise up quickly and disappear from the excess disturbance.

The main thing is fun, no pressure, just rewarding fishing. These little fish are jewels, and every kid I've seen bring one to hand spends a few seconds admiring it, then consciously wants them back in the water to not hurt it.

This is simple fishing, wear shorts and an old pair of sneakers. A small box of #14 Elk Hair Caddis does the trick, think floatability and durability, these fish are not picky. A rod in the 3-4 weight range works great. Shorter being best, 7 1/2' or less for tight quarters, if possible fiberglass as it loads easier with short line presentations and bends nicely on smaller fish. Lastly, a floating fly line and a 7 1/2' leader tapered to 5x.

Take time for other discoveries as well, turn over rocks in search of aquatic insects, look for a rough-skinned newt, and streamside wildflowers. Anything that imparts knowledge of the outdoors adds greatly to the day.

I found out after the fact that my son introduced his two daughters the same way. Their excitement telling about the day was electrifying for everyone. Four lifetime memories made.