Right now we get to take out our three year old. He started going fishing with us when he was an infant and has continued to this day. Here are a few tricks that have helped us keep our sanity as well as help the little guy enjoy his time.
2) Keep It Short: Attention span for kids can be short, and yet they can sit and watch hours of the same cartoon over and over again (we don’t understand it either). When the little one is ready to go you may get in a few casts but don’t force the issue beyond that. Sometimes it can get frustrating that you’ve driven for an hour and a half and only get to fish for forty-five minutes. However, it is a lot more frustrating to try to fish with a child that’s crying and miserable.
3) Don’t Plan on Catching Fish: It’s a shame that we’re going out fishing and we don’t catch any because we’re focusing on making sure that the little one is safe. Go into this planning on not catching fish and you won’t be disappointed and when you do catch a fish chock it up to be an amazing fisherman and the stars aligning just for you.
4) Give Them Something to Do: Come up with activities and games to keep them entertained while you’re throwing dries to that finicky Brown Trout that’s been eluding you all day. Find 10 rocks, how many leaves are on the tree, etc. It gives them the opportunity to learn and explore their world and gives you the chance to throw a few flies. Don’t get upset, though, when those rocks find their way into the stream!
6) Keep Them Safe: The best way to ruin a fishing tip with a little one is for something to happen to them that could potentially hurt them or even kill them. Know the water that you’ll be fishing and prepare for something worse. Depending on the water, we’ll keep ourselves within feet of the little guy to tying a rope to ourselves and a life vest that he’s wearing. And sometimes keeping them safe is saying “no” to them coming along. For us, Big Cottonwood Creek in Big Cottonwood Canyon is a definitive no for our little guy-adults with better sense than our three year old die in that canyon.
These are just a few of the things that have made fishing with our little guy enjoyable and an activity that we’ll enjoy together for years to come. As always, Good Luck and Guid Luck!!