This Article is About
fly fishing
knee height
weather conditions
deeper water
important factors
having fun
Choosing A Location When Fly Fishing With Kids
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When I take kids fly fishing, I definitely take many factors into consideration when choosing a location. Among the many factors to take into account, there are five factors I consider the most important. Weather conditions, water levels, stream flows, amount of vegetation that can affect casting, and fishing access are the most important factors in regards to choosing a location when fly fishing with kids.

Of primary concern for me when fly fishing with my kids is safety and comfort. Kids are happy when they are having fun, feel safe, and are comfortable. When I choose a fishing location to take my kids to, I first and foremost want to make sure the weather conditions are suitable for my child's comfort and safety. I typically choose warm days during the summer months and when rain is not in the forecast. Windy, cold, or wet conditions typically frustrate kids when they are fly fishing and therefore should be avoided.

I also consider the stream conditions that most safely match my child's abilities. When wading in rivers or streams, I generally stick to low water conditions and very gentle flows. I have learned from experience that my son in particular, thinks he is stronger and more capable than he really is and may not always make the best decision when wading into a body of moving water. When wading across moving water, I prefer the water to be less than knee height and crystal clear so that we can both see the bottom. I am always alert to the possibility of my son falling in the water, into a hole of deeper water, or getting pushed downstream by the current. It is best to minimize those possibilities by choosing a location wisely that has the water levels and flows that match these requirements.

Another consideration when choosing a fly fishing location with kids is the amount of vegetation at your location. I prefer to choose streams with more open casting conditions. My son when given the chance will generally do a lot of false casting rather than roll casting when the decision is left to him. It is more fun for him to fish that way. When casting conditions are tight, it is trouble for me. I will spend all day retrieving flies for him in the brush behind him when the stream-side vegetation is abundant. So when given a choice, I will chose locations with more wide open casting or streams that have the safe wading conditions I described above and have him fish from the middle of the stream away from casting obstacles.

When fishing in an overgrown brushy portion of a stream is inevitable, I gently encourage roll casting or simply act as a fishing guide for my son and keep a rigged rod ready to go and swap out whenever there is a tangle or lost fly in the trees.

My son sometimes even prefers me to fish when the casting is difficult. In that situation, I simply do the casting and when I hook into a fish, I hand off the rod and let him fight and land the fish. We both have a great time that way. I just love the look on my son's face when he's fighting a fish, big or small.

The last consideration I will discuss is access to the fishing location. I tend to choose fishing locations that are easy to access when fly fishing with kids. Kids tire more easily than I do so I prefer not to have long or steep hikes to get into and out of a fishing location. Ideally, I like to be able to drive right up to the location with my kids and begin fishing within a very short distance from my vehicle. By limiting the amount of strenuous walking or hiking, a child's attitude and endurance for fishing will be improved.

While these are my primary considerations in choosing a location when fly fishing with my kids, there may be factors that are more or less important to you. Ultimately, as long as safety and comfort are your top priorities when choosing a fly fishing destination for kids, you will have a successful outing and incredible opportunity to bond with them.

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