So we all have plenty of time on our hands over lockdown and its every parents dream to share a river with their child, so why not begin the preparation right now? Go back through to our Lockdown Lesson #1 and get the kids pantomiming at home. And once we break free, follow these next few steps to get them hooked for a lifetime.
Keep it fun. It's all about the kids right so don't fish yourself, and have a few fun riverside games to play to keep it interesting. Maybe look for bugs. Make a fire and cook your riverside lunch together. Go explore the trees and ask your child what they want to do next. Marathon, intense fishing sessions are not going to work. Another handy tip is to create a post fishing tradition, such as an ice cream at a small country store on the way home or stop off at a fly shop so wee Junior can pick out the flies for the next adventure.
Forget the details. Maybe get them to choose which fly they would like to use and teach them to cast initially by simply getting them to “flick the rod tip high up into the sky , then back down to the fish”, swinging their chosen nymph through the riffle. You’ll be amazed at how the specifics come naturally to kids ( and women ) if you don’t over complicate things.
Use appropriate gear. Your Scott NZ Special may be a backcountry favourite of yours but good luck getting the rug rat to enjoy swinging that back and forward. Instead, look for a shorter rod to reduce the fatigue and swing weight but keep it at a line weight that can handle user error and deliver the fly. Oh, and handle a 3lb fish with ease. Likewise for tippet: yes that fish is likely to eat that fly on 5x tippet but maybe 3x is more appropriate with an excited youngster hauling him in.
Hey, though I often act like a big kid, I’m sadly far from it, so we asked young Queenstown legend, Jazz Dewes for his top tip to make fishing fun...
“I think just getting outdoors and casting a rod is the most fun part”
Well said buddy!
Airflo Brookie Combo
Designed specifically with the younger generation in mind, we slimmed down the grip to accommodate smaller hands and reduced the length to 7’9” to both promote ease of handling, and to reduce swing weight. Now shorter rods usually lend themselves to lighter line weights however we kept the Brookie as a 6wt to handle weighted nymphs and hard fighting NZ trout.
The problem is, with such a smooth loading rod in such a neat combo, dads have been known to borrow young Juniors rod from time to time for their own small stream delights.