Outdoor Education

5 Tips to Teach Your Kid How to Fish

By Wilderness Adventures September 12, 2022
Leader teaching a traveler how to use a fishing pole

If you enjoy fishing as an adult, you probably have memories of fishing as a child with a close family member or friends. 

Now, you have a child in your life that you’d like to pass the love of fishing down to. It’s a great way to bond and make memories, but teaching a child a new skill can sometimes be challenging. 

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when teaching kids to fish. 

1. Start the Lesson at Home

A day or two before heading out to the water, begin your fishing lesson by going to a local fly shop. This will allow the child to see the entire process of preparing for a fishing trip, see all the equipment, and learn what it’s used for. You can also go through some fishing books to begin the learning process. 

2. Keep it Simple 

While you’re probably excited to be taking your child out to fish, don’t get so caught up on getting them the best gear on the market just yet. When starting out, it’s best to keep the equipment simple, especially for kids. 

3. Stay on the Shore

Rather than immediately heading out on the boat for the first go-round, choose a place to fish from the bank. Head to a spot where  you’re out in the open and you have less disturbed water to work with. Plus, if your young novice gets tired or you’re having trouble keeping them engaged, you’ve got some more room to move around instead of being stuck on a boat all day. 

student learning to fly fish

4. Stick to Short Trips to Start

You’re excited to pass down a beloved hobby, tradition, and bonding experience—totally understandable. But when your child is feeling antsy, bored, or just plain ready to head home or to a new activity, go with it! 

The last thing you want is for fishing to feel like a chore to them and have them dread going. The point isn’t to force them into something but to gently introduce them to fishing and create a love for it like yours. 

5. Communicate

Think about why you love fishing and the memories you have by the water. Make sure you’re talking to your child. You could say anything that pops into your head, even if it’s just how happy you are that they’re there with you to spend time together. These are the moments they’ll remember and that will create fond memories! 

Fishing Trips for Kids

Another effective way to help kids learn to fish, improve their current skills, and make friends is to enroll them in wilderness programs that include activities like fly fishing. 

If your child has recently learned to fish, Wilderness Adventures’ Campout program is ideal. Designed for 4th, 5th and 6th graders, at camp they’ll experience fly fishing, backcountry cooking, hiking, canoeing, and swimming. 

Once they become a bit more familiar with fishing and spending time in the wilderness, they’ll be able to join in on the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing trip, meant for 7th to 9th graders. Here, they’ll experience the best of Wyoming fly fishing. Activity highlights include a two-day fishing seminar and a fish-off, not to mention whitewater rafting the Snake River and backpacking in Yellowstone and the Wyoming wilderness. 

Wilderness Adventures also provides fishing trips for teens as well. The Montana Fly Fishing trip is designed for students in grades 9-12 and offers similar activities. There’s also a fishing seminar and fish-off, and students can raft the Gallatin River and backpack Yellowstone and Anaconda Pintlers. 

If you’re looking for a way to further your child’s interest and education in fishing and all things outdoors, check out Wilderness Adventures to choose from over 45 adventure programs.