Fly Fishing is becoming more and more of a family adventure. A lot of our guests at Rocky Mountain Outfitters come as families to Park City or Salt Lake City, Utah. Oftentimes, they wonder if the river is safe for children. We explain that the Provo River is very user-friendly and many children have a great time, but we also try to be honest and try to accommodate our guests as best we can by using these guidelines. I have also used the same thoughts with my young family.
- Safety first: Keep an eye on children at all times, and don’t take unnecessary risks. A fish is not worth risking a precious life.
- Set realistic expectations: Fly fishing is difficult for anyone, let alone children. I have found that kids under 9 can have great experiences, but they have a short attention span. So we try and focus the experience, instead of trying to catch large numbers of fish.
- Explore the river: Rivers are full of cool little critters and rocks that are treasures in the minds of children
- Stay positive: It is easy to get frustrated with a bad cast or a missed hook set. If you are going to introduce a child to fly fishing early, make it a positive experience.
- Keep it Simple: My 9-year-old son does not need to know how to double haul. But he can lob and mend with the best of them.
We all have great memories of someone who introduced us to fly fishing. Hopefully we can do the same for someone else.
Ryan Newman is a guide for Rocky Mountain Outfitters in Heber City, Utah.