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What Motivates Young People to Get into This Sport?

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Like TheHound and Adventure568, I saw someone else flyfishing and catching bass on a day when I didn't get a bite on my conventional gear; I too was about 12 or 13.

From experience with my kids with just regular fishing, if you want to get kids in it, they need to catch fish and preferably more than they would another way. While most of us grow to enjoy fly fishing just for the sake of it and many youngsters may thing it has to be cool but don't mistake the fact that kids like catching fish; I mean, what is more cool than that? Catching more fish than your friend.

Find a place where they can be almost guaranteed success in catching fish, teach them to cast a little and when they catch fish, they will be hooked more than likely.

 

Kirk

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I'm 16, Picked up flyfishing about 3 years ago. I remember staying up late on saturday nights, or was it fridays? I don't remember, but i stayed up late watching the fishing shows on the Outdoor Channel. This included Spanish Fly, which is what interested me the most, and thats partly where my interest came from. However, back in the day, I was an avid reader. Still am on occasion, but i picked up a book by Lefty Kreh from the student library. That book motivated me to try fly fishing. I bought a Pflueger combo for 60 bucks at BPS and have used it for the past 3 years, up until it broke about a month ago. Growing up in the Houston area, Fly fishing just wasnt heard of, but i picked it up anyways. Every year we travel to the Upper Colorado river for a week (week of fathers day) for our family reunion, and some great fishing. That first year i had the rod, i solely fly fished that low water, up next to weed beds. Caught a numerous amount of fish. Largemouth and Guadalupe Bass, Numerous types of sunfish, and i even hooked a carp. From then on, i continued pursuing the sport. Last summer i picked up tying, and for christmas i got a PEAK vise. So i guess thats my story!

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Nice story there Panfish......Much like mine many years ago. There is about a 1000X more info on fly fishing out there today than back then. In actuality it is probably 4 or 5000X more info. The internet has really opened up the info trail as has the many TV shows on the subject. It is a wonderful time to be starting the game. I also have an old Lefty's book that I cherish and it was my fishing bible for many years. I still refer to it. Great stuff.

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I agree with others that a big turn off is the attitude that goes along with flyfishing. Most people general view of fly fishing is stuck up old men, who are the only experts. I still have this kind of view. Walking into various fly shops as a kid and not a single person talking to me or just being plain rude. For the most part even at 24 I still get this sort of treatment. Even on my home rivers which I've been fishing over a decade I still get crazy looks, ask people how they are doing, etc. I usually get a less than warm response.

The elitism is what I think ruins it for most people. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard a fly fisherman refer to a spincast fisherman as a "snagger" Id have a brand new Sage outfit. This is said even before watching the person take a cast or whatever, its just assumed. Then at least where I live there is a huge divide between fly fisherman and center pin users. Nine times out of ten its fly fisherman talking about how dumb center pin fishing is, when its sort of the same thing...drifting egg patterns. Now a lot of fly fisherman are using just beads same as center pin guys, I don't see the issue.

Not only this but fly fisherman even turn on their own. I've read numerous times on this forum alone negative terms for people who use egg patterns. Also just the general, "you dont know anything." It is kind of sad and I think once this sort of reputation is sorted out we can expect a larger number of younger people getting into fly fishing.

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If you equip a fly rod with text capability, an Mp3 player, and a 3" movie screen with 300 channels, then you'll get a lot more young people with a rod in their hands. Probably still won't be fly fishing, but the rod should be too long to comfortably use while on the couch, so at least it might get them outside.

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Fathers

What he said.

 

Everyone I know who has the fishing bug that I do fished with their family. I started tying at 21, Im 30 now, never would have started if I hadn't had the bug at an early age. The funny thing, i never caught anything with my dad hahah. I learned extreme patience fishing with that guy.

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I just wrote a piece about fishing with kids. http://www.flyfishfood.com/2014/06/5-tips-for-fishing-with-kids.html

 

A lot of guys think that their kids will love fishing just because dad does... Well, it's not always like that. My dad never fished a day in his life, but I love it.

 

My two older kids are pretty competent with rods. Baitcasters and spinning rods.

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I started spin fishing with my dad when i was really young and loved it. Then i wanted to learn more ways to catch fish. I wanted to learn fly fishing from a very early age. I did learn to tie flies as a kid and I enjoyed that aspect of the sport a lot. I tried to teach myself to cast but I just could not quite grasp the basics fast forward about 15 years and I was living in Oakland CA. I was pretty broke but I had my old fly rod around and they offered free casting classes at the casting pounds there. So I went up and started to learn to cast. I got much better quickly and I started to fish more. Then I got a job offer down south San Diego. When I moved down there I heard all about surf fly fishing I was hooked I got an 8 weight and started catching surf fish it was great. That was about 6 years ago and a lot has changed but I fish more then I ever have and loving every moment.

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My father was there but he would rather drink his Rheingold beer than teach his kids fishing. We even spent summers at the family cottage on a small lake in Massachusetts. I eventually learned from my uncle Camille who would come down from Vermont. Bullheads and panfish using pieces of hot dogs and corn kernels. Being a kid that was fun.

 

Fast forward to the 80s and living in Colorado. My ex father in law got me started fishing again using a fly and bubble. That was fun also. I was working at a major defense contractor and their recreation department offered fly tying and fly fishing classes. So I enrolled and the rest is fly fishing/tying history.

 

I have no kids to pass down any type of fishing experience.

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I have no kids to pass down any type of fishing experience.

Me either ... and I don't regret that one tiny little bit.

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Oh at times I wish I had kids but I'm very comfortable without them and no smelly pets either :)

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Took a 12 year old out today. I have tied flies with him 3 times this past winter.

Spent a while teaching him to cast. Then we went to the water.

He got 19 nice size bluegills, and had fun.

 

Rick

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I grew up in northern Wisconsin. We had 2 lakes on either side of our house, and a creek that connected the two on another side. I started spin/bait fishing before I can remember. I got into fly fishing around age 9, but I honestly can't remember why. Everyone in my family used to fish, but I am to this day the only fly fisherman. I remember saving my money from working in my Uncle's bar (only in Wisconsin right?) to buy my first fly rod/reel outfit (Fleet Farm of course). It couldn't have cost more than $100. I was instantly obsessed. I started tying flies that same summer because my cousin was gifted a fly tying kit that he had never used, so his parents gave it to me. I still have some materials from that same kit! That was 20 years ago...

 

I remember loving every second of having those bluegill and sunfish fighting over my "secret" patterns that I would make up. There is something about fooling these pea-brained animals that has always given me this huge unexplainable thrill. There is nothing else in life that I can compare it to. It's why I'm still in love with fly fishing to this day.

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