Skip to main content

Teach A Kid To Fly Fish

Teach A Kid To Fly Fish
Pointers and products for children aged 4 to 10

Every fly-fishing parent has a dreama dream that their children will follow their footsteps down that muddy trail to the river and take up fly fishing. In another age, it was very likely that if you fly fished and shared a love of the outdoors with your kids, they would follow suit.

Journey Youth $230 Tyler Befus turns heads when he takes to the casting pond at fly-fishing industry trade shows—where everyone is literally a casting "pro." Those results make dad Brad Befus top dog when it comes to teaching kids how to fly fish. Brad works at Ross Reels and helped his company put together the Journey Youth fly-fishing outfits, a culmination of everything he's learned from teaching not just Tyler but many children how to fly fish. The 7'6", 4-weight pink and blue (boy and girl) rods come with a FlyStart reel, fly line, a Cordura rod-and-reel case, and an the instructional DVD A Kid's Guide To Fly Fishing with Tyler Befus.

Today, with competition from video games, the Internet, and the general urbanization of our culture, it's becoming a rarity. Most kids today would rather spend their time adding friends on Facebook than tying flies or looking under rocks for stoneflies, but here's how you can turn it around.

First, start your kids earlyand don't start with fly fishing. The idea is to first get them interested in the fish. How they catch them is not important here, so don't be a purist with four- and five-year-old kids. A carton of worms and a bobber is a fine way to get started fishingthat's how most of us started anyway, right?

Redington Minnow $100 Targeted at ages 6 through 12, the Minnow comes as a complete package with a Crosswater reel spooled with backing, a RIO Mainstream line, and a tapered leader. The 8-foot 5/6-weight rod comes with a booklet with casting tips for kids, and games to get them casting in the backyard. This is no Snoopy rod. It's built to look and cast just like dad's fly rod so kids get started on the right foot. 

Once they learn the thrill of anticipation, and the joy of success, they'll up the ante and ask for a fly rod. Just make sure they see you fly fishing from time to time and the table is set.

Echo Gecko $100 Small children under six years old rarely have the coordination to strip or shoot line with their line hand. Their early attempts at casting are usually two-handed affairs—not Spey casting, mind you, but a two-handed back-and-forth windshield wiper stroke that plops the fly out there. The 7'9" Gecko is short enough for little kids to handle, and has a 2" fighting butt to get both hands working the cast, and also to help lever a big bluegill into shore. The bright yellow color and high-density foam handle make it kid friendly, and with a 4- or 5-weight line it can handle stocked trout, pond bass, and all sorts of panfish. 

When they do start fly fishing, don't just unload your old tackle on them. Children are small, but that doesn't mean they are second-class citizens. When they catch a sunfish by themselves they feel a sense of accomplishmentand pride of ownership of legitimate fly tackle not only encourages them to become more familiar and proficient with the tackle, it also gives them the independence they need to succeed outdoors. Teach a kid to fly fish. 

// Getting kids interested in fly fishing takes more than just time on the water. You can instill a passion for fly fishing between fishing events by tying flies together, and bringing the culture and entertainment of fly fishing into your home through books and DVDs. Olive the Little Woolly Bugger is a fictional character in a three-book series ($13 each, Johnson Books) created by Kirk Werner. Werner is the co-founder of the web site, and has done an excellent job of weaving fly fishing into a story line and illustrations that kids find captivating. The other books in the series are Olive and the Big Stream and Olive Goes for a Wild Ride. Montana Fly Company ( also sells accessories with the Olive motif including Olive the Woolly Bugger nippers, and plastic fly boxes with Olive on the front.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Dana Dribben captured this footage of bonefish feeding on the grass flats near the boat launch of Deep Water Cay. He got the underwater film with a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition camera.

Underwater footage of feeding bonefish at Deep Water Cay

Master Fly Tier Charlie Craven ties the Chernobyl Ant, a great terrestrial pattern and dry dropper fly.

Tying the Chernobyl Ant

The spring creeks of Kamchatka are untouched waters, harboring wild rainbow trout that have lived their entire lives without seeing a fly. They attack aggressively and as you can see aren't easily spooked by a missed hook set. This mysterious land offers some of the world's most exciting fishing and ancient, undeveloped landscapes. To learn more visit

Kamchatka Spring Creek Rainbow Trout with The Best of Kamchatka

Guide, author, and Fly Fisherman contributing editor stalks a big rainbow on Colorado's South Platte river with a tiny midge.

Landon Mayer Midge Fishing on the South Platte in Colorado

Guide, author, and Fly Fisherman contributing editor Landon Mayer demonstrates how a simple downstream mend can reposition a fly line to create a drag-free drift and natural presentation.

Landon Mayer: Line Management

Charlie Craven shows how to tie the simple but popular Clouser Minnow fly in this step-by-step video guide.

How to Tie the Popular Clouser Minnow Fly

 "I've found that the most effective way to consistently land larger trout is by using this type of short game," says Mayer. "I estimate that 80 percent of the big trout I catch are inside a 20-foot cast. Visualizing and imagining the drift of your fly before you cast is similar to a golfer reading the green and planning the direction of the putt. This creativity forces you to evaluate and plan these opportunities and help you master the short game.”

Mastering The Short Game

Successful flats fishers don't always make 90-foot hero casts for tarpon. In reality, many of the shots—especially in poor light conditions—are less than 50 feet. Capt. Bruce Chard shows Kara Armano how to cast short and accurate, and make the line land straight so you can immediately move the fly.

Fly Casting Short & Stripping For Tarpon

Join guide, author and fly innovator Blane Chocklett in this short film showcasing cicada hatches and the big carp that call them dinner.

Cicadapocalypse: Fly Fishing for Carp with Cicada Flies

Fly Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now