Recently we took our daughter fishing for the first time.  It was a little bit of a mess but was still very much a success.  A lot of the frustration came from the inaccuracy of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife fishing app – neither of the first two spots I chose worked out.  However, thanks to the kindness of a volunteer in Rocky Mountain National Park, we found someplace to go later in the afternoon.

I haven’t fished since I was twelve and I can probably count on my fingers how many times I’ve fished in my whole life.  I barely know what I am doing.  However, I’ve done a little research on trout and I bought some gear designed for fishing for trout with bait and I got my little one set up on her Paw Patrol rod and reel.

Initially I cast for her and taught her to be patient, watch the bobber and keep the line tight.  She wasn’t very patient and kept reeling it in.  I spent some time teaching her to cast.  After a little frustration, a few tears and a pep talk, she finally settled in to learn how to do it and within a few minutes, she was throwing the line pretty well, if not consistently.  One of the things I told her was frustration is a part of fishing and it required patience and perseverance to overcome it.

So, at this point, she pretty much knows everything I know about fishing. 

The burden is now on me and my wife to learn more about fishing and to take her as often as possible.  I know it’s not rocket science, but it’s also not easy.  Neither of us had a fishing mentor to teach us and now we have to mentor our daughter.  I know I’ll be able to teach her how to hunt, but fishing? She may pass me by before her sixth birthday.

I’m doing what I can not only for myself and my own love of hunting and fishing, but for the next generation.  But for every kid who doesn’t learn to hunt or fish and who has the desire to, like I did, it’s an uphill battle as an adult.  We have to start ‘em young.  We don’t have any other choice.

Learn more about how to fish and safety tips for fishing with kids on our site. Before planning your next fishing trip with your family and kids make sure to purchase your fishing license first. 


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C.B. Bylander

C.B. Bylander is a long-time Minnesota angler who has extensive fishing experience throughout the state. He is a former outdoor magazine field editor, daily newspaper outdoor editor and Department of Natural Resources fisheries communication specialist.





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