West Yellowstone Kids do some learning and fly fishing

 

From the West Yellowstone News comes a great article.

Science class had a fishy twist to it last Tuesday as 18 West Yellowstone School students participated in the Take-a-Kid Fishing Program.

The eighth-grade science and Biology II classes, along with teacher Sara Hoovler, hopped on a bus and met up with 12 volunteers for a day of guided fly-fishing on the Madison River.

Vehicles brimming with a variety of flies, waders, fly rods, boots and extra layers of clothing were lined up at the Three Dollar Bridge parking area as students got off the bus and suited up for the water.

Dennis Alverson, a former director of the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana, tried the program out in Livingston and local outfitter Joe Moore wanted to bring it to West Yellowstone.

“All of the FOAM board members were together. We thought, ‘Let’s take this back to our communities,’” Moore said.

 

Read the rest of this excellent story HERE

Young anglers needed for the future

Most of you reading this already know the countless benefits in taking kids fishing and exploring the great outdoors. Over the last decade there has been a decline in the total number of people who are fly fishing, which is a concern for those who make a living in the industry, but it goes well beyond that.  Fewer people buying fishing licenses means less funding for conservation measures and fewer kids growing up as stewards of the resources.

Field & Stream recently listed Michigan as the number one state in the country for fly fishing, and yet Michigan residents don’t seem to be taking advantage of that.

This article from The Bridge spells it out and is worth a read.

Without an immediate solution to the funding crisis for fish and wildlife programs, the DNR and several conservation groups have stepped up efforts to recruit a new generation of conservation-minded hunters and anglers. But that can be a tough sell in a digital world, where kids can partake in virtual hunting and fishing trips via video games…

“The main thing is just getting kids outdoors, whether it’s to go fishing, bird watching, or hunting for morel mushrooms,” he said. “Just pick something that’s in season and do it.”

Tom Heritier, president of the Saginaw Field and Stream Club, said he fears that legions of children raised on Facebook, Twitter and video games will never experience the beauty of fishing at sunrise, the joy of seeing an eagle soar, or learn the intrinsic value of clean air, clean water and healthy fish and wildlife populations.

“If they have no exposure to nature, they have no idea what they need to conserve,” Heritier said. “We are supposed to be stewards of our environment but if somebody doesn’t have a clue about how nature works, they won’t do anything to protect it.”

 

Click HERE to read the full article.

Kid-Friendly Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Guides

At Take Kids Fly Fishing.com, we strive to include listings for every manner of service and product available to enhance the fly fishing experience of kids. One of our category listings is for Kid Friendly Guides, which is self explanatory: it includes state by state listings of guides that wish to promote themselves as being welcoming to kids.  One such guide is Eugene Shuler, who operates Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Guides in North Carolina.

Eugene emailed us to let us know about his guide business:

I have two children ages 6 and 9, and we spend everyday possible in the outdoors. They love to fly fish, and we hire guides when we visit new places. It’s tough to find a guide service that will let them come along with me when we fish. Great idea. I’ve been guiding the Smoky Mountains since 1999 and have always welcomed kids to come fish along with their parents. We have smaller sized outfits just for kids that consist of shorter fly rods with small diameter grips, and all are overlined by one line weight so that it makes it easier for the kids to get the rods to load. All of our guides are very patient, and all are fathers themselves, so we understand kids and have the know how from fishing with our own children to help guide our client’s children too.

Thanks so much for your consideration, and a wonderful site for kids!

Thanks, Eugene. It’s obvious after one visit to his website, Fly Fishing the Smokies, that Eugene likes to get kids out on the water.

From the home page of Fly Fishing the Smokies:

Learn to fly fish in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg Tennessee and Bryson City North Carolina. Discover the majestic streams and mountains while enjoying a day of guided fly fishing with some of the Smoky Mountain’s best flyfishing guides. Since 1999 we have guided anglers of all ages and skill levels to some of the most beautiful trout streams in all of the southeastern United States. Welcome to Fly Fishing the Smokies! A professional outfitters and guide service operating guided fly fishing trips daily out of Gatlinburg TN and Bryson City NC, we serve the surrounding towns of Pigeon Forge Tennessee, Seveirville TN, Asheville, Sylva, Franklin, and Dillsboro.

Thank you again, Eugene, for contacting us with your listing and for being committed to getting kids out on the water and experiencing fly fishing.

Positive Parental Participation: Take a Kid Fly Fishing

Here is a really nice article by Vivian Kirkfield, author of Show Me How: Build Your Child’s Self Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. The essence of the article really reinforces the fact that there’s more to fishing than catching fish:

I’d like to say that we pulled up one trout after another…but even though the children didn’t catch any fish (although we did see several)…they did catch the enthusiasm and joy of being by a beautiful river, surrounded by the wonders of nature.  Their parents take them to RMNP quite often and encourage the appreciation, care and preservation our precious and endangered environment.  After enjoying a lovely picnic, we all got ready to leave and my husband asked our grandchildren when they would like to come fishing again.  One of them replied, “In about three weeks!”  And the other piped up, “No, in about three days!”

 

Read the full article HERE.

Why fly fishing is good for kids

Here’s a blog article that was published a year ago, but it bears re-posting because the message is clear: Fly Fishing is good for kids.

The article is from the blog of Olive the Woolly Bugger and is titled, Kids & nature- it’s a big deal.

Aside from getting kids outdoors and instilling in them an appreciation for our natural resources, outdoor activities are good for a child’s health.  Michelle Obama is promoting her national effort to fight childhood obesity, and on April 9, 2010 hosted the White House Childhood Obesity Summit as part of her work with the recently formed Childhood Obesity Task Force and it’s accompanying “Let’s Move” campaign. C&NN is advocating that outdoor play go one step further to involve outdoor play in nature. Being able to roam around the outdoor environment is an enriching experience that brings with it many physical and emotional benefits.

Read the full article HERE.

Missouri fly fishers teach kids to appreciate the great outdoors

A fly fishing club representing anglers from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma teaches kids about fly fishing, tying and conservation.

From the Neosho Daily News:

Engaging youngsters in the outdoors is part of the mission for the Missouri Arkansas Oklahoma Fly Fishers.

“We try to keep the fly fishing club family oriented if we can,” Werries said.

Through different group outreaches the MAKO group tries to bring programming about fly tying, casting, environmental control to young people.

Read the full article HERE

 

Tahoe area fly fishing class for kids

From the Sierra Sun:

Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers is offering a two-day class for ages 11-15 to introduce boys and girls to the sport of fly fishing. Classes will be on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31. Saturday will be an indoor class introducing students to equipment requirements, knot-tying and how to set up a balanced system. Sunday will be spent out on the water, learning wading safety, stream entomology, how to read the water, fly casting, etc. Parents are encouraged to join us to observe their child learning the basic skills. Cost is $ 50, with rods supplied for the class). Call 530-582-7720 for registration and more info.

See the original post HERE

Even in Alaska, kids need to get outside more

This article posted on the Penninsula Clarion website talks about some of the things we’ve covered here on the Take Kids Fly Fishing blog: the need for today’s kids to get outside and enjoy nature. And fly fishing is a great way to do that. Here is the archived article we posted: Why Fly Fishing is So Great for Kids.

And here is an excerpt from the article in the Penninsula Clarion:

“Teach a child to fish and you instill a sense of wonder and excitement that could lead to a lifelong hobby! Studies have shown that the time we spend outside helps alleviate stress while also providing benefits to our mental and physical health.”

To read the full article go HERE.

 

 

Kids Fly Fishing Summer Classes- Boulder CO

Front Range Anglers of Boulder, CO, in conjunction with Thorne Ecological Institute, is offering three great kids summer classes in June and July:

• Fly Fishing I is perfect for kids with little or no experience. We will explore the Boulder Creek & St. Vrain Watersheds and tackle the lakes, reservoirs, and streams of Boulder. Patience is required as students learn first how to assemble, use, and care for fly fishing gear and then learn the fundamentals of fly fishing: casting, knot tying, and how to read the river.

• Fly Fishing II is perfect for kids who have taken Thorne’s Fly Fishing I Class or who has a good amount of experience as an angler. This class spends less time on the basics of gear and casting, and more time on the water exploring our favorite fly fishing spots along Boulder Creek and St. Vrain Watersheds! Building on what we learned in Fly Fishing I, we will be challenged with more advanced skills, like new knots, different casting techniques, and selecting the proper flies

• Fly Fishing Adventure is perfect for kids who have taken Thorne’s Fly Fishing I Class or who has a good amount of experience as an angler. Students should feel confident in their basic casting abilities and have a desire to explore new fishing holes around Boulder County. This course builds upon basic and intermediate skills with an emphasis on maximizing our time on the river. We will introduce new knot-tying and casting skills, and increase our knowledge of stream ecology and insect life cycles.

Check out their website for full details by clicking HERE.

Why Take Kids Fly Fishing?

The question is not intended to inquire as to why one should take kids fly fishing, but rather why did we launch this website—why Takekidsflyfishing.com?

The question came up recently over the matter of our official launch contest. In order to properly kick-off the website, we reached out to as many manufacturers of kids’ fly fishing gear as we were able. The point of our contest is to draw attention to our website, certainly, but with the goal in mind establish a web presence so as to connect kids with some of the latest gear available on the market.

When we sent out our formal introduction and request letters, most manufacturers enthusiastically jumped on board right away, with a few even asking what they could do to help our site, beyond the contest donation.  This warm reception was exactly what we had hoped for. A few companies never responded even after multiple attempts to establish correspondence. Fewer still opted not to participate.  One company raised some valid questions about the intent of our endeavor:

Why are you doing this?

It seemed like a loaded question, and it was.

What do you hope to gain?

As in how do we plan to benefit monetarily.

It turns out that there are other websites doing similar things to what we’re doing: asking for donations of gear for contests. And apparently, there are people behind such websites seeking to monetize their sites by the use of affiliate links.  What, you may ask, are affiliate links?  I myself had to ask the same thing. Wikipedia says this about affiliate linking:

An affiliate link is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site.

In other words, if a visitor to Take Kids Fly Fishing clicks a link to a retailer listed on our site, and the visitor makes a purchase on the destination site, then Take Kids Fly Fishing receives a percentage of the sale or some sort of monetary kick-back. It’s like a referral fee.  I can see how that would be a valuable practice for a website wanting to earn some money that way.  And I can see why a prospective gear donor would question our motives. If that were the case, which it is not.

If Take Kids Fly Fishing were to ask for free donations with the idea in mind to use these donations to attract participants to our contest and drive traffic to our site, and our intent was to refer that traffic to the sites listed in our many categories in hopes of it resulting in a sale from which we would benefit, then the gear donor is being taken advantage of. In other words, we would be capitalizing, literally, on their generosity. I can see why that would be a conflict of interest for the donor to send us free gear for our contest.

Now, we are not saying that affiliate links are a bad thing. After all, people need to make money and commerce outside of the internet has long offered referral fees. However, that is not what we’re doing here at Take Kids Fly Fishing.

So, if not trying to make money by participating in affiliate marketing tactics, then what ARE we doing?

It’s pretty simple, really: we’re trying to connect parents, families and kids to the best gear that the fly fishing industry has to offer kids. Our mission statement pretty well sums it up. We saw a need for a hub of information to help make it easier to find gear for kids.  We want kids to go fly fishing.  They will enjoy their experience that much more if they have a good rod and reel, waders and boots, and maybe a cool vest like dad’s. We want to promote the companies that make and sell gear; the shops and organizations that hold kids fly fishing classes and fly fishing camps, and the guides that encourage kids to come long for a day on the water.

Yes, we are using the generosity of donor companies to provide an incentive to get kids and families to our site. But our intent is give exposure to those donor companies by introducing an audience to what they have to offer. We hope that parents and families will take the time to look through our category listings and find something beneficial to them. And we hope that once they discover what we have to offer, they’ll be back.

Our goal is to provide a link between the fly fishing industry and the kids market. We feel we can offer an important—and missing—link. But not an affiliate link.

Good fishing,

Sarah Lonigro & Kirk Werner