Saturday, August 02, 2008

Four Year Old with a Backcast

Some items of note here:
(1) On taking out his custom made fly rod for the first time in a while, JD immediately walked to the edge of the dock, flipped the line behind him and laid out a cast on the water. Wow. Note that in the first pic below you can see the rod coming forward and the line in a loop above his head. I had to warn several people to avoid standing behind us... hehe.
(2) On several occasions, while fishing, JD offered commentary regarding whether or not the fish had eaten the fly (we could see plainly all the fish around the fly).
(3) At one point he said "Oh - there's a big one Dad," and he picked the line up off the water, walked to another spot on the dock and flipped a cast at a big LMB! Nice!
(4) I'll never understand why parents so often give kids worms on giant hooks or big ol' beetle spins to fish for panfish. The sunnies cannot physically place those hooks in their mouths. JD walked up to the crowd on the dock with a #18 beadhead nymph and immediately banked several fish... to the astonishment of the kids who were trying to stuff dictionaries in pea-sized fish mouths. I cut a jig off one kid's line and gave him a nymph - he caught three sunnies in the next five minutes. Happy kid.
(5) I'm experiencing micro-management-dad syndrome lately... and it worked its way into our outing here. James had 1000 hits on the nymph today. He probably fought ~15 fish, but I had to hook ~10 of them for him... We'd sit and watch the fish destroy the fly, one after another... and I say "lift up the rod J" over and over... and he stares blankly at the situation in the water. The only fish he hooked himself were those that happened to swim away with the fly in mouth. So the dilemma is that I see the pure joy on his face when he feels that sweet hookup and resistance... so I want him to be able to do that for himself... but I feel like a jackass when I sit there on his shoulder saying over and over "lift up the rod J" and "OH - pick up the rod man!" etc. Funny thing is that he has explained to me and others on many occasions how fishing works: you cast the fly into the water, and wait for the fish to eat it, and then you pick up the rod! Anyway... kind of a funny little thing. The kid isn't even four yet... geez. I've just been trying to decide the right thing to do in those spots... I think I'm leaning toward letting him work his way to hooking up by himself.
(6) Little Brother really loved seeing those fish. He was literally cackling each time JD showed him one. Pretty cool.


Blogger John Montana said...

Great stuff way to teach kids to fish. You have to love the bluegill.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post - I fall under the umbrella of worm-using parents (Although I do keep the hook size down). I had my guy out in the boat on Saturday and I just let him catch bluegills. I thought he'd get tired after a while but in the end he had to be dragged kicking and screaming off the lake - a nice problem to have.

It sounds like we're both having that same inner conflict of trying to teach them proper hook set technique without coming off as drill sergeants. I guess we just got to let them miss a few and keep reminding them of all the steps. Practice catches up to theory eventually, as long as we keep it light.

By the way, if you have a four year old casting a nymph then you are doing pretty good - I can barely do that myself.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Agreed 100% that bluegill are the best place to start kids on fish. Plenty of them, and they hit anything/everything. The kids were just laughing and cackling the whole time.


The comment was more in reference to the SIZE of what was being fished... not so much what was being fished - lure/bait/fly. Small hooks. Preferably small, barbless hooks, as problems with hooksets often lead to swallowed lure/bait/fly.

I think you are right in your suggestion to let them miss a few... let them ride a bit and just work things out on their own.

His casting is a bit wild... and it's not traditional casting I guess. He has a piece of fly line tied to a mono loop that is attached to one piece of an old graphite rod. It's a fly rig of sorts... designed to offer a kid everything he needs (and nothing more) to catch pannies.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So I suppose JD debated the finer points of how to snag a fish in the mouth too huh? LOL great outing.

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