Tips for Your First Kids Fly Fishing Trip

Fly Fishing, Planning, Perfect Fishing Days
Added Date:
Thursday, 12 Nov, 2015
The dilemma facing every parent: what is the optimal age to take your first kids fly fishing trip? Take them too early and they either lose interest or drive you mad. Offer to take them too late in life and they’ll never have those years to look back on. You’ll miss out on those fabulous bonding moments and possibly lose them to electronics forever!

The dilemma facing every parent: what is the optimal age to take your first kids fly fishing trip? Take them too early and they either lose interest or drive you mad. Offer to take them too late in life and they’ll never have those years to look back on. You’ll miss out on those fabulous bonding moments and possibly lose them to electronics forever!

While every kid is different, here are some general guidelines for things to consider, and a summary of what worked for me.

It’s simple. It can never be too early to take your kid fishing. Just understand what to expect and what equipment to take, and make it all about having fun!

5-10 Years - It's About the Fishing Gear

Take a spin rod and basic tackle. Fly rods can be hard to control for the little ones. At this young age it’s all about spending an hour or two and hooking fish. Pass on the thrill of the catch and get the adrenaline flowing.

Be prepared to call it quits when your kid loses interest. Either you won’t do much fishing at all or you’ll do all the work. The key at these young ages is to just plan that you won’t do any serious fishing. At least not the kind of fishing you’re used to.

Look for waters that are conducive to your kid’s age. By that I mean, don’t pick a raging river or deep water. A lake or channeling river, spring creek or meandering flows with wide banks are perfect.

Read More Top 8 Fly Fishing Rivers in Montana

10-16 Years - Consider a 1/2 day Float Trip

Now it’s time to get serious. Introduce your child to the fly rod. Before going fishing, make it a fun learning experience practicing a couple fly fishing knots. Use a rope to teach, leading up to your first outing. Before you hit the river, find a big grass area and practice for 15 minutes. Don’t aim for more time unless your child remains interested.

Practice a hook set by holding on to the line and letting your child experience what it feels like to lift the rod tip with tension on the line. Now they’ll know what to expect and they are ready to hook that first big hog of a fish.

At this age group you are ready for a few hours on the water. At age 10 to 14 expect that they won’t want to spend more than 3 hours or so. If you have access to taking a float trip, make it a ½ day excursion. If you wade fish, be prepared to leave the river early.

Read More Top Locations Near Ennis for a Couple Hours of Fly Fishing

Starting at age 14 you’re safe to take them on an all-day float trip. They might lose interest early and ride out the rest of the day at the back of the boat. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about spending time together and it can be all about watching you catch. That’s how memories are made.

16-20 Years - Time for the Fly Fishing Trip to Become Fun For You Too

Now the worlds are colliding. Your child is barely a kid anymore and at home you’ve generally become stupid by their assessment. Time to go fly fishing. It’s a perfect way to stay connected.

You’re close to getting in a full day of fishing and they’re generally self-sufficient. You can even start to wander a bit apart on the river and each fish your own spots. Fly fishing is perfect for giving space. A full day drift allows for good conversation and reconnecting at then end of the day.

By now your child should own their own fly rod, carry their own flies and be confident about selecting a fly that you as a parent don’t agree with. You’ll be amazed at the things you learn about your child’s life by just taking him or her fishing.

20+ Years - Great Bonding Moments with Your Children

This is the age you start regretting that you didn’t take them fly fishing at an earlier age. If you did, you can now use these outings to cement your relationship. You’ll always be a parent, but now you can also become a fly fishing buddy. It’s the time to remain connected. You now have full range of your day, waters and destinations. Have a blast and enjoy the ride. Be prepared to learn as undoubtedly our children will quickly surpass us in knowledge.

Reading Time:
A uniquely western mix of quaint and kitsch, West Yellowstone is a gateway to one of three, Montana based, national park entrances. While tourist shops and nature attractions threaten ... moreto distort the town’s true character, serious fly fishers should not be put off. In 2009, Forbes Magazine rated West Yellowstone as one of the top ten fly fishing destinations in America, describing it as the trout epicenter of the world. If that weren’t enough, in 2010, Forbes went on to list Firehole Ranch, located on Hebgen Lake, as the 5th best fly fishing destination in the world, one of only two cited in the US.

Epicenter is in fact an accurate way to describe this town. Top rated trout streams surround West Yellowstone such as the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone and Henry’s Fork of the Snake. The Upper Madison, Gibbons and Firehole Rivers are a stone’s throw away. For those partial to float and deep-water fishing, Hebgen Lake, Earthquake Lake, Henry’s Lake and Island Park Reservoir provide a large roster of fishing options. Heartier souls can go ice fishing during winter months while for those inclined to participate, the region hosts several, competitive, ice fishing tournaments. 

Lodging choices are abundant, ranging from rustic campsites to absolute luxury. Year round sports opportunities are available including horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. 
Fishing Waters
Scenic, beautiful and rich in history, this northeasterly flowing river is thought to have acquired its name from the Minnetaree Indians whom were struck by the unique, yellow-colored ... moresandstone lining the river’s lower bluffs. Translated by early French trappers as Roche Jaune, {Yellow Rock} the river kept this moniker until Lewis and Clark recorded their translation into Yellow Stone, a name that took hold and remains today. The river may be better known in history as an escape route after General Custer and his 7thCalvary, were soundly defeated by the Lakota Indians at the Battle of Bighorn. The few remaining survivors were ferried down the Yellowstone to Fort Abraham Lincoln along the Missouri River.

Today, the awe-inspiring river is closely associated with the Wyoming based Yellowstone National Park and the other great recreational fishing rivers that cluster within the southwestern corner of Montana. The Yellowstone itself is officially classed as a Blue Ribbon stream in Montana, from the Park to its confluence with the Boulder River east of Livingston and from the Rosebud Creek to the North Dakota border, and is the longest undammed river in the lower 48. The absence of dams along the river results in favorable habitat for trout from high inside the Park, downstream to Gardiner, the Paradise Valley, Livingston and to Big Timber, a length of nearly 200 miles.

Many consider the area around Paradise Valley to be the most favorable in Montana, especially near Livingston. Here you can expect to lure brown trout, rainbow trout and native yellowstone cutthroat trout as well as rocky mountain whitefish. Further along, from Billings to the North Dakota border, burbot, channel catfish, paddlefish, sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and the occasional pallid sturgeon can be found. The section of the river from Mallard’s Rest to Carter’s Bridge is known both for its magnificent scenery and abundant fishing. Here you will find yourself in the midst of snow-capped mountains, the Absaroka to the east and the Gallatin to the west, and a landscape dotted with elk, fox and other wildlife. You’ll also discover meandering streams and creeks that flow into the Yellowstone. Many, such as the DePuy Spring Creek, are highly ranked, and like the main river, are full of rainbow and brown trout.
/ Angler
2 anglers
2 days
Join us for three nights and two days of fishing on the famous Madison River in Ennis, Montana. Fly fish the Madison River for huge browns and rainbows. Spend three nights in a double ... moreroom at the Rainbow Valley Lodge in Ennis, Montana. While there, enjoy a free continental breakfast daily. Meet your guide from Riverborn Outfitters at the O’Dell Creek Fly Shop located in the lodge and then off to the river!

Spend the day fishing for huge rainbows and big browns on the famous Madison River, a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. With more than 3000 fish per mile, the Madison River offers challenging and fun fishing for novice to seasoned angler.
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
1 day
Are you sick of throwing bobbers and wanna try something new? Already throw dry flies but would like to hone your skills? Pretty darn good just want to be pointed in the right direction ... moreand given some bug recommendations but also there with a net when you need it? We can accommodate all skill levels on our dry fly only trips. We can explain how, what and where to fish something that doesn't look like a dodgeball at the top of your leader :) *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based on the quality of dry fly fishing on his last few trips. Montana fishing at its finest.
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
1 day
The Yellowstone has some of the most scenic vistas fishermen will enjoy. Flowing out of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the river winds its way through beautiful Montana scenery ... moreoffering ample opportunities for trout fishing. Schedule a full day float trip with lunch and flies provided to enjoy the river for yourself.
Montana Fishing Adventures is based in Livingston Mt. We provide trips that accommodate all people who want to have fun on the water. Whether it's your frist time or it's what you ... moredo. We can handle all of your needs. From large corporate groups, families, wedding partys, to single anglers.
Ennis Montana Premier Fly Fishing Outfitter and Fly Shop on the Madison River Trout Stalkers is a fly fishing outfitter that specializes in Montana and Madison River Fly Fishing Trips. ... moreWe are located in Downtown Ennis and just three blocks from some of the best fly fishing in Montana, on the Upper Madison River. Our fly shop is staffed with experienced and welcoming fly fishermen who enjoy sharing their knowledge.

Trout Stalkers fly shop and online store features a diverse collection of the finest fly fishing gear, clothing, fly fishing gifts, fly rods, reels, flies, rental gear, boats and accessories. Our carefully curated fly selection is focused on proven fly patterns for the Madison River and other major southwest Montana rivers.

We have a variety of watercrafts and rafts for rent and for sale, including inflatable rafts equipped with fishing frames, drift boats, kayaks and SUPs. We also have an ever-changing fleet of new and used rafts and drift boats for sale. Need a Madison River shuttle service? We can help with that too.

Our extensive knowledge of fly fishing the Madison River stems from many years and countless days spent “driftin’ and dreamin'" on this great river from top to bottom. We strive to make every visitor to Ennis, Montana feel comfortable and welcome in our fly shop. We want you to have a great Montana fly fishing experience and our top-notch, seasoned guide staff will work hard to make sure of it! Our motto at Trout Stalkers is simple: The first time you fish with us you're a client. The second time you're a friend!
Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.

Discover Your Own Fishing and Hunting Adventures

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.