Your Ultimate Guide to Fishing with Kids in Mammoth Lakes

This week I met up with fishing guide Scott Flint from The Troutfitter to talk about fishing with your kids. The following are Scott’s best tips and insights for fishing with kids.

The best age to introduce kids to fishing.

5 or 6 years old is the ideal age. Younger children have trouble paying attention long enough to keep them involved, which can be stressful on them and you.

What about Teaching Kids to Fly Fish?

Unless you really know what you’re doing in terms of both flyfishing and child-centerd instruction, teaching kids to flyfish is best left to a professional instructor.

What’s the Best Way to Introduce Fishing to Kids?

Start at the Mammoth Lakes Basin, which is stocked each week throughout the summer. You may be tempted to just bring your kids to the Lakes Basin, throw some stuff out with a weight and some bait floated off the bottom, but Scott points out that doing so is often not a active enough to keep kids’ attention. Instead, Scott recommends the following tactics:

  • Fly in a Bubble: A fly in a bubble is ideal for kids because they get to see the fly in the water and the fish actually hitting it, so it keeps the kids more involved and attentive.
  • Lures: An assortment of lures is also a great way to keep kids interested in fishing because they can throw the lure out, see it hit, and they can see it coming back in, wiggling. Sometimes kids will even spot a fish chasing it.
  • Keep it fun. The main point of fishing is to have fun. Even if you have to hold your kid’s interest by diverting it, the point is to have fun and instill a love of the outdoors. Watch the video for a trick that Scott used on a six and a half-year-old girl to hold her interest.
  • Be prepared: Make sure you have plenty of snacks, more water that you think you need and some type of bug spray, also known as the “High Sierra Cologne.” Scott’s favorite DEET-free option is Avon’s Skin So Soft Bath Oil Spray.
  • Sun Protection: Be sure to hit under the nose and nostril area and underneath the chin because the sun’s rays reflect off the water, and protect your face and neck with a hat.
  • Weather Protection: Weather can change quickly in the mountains. It’s a good idea to carry an extra jacket and pants.

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