Teach a child how to fly fish and have a friend for Life!-Carlo & Tavlyn Bereono savoring the moment after releasing her first steelie!

Not since the movie “A River Runs through It” ignited a mega jolt of fly fishing popularity have we witnessed the latest addition of newbies expressing interest in fly fishing. Not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Most unusual is the latest surge of young children, mostly under 15 yrs. of age, expressing interests, suiting up and eager to learn how to cast and fly fish.

Every reason to smile ear to ear-young Chase Nadeau getting with it fishing a TFS Rock!

Fly fishing dates back to near the end of the second century, wool, feather and hook and, in general, has survived challenging times; world wars, depressions etc.. However, for reasons unknown, the past few years numbers of young fly fishers have declined and become a major concern to those involved in the industry. Why the decline? Is fly fishing temporarily put on hold and overshadowed by trendy youth sports and other outdoor activities? Has the high-tech electronic industry captivated young lives and influenced their interests? In other words will smart phones, tablets/IPads and e-video games snuff fly fishing and be the rage of the future? Will there be a next shift wading waters and stretching lines? Thank the fishing Gods, 2017 clearly answers with a positive note of a growing lineup of new excited young anglers expressing great interest that are willing to engage and accept fly fishing challenges. Refreshing! Whether this is a brief trend or is truly the next fly fishing generation stepping it up for the long haul, we plan on being there to help fuel the stoke as much as we can and of course enjoy the ride.

Teach a child to fly fish and have a friend for life

Jeff and Gwynn Spurr taking five and rewinding the beauty of the day and releasing her first steelhead!

People ask us when is it a good time to start teaching their children how to fly fish? It has been our experience, the sooner you teach them and plant the seed, exposing them to the beauty and wilds of the outdoors, the sooner they will be bugging you to get the lead out to go. Fly fishing is a wonderful bonding experience for child and parent. Our son, Chris, received his first fly reel at six months; a great toy and exercise reeling both forward and backward. We actually had him on drift trips at 3-4 months, and at a year and a half we had him hooked up into his first half-pounder steelhead. His eyes lit up, the size of silver dollars, the connection was made.

Our daughter, Kellie also got into the action at age 9 fishing on Lewiston Lake, landing trout between making mud pies and venturing off for other shoreline discoveries. We are fortunate they enjoy fishing today when time permits. Consider you children’s age and take into consideration their interest level. Very young, you may be surprised they simply enjoy fly casting rhythms, the outing and tripping around just as much or more than catching. Do not force fly fishing upon them-let them dictate how much or how long instruction or the outing should be. Always be there for help, support and direction.

Each and every steelheading are special, especially your first—Thomas Davis cracken the code!

We hear from some people that had grown up going fly fishing and camping, “it was the best of times whether we caught fish or not.” Some will go as far as saying fly fishing and enjoying the outdoors helped cultivate a sense of direction and actually steered them away from trouble. Kids who grow up enjoying the outdoors and fly fishing seem to be much happier, have a greater outlook on life and able to adjust to life’s challenges. So when planning your next fly fishing adventure consider taking junior, leave the Nanny behind and do it as a family or team. 2018 is a great time to unplug and reconnect with the basics. Fly fishing is a great cornerstone to build lifelong relationships and memories with your children.

Straight from the Lineups

Sean Nadean with a chrome handful of happiness and steelhead stoke.

Finally some long awaited rains have sweetened up the TR, adding some additional juice to the watershed and secondaries, warming water temps and inspiring rotations. It has been a solid grab lately and most everyone investing time on the water is hooking a fish or two; water temps (44 and up) have been the key. Pockets of fish are scattered throughout the system. Primarily late summer fall fish continue to dominate catches however a fresh push of chrome, half-pounders and occasional adults, have moved into the lower system, Willow Creek down, and headed our way. The next serious round of weather should be a game changer. Keep in tune and please the Weather Gods— Do the Steelhead Shuffle!!!

A fresh new shift of jumbo-halfies, next generation, have arrived in the lower river; taking up the slack and shedding light for next yr..