Children are keen to try new experiences and fly fishing is a hobby that will give them pleasure for their entire lives, how do you put a value on that?
Encouraging children into any sport is the future lifeblood of that sport, especially fishing where the average age of participants is generally older than most. Sport for children also offers a way of beating obesity, encourages them to engage with the world and with others, and offers an alternative to anti-social and undesirable activities.
I can be booked for family days and fly fishing offers an enjoyable day out for the family, is an excellent way of bonding and fires the child's imagination. The success of fly fishing tuition for children can be judged by the size of the smile on their face at the end of the day.
There are of course serious responsibilities and protections when it comes to working with children and these are taken very seriously.
Firstly, I'm afraid to say that fly fishing isn't for all children!
- There are dangers associated with fly fishing; you're near water and you're waving a hook around your head; the child has to be old enough to be aware of these responsibilities.
- There is a large amount of concentration; the child has to be mature enough to be able to focus on the job in hand.
- There is a physical element to fly fishing; the child needs to be physically developed enough to be able to wield a fly rod.
In short, I do not recommend fly fishing lessons to anybody under the age of 12 years old. It is possible to go fly fishing at a younger age but in this case they should be fishing with their parents or siblings.
Why am I qualified to teach children fly fishing?
First and foremost, I'm always professional:
- I have a full, current and clear CRB check
- I am a licensed coach with an ID card
- I have up-to-date first aid training
- I have been trained to NSPCC standard for working with children
- I have £5M public liability insurance
- I use equipment that is tailored to suit a child, a shorter rod with a lighter line, as well as the essential safety equipment such as hats and glasses
What do I do differently when working with children?
Most importantly, the approach is fundamentally different.
- The goals are more easily achieved giving the child a greater sense of achievement
- I praise them at every opportunity to build up their confidence
- I build in more natural breaks to cater for shorter attention spans and swifter physical tiredness
- I build in many other activities (depending on the length of the day) such as pond-dipping to look at insects, or fly tying which children find particularly engaging due to the materials used!
Depending on the age of the child, it's usually a good idea to involve a parent as well. I can teach you both at the same time and unlike some instructors, I won't charge any extra for doing so. This makes the lesson more interesting for the child (especially if they are more successful than their parent!) and it also removes the anxiety of leaving the child alone for the duration of the lesson.
Lessons will be arranged at one of the 'easier' fisheries in the South, giving the child a better chance of feeling that electric first moment when the fish suddenly takes the fly.
Children can pick up new concepts much more quickly and easily than adults, and as a result can quickly progress as a fly fisherman.
Please do not hesitate to contact Darren for further details.