Teaching young children fly casting can be fun and challenging at the same time. In my experience over the years, young children from the age of 3 can have fun and learn fly casting. I have 3 children under 8 and all of them can fly cast well.
My main goal with young minds is having fun and nothing else. If a child sees a peer having fun, it creates a desire to join the activity regardless if he or she has not done it before.
My approach to teaching is simple: facilitate fun and make sure I stop teaching/playing before the fun disappears. Done it this way, the children want to fly cast again and again. Subsequently they often request for more opportunities to practice opening the chances to further teach more skills.
I don’t like to give many instructions. I just want the kids to play with their rods, have fun and learn tip control. I become their student gradually. I make sure the kids know I am there to learn from them. At the end of the session they teach me all that they have learnt. This is a very effective method to increase the children’s attention span and their confidence, as kids love teaching adults and don’t have many opportunities to do so. I pretend I don’t know the alphabet and they draw simple letters, like the letter O, with the tip of the rod and fly line. I need to get it right and the children will make sure the letters are clear in the air. Once the children have engaged in the games and the parents step back, the lessons are sweet and easy.I like to set targets on water and challenge the students to place the practice fly on the targets.
That’s all I do to teach young kids in their first lesson.
Juan Del Carmen
Advanced Fly Fishing School Sydney
LOOP Ambassador Australia & New Zealand