Column: Teach a kid to fish and they’ll have memories for a lifetime

Great Outdoors by James Murray

This past weekend was Family Fishing Weekend in our province.

Though many events have been cancelled, including the annual Salmon Arm Kids’ Fishing Derby, which would have taken place on Sunday (Father’s Day), it was still a wonderful opportunity for families to head out into the great outdoors and spend some time fishing. And though we are currently supposed to be practising social distancing, fishing is, by its very nature, something done in relative isolation. Quite simply, fishing is a great way for families to spend time together.

The thing is, it doesn’t really cost all that much to get kids into fishing – a rod and reel to start with, some lures, a tackle box and maybe few odds and ends.

You should be able to buy a good quality new rod and reel for around $80 to $90 that will cast properly and stand up to use. Buy something you would be willing to use yourself.

Yard sales are often a great place to acquire decent quality used gear.

Read more: Fly fishing in the dark

Read more: Column: Coarse fishing about quantity

Once you have attained a rod and reel for a child, take them out to the backyard or a field somewhere and let them practise casting until they get the hang of it. To start, have them slip their first-finger under the line and lift it up so the line is pressed between their finger and the cork of the reel seat. With their free hand, they need to cock the bail (that loopy thing-a-ma-jig that helps wind back the line) back on the reel before arching the rod forward through the air. Release the line when the rod tip is pointing where they want the line to go. It’s fairly simple.

Some of my fondest memories are of family camping and fishing trips. I was lucky that my father was willing to share his time and knowledge with us kids. As I recall, most of the time he rarely even got a chance to cast a line. He was too busy rigging up our gear, freeing snags, tying on new hooks and keeping an eye on us making sure we didn’t fall into the water.

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