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Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Chicago, Illinois
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Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

My son loves to fish and I am, surprisingly, enjoying it as well. I want to encourage him but I never fished as a kid. We have been reading books on fly fishing and it seems so complicated, difficult! (I can see how people can become addicted since there is so much thought involved.)

Here at home we hop into a rowboat, catch a few bluegills and he's thrilled. What do you suggest for a beginner. Would it be best just to find a place to fish for smallmouth bass?

I'm willing to put in effort to learn beforehand and help him.I can't spend too much on new gear especially stuff we cant or wouldn't need at home.

Thanks for all your help

I want to help encourage him and help him learn

Pigeon Forge...
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1. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Tricia...I'm no expert, but live in the SW burbs of Chicago and took up fly-fishing a couple of years ago. I found a couple that live in the OakBrook area that teach basics on casting as well as offer guided trips outside the Chicago area. They are somewhat costly but worth it if wanting 1 on 1 training. Check with Orvis in Oak Brook and the downtown Chicago location as they offer fly fishing basic classes for Free. They teach casting basics and go over some of the gear itself. Yes it can be a costly sport to get into. I hired a guide through the NOC Store in Gatlinburg a couple of years ago and he took me up into the Elkmont area for a wonderful morning of fishing. The gear was all supplied through them, but yet still quite expensive. There are a couple of other Fly Fishing Outfitters in the Smoky Mountain area that offer guided trips, but none that really offer teaching, so it is best to know how to cast before spending that kind of money there.

You can fish of course without a guide in the Gatlinburg area with a daily fishing license that you can get in a couple of locations in Gatlinburg. I also traveled down to Cherokee and bought a fishing license there and went 'regular' fishing in town at the Oconaluftee River...this was a nice way to relax alongside the water and enjoy town.

There are a few locals on this site that I think are big fishermen, so maybe they will see your post as well and give you better, more detailed advice than I can. Best advice from me is to check into Orvis up here near home first and try to learn casting first. There are also some great videos on youtube as well as great DVD's you can get from Bass Pro shop in Bolingbrook that will help to teach some of the basics. Fly fishing is alot about the casting and learning how to work to bring the fish to you. It is a wonderful way to fish, and the 'being one with nature' while waist deep in the mountain stream is what drew me to it

Edited: 17 February 2014, 03:43
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Wow. This was so helpful. I think the answer is that we may want to just go regular fishing for this trip. We are also in the Chicago burbs, btw. I think that we will just try to do what we can for the trip this summer.

Where do you go fly fishing here by the way? After reading about it, it just seems fascinating. I think I had to read some of the pages on "reading" the water over and over.

I will look into Orvis, though.

I

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

I second the fishing in downtown Gatlinburg. They stock the stream often.They put some nice size trout in there. I think part of the stream is for kids only. You may have to google that.

For smallmouth bass the Pigeon River that flows through Pigeon Forge is a great place for smallmouth. The Little river outside of Townsend also holds smallmouth.

Edited: 17 February 2014, 04:14
Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Orvis website had great instructional videos, glossaries of all the terms. Just getting what we would need to have a basic start might not be too bad. I think when it warms up we may be practicing casting in the pond by our house.

Thanks again. My hubby will be amazed how knowledgeable I've become. : )

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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5. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Tricia, Herbert Holt Park in Gatlinburg is next to a trout hatchery and is a great place for kids to fish. Here is another excellent resource for fishing info: http://littleriveroutfitters.com/ Check out the blogs on that site for current fishing info.

Pigeon Forge...
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6. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

Tricia...Locally you cannot get in the water to 'wade' so to speak. None of the Forest Preserves in Cook county allow for this. There are some great small ponds/lakes in the Western Burbs 'DuPage county' that are good for fly casting onto calm waters. You can fly cast anywhere you have room overhead to cast your line. Look at all the Forest Preserve maps on-line or send way for them in the mail. They will all list types of fish that each small body of water carries. I've been able to catch trout, bluegill, and small bass locally by fly casting. Closest places to get 'into' the water though is in Wisconsin or Michigan. There is a fishing outfitter called Grab Your Fly Charters that will take you on a float boat on the Kanakakee River for some great fly fishing as well. Trout Unlimited DuPage County is a conservation group that offers classes for kids to learn the sport. I'm not sure of their contact info, but try to google them. Thay are the closest I've found as there arenot many fly fisherman or places to go in our area. Like I mentioned, lerning proper casting is the best thing you can do up here. I practice alot in my yard as it isn't just something that coms easily. The next thing to learn what each fish you look to catch like to eat, as that will help determine what type of 'fly' to use. It is almost spiritual for me to be wasit deep in the water fishing this way instead of just hanging out on the banks of the water waiting for the fish to come to me. Hope Orivs has some classes you can attend as they are great to get started. I too may take a refresher course with them this Spring before my next trip to the Smokies =-)

7. Re: Ideas for fishing w kids--need expert advice

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