Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A fly and a line

Fishing camps for kids

Express Staff Writer

Kids and fishing. Nothing says summer better.

And since we live among some of the best trout streams in the world, maybe this is the summer that your child should learn how to fish.

Think of all the years of pleasure you will have wading streams with your son or daughter, sharing the Zen of a day on the river.

Of course, getting to that idyllic spot can only happen once the tyke learns to cast and stops throwing rocks at the water where the fish are holding. That's when a great fishing clinic comes in handy.

All of our local outfitters are ready to help and to make fishing fun, not to mention less frustrating, for both parent and offspring. Ketchum on the Fly, Lost River Outfitters, Silver Creek Outfitters and Sturtevants Mountain Outfitters all offer summer fishing instruction to help induct your child into this lifetime activity.

Ketchum on the Fly sells and rents gear especially sized for children. While it does not have actual fishing camps, John Huber at the shop is happy to match children with kid-friendly guides.


Many of these guides are parents and have a great rapport with smaller anglers. Ketchum on the Fly has taken children as young as 6 to fish, but for younger kids, Huber recommends a short day to keep fun up and frustration down.

Ideally, the shop likes about 48 hours notice to match a guide with a group. Call 726-7572 for further information or to book a trip.

At Lost River Outfitters, helping your child learn to fish is as easy as stopping by their store on Main Street in Ketchum, or calling 726-1706 and signing them up.

Clinics run two mornings a week and may be booked one week at a time. Up to four children are assigned a professional guide and equipped with rods, flies and any other gear as needed. Children venture to Penny Lake to practice their casting and the Big Wood River to test their skills.

Camps are generally recommended for children age 6 and up. The cost is $155 per child and includes a $3 donation to the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Anglers will learn basic stream etiquette, wading safety, casting basics and fly selection.

Silver Creek Outfitters offers kids classes any day of the week that there is enough interest. If you can gather a group of three to four children, they will put them with a terrific guide and get them out on the water.

Little fisherman normally start with bobbers and spin gear, while children 10 and up begin on fly-fishing basics. The cost is $75 per day for clinics that begin around 8:30 a.m. and meet back at the Main Street store around 1 p.m.

Fishing is done mostly on private ponds around the valley, so children have a great chance of catching something. Call Silver Creek at 726-5282 and ask for Dave for more information or to sign up.

Sturtevants also offers fishing fun for the small fry. The outfitter will offer a kids fishing camp on Tuesdays, July 19 and 26, and Aug. 2 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids ages 8-12 will have the opportunity to learn the basics of fly-fishing and to wet their line. Class is $95 per student with a minimum of four students required. Call Morgan at 726-4501 for updated info, prices or to register for a session.

Let a lifetime of fishing obsession begin!

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