Dave Ballou and Clif Gallagher both recognize that their passion for fishing has, at times, skewed their perspective on the sport. In fact, Clif knows through experience that his son resented fishing for years based on the stress he felt fishing with his dad. (Don’t worry — his son loves fishing again.)
That’s why these two anglers have tips for fishing fanatics who want to spend some time with the kids.
1. Don’t bring your rod.
“When you go fishing with your family, don’t plan on catching a single fish,” Clif says. “It’s not about you that day. It’s about the kids.”
Replacing that thrill of the hunt with the shrill of laughing kids will be worth it.
2. Plan on a short trip.
“Before we go, my wife will remind me that we are only going for one hour,” Dave says. “That’s hard for me, because I spend hours and hours on the river at a time.”
The shorter time commitment — and set time limit — better suits the attention span of children and keeps the focus on family togetherness.
3. Show support and be positive.
Resist the desire to criticize or “unnecessarily instruct” children about techniques and equipment. Let them have fun.
“When they develop a love for the fishing experience, they will have a natural desire to get better at it,” Clif says. “Let them go at their own pace.”