Fly Fishing Dry Run Creek / Introducing Kids to the Sport
A perfect way to get kids “hooked”! By Lisa Bellue
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Jeremy and my daughter Kara in between his trips down on the Norfork. Introducing kids to fishing can be one of life’s great pleasures. It can also be one of the most challenging, because the fish don’t always cooperate. Lets face it, kids can have very short attention spans. Kara asked for and received her first fly-rod for her 6th birthday almost three years ago, since that time it has been out of the tube and utilized about as many times as she has fingers. Fly tying has always sparked her interest from seeing mommy tie, fishing on the other hand has always been a struggle. This time I wanted to give her a totally different approach, so we made a deal consisting of a night at Copper Johns Resort located on the upper stretch of the White River, in return for two hours of fishing. She was all in favor and quick to cut her own deal making mommy promise a campfire with hot-dogs and marshmallows. So Kara and I packed the bags and the little man (Sean) and made a run to Arkansas for a little mini vacation.
Dry Run is seriously one of the best places for youth to fish in the entire United States. The AGAF joined up with Davy Wotton and placed big rocks and boulders (along the sides of the river) to create better habitat back in 2009. After the face-lift, it has continued to grow in popularity each year. It offers a solution to parents wanting their children to have an enjoyable fly fishing experience. It’s for children under the age of 16 only and adults can help aid their children as they fish. This is crucial and is strictly enforced; as much as, we want to take over and turn that fish into the net, keep in mind the rod is to be in the child’s hands at all times when fishing. Adults can only dream of catching fish like this in such an awesome setting.
This fishery offers kids and physically handicapped fishers a place of their own. At the lower end of the creek you will find a lumber constructed boardwalk, handicap and stroller friendly access. The upper end has recently been cleaned out making it easier to navigate over the rocks and shrubs, unfortunately not so stroller friendly. But hey, where else can your kids catch plenty of fish and some pretty amazing fish at that? Best of all it’s FREE!!! The creek runs adjacent to the hatchery, so there is always the option of dropping a quarter to feed the fish at the hatchery to finish out the day with the family.
We started fishing in the late afternoon at the the boardwalk working on casting and proper presentations. Soon Kara had a fish on and a willingness to learn that I had never seen before. As we made our way up the boardwalk, we met a elderly man who was very gracious as we stopped to help net a fish for him. Kara quickly continued on her journey upstream working with Jeremy, fishing pockets and channels along the way. Kara was able to hook into three nice sized trout that seemed to fuel her excitement for fishing even more. By evening Kara had the smaller fish figured out and she was very appreciative of her trusty guide Jeremy to help her with the heavier fish. Hiring a guide to help younger fisherman is well worth the time and money, some kids tend to learn better from others and can often resist instruction from their parents when placed in natures outdoor classroom. When we looked at the clock it had been 3.5 hours Kara had lasted, without getting frustrated and bored with the situation. Since that trip she’s been out in the yard practicing several times and is even asking for her first pair of waders. I would say the trip was a success and a huge turning point and hopefully the start of Kara’s new found love for the sport of fly fishing.
If you would like to know more about fly fishing at Dry Run Creek and how to get kids introduced to the sport you can send me a email directly to [email protected] if you are interested in booking a guide trip. Feel free to visit us on Facebook, If you really liked this article, +1 above – check us out at +flysandguides (Google+) or send us a tweet with a question or just to say hi. Check out the Fly of the Month!