I asked my older son, who turned 3 a few weeks back if he would like to go fishing, and he excitedly replied in the affirmative. He knows that dad disappears about once a week to fish, and has fished with me quite a bit in the past. In his first summer, while he was still small I would put him and enough formula and diapers for a day into my car and head out for a bit of creek fishing. I would cary him in a chest pack and he would watch for a bit, find the fish interesting, but usually fell asleep within about 1/2 hour of arriving upon whatever creek we chose for the day.
For the following 2 summers (once he learned to walk) I would take him out on some of the smaller branches of the Snake and various "safer" spots around our house. He can cast a little, and last summer actually cast, hooked and landed a whitefish on a dry fly. No small task for a 2 year old.
My wife objected strenuously to my taking my boy fishing, but once she realized that he was going, she then switched to a litany of "you keep an eye on him", and "don't let him drown." I think she fails to realize just how low the river currently is, and just how little incentive a little boy has to play in water that is not over 40 degrees. Despite that, I did keep him under wary eye, though we fished in slow water areas with very gentle banks.
I called John to see if he would like to go, and upon learning that my son was coming, he decided to also bring along his 2 year old. Whose birthday it just happened to be.
We drove out to the Ririe railroad bridge, and again the area was crowded. The nice weather seems to have brought every fisherman in the area out of their homes and onto the river.
We fished a bit and let the kids fight the fish and land them. Lucas (my boy) likes to just walk up the bank until the fish is landed. He used this technique on a number of whitefish (John caught the only trout). Parker, John's boy, was a little afraid of the fish. Causing quite the ruckus every time his dad went to release one.
We had hoped for some dry fly action, but nymphs were the order of the day. The river is still running very low and very clear. Hopefully some BWOs will start coming off soon in better numbers.
The kids were fairly well behaved. They threw rock and sticks into the river, poked around with this and that, chased bugs, demanded to cast and generally had a good time of themselves. Lucas cast chanting "forwards" and "backwards" in portuguese tryng to get the timing of his cast down little better. And fought fish like a pro. He wanted to keep every fish we caught as he thinks fish tasty, and became upset as I released them. I tried to explain to him that whitefish are not real good eating, and that we would keep any rainbow trout that we caught (doing our part with the cutthroat restoration) but he still did not like the fact that daddy kept tossing his fish back.
I plan on buying him a 3 wt, overlining it with a wf 4 wt line and taking him out on the SF during the salmon fly hatch..... now if I can only convince his mother to allow my plans............. I really like making memories with my family.