During my efforts to teach my 10 year old son how to cast a fly rod, my 5 year old daughter has expressed serious interest in learning to cast as well. The other day I “caught” her trying to learn Mel Krieger’s “down-up” motions of the double hall while I was watching my copy of “The Essence of Fly Casting” DVD. While the double haul was obviously too many movements for her to pickup, she remains interested in being able to cast like her dad and brother.
I realize that 5 is pretty young to learn fly casting however, I’ve found a way to get her involved and keep my son interested in practicing casting. To do this, I picked up Echo’s Micro Practice Rod (http://www.echoflyfishing.com/mpr.php) and my son, daughter and I play “tag the trout” in the yard with the practice rod. We have the caster stand in one spot and pull the practice rope with its yarn leader in a nice straight line. The person who gets to cast next stand in the spot just shy of the end of the extended leader and waits for the caster to touch them with the leader. This generates lots of laughs and lots of practice to get that darn leader to extend long enough to “tag the trout”. I've been labeled the elusive greenback cutthroat (because I have a bad habit of moving around a bit making it hard to tag me). With decent form the caster gets the job done. So far so good.
Perhaps my daughter will be out fishing “the men” of the family in no time? Much to my son’s disgust, she reminds us frequently that she caught (via bobber/worms) the most panfish on our last fishing trip...