View Full Version : What age to start kids tying?

10-24-2010, 08:24 PM
So I was walking through the bps in Clarksville, In, when cardfly jr. says he thinks he would like to learn to tie flys. That's why I love that boy.:biggrin:

He is 9. Do you think he is ready? I am always looking for a reason to go to LRO and Townsend.

10-25-2010, 03:28 AM
I don't think it's "what age" as much as a maturity question. If he can sit there for an hour while you teach him how to begin to tie a fly, then he may be ready. If he's squirming after 30 minutes and wanting to go outside or play with the cat.....well,......:)

10-25-2010, 09:03 AM
He is certainly ready! Lets see here... Jack was 5 when he started, and it was mostly him holding the materials on the hook while I tied them down, but I let him be creative and choose what to tie on next to make his "own" flies. He does ok with foam flies now. He tied a #12 black beetle with blue legs and pink chenille tag on back for visibility, and caught over 30 bream on a pond back in TX with it. No legs left and the foam was shredded. I keep it put up now for sentimental reasons. Nolan who is 5 now is helping me tie flies for him as well. He loves it.
As of now they tie their own green weenies, foam beetles, wooly buggers (with some help), and some other simple flies. There is nothing as exciting as watching a 5 year old catch a fish, except for the huge swell of pride you see in them when they catch fish on a lure they tied themselves.
On top of all that, its a great way to sit in a chair next to your boy and teach him something for an hour, just spending good quiet time together. My boys cherish it, and so do I. We went on a hike in the Smokys the other day, and stopped by a stream and caught bugs for an hour, and now they are very excited to tie some new flies based on what we found. The flies wont be perfect, and may well sometimes be a waste of hooks, but ugly trout flies make GREAT bream flies. And with your son being 9, he will be a pro before you know it.

Start with the easy flies first of course, foam is your friend, and remember, bluegill eat anything.

Jacks foam spider, tied completely by himself.

One of MANY bream Jack caught that day on his foam beetle.

10-25-2010, 09:06 AM
I agree with Owl on this one. Its not an "age" question, but if he has the attributes of concentration, patience, and attention to detail, then he should do just fine tying flies. The Spring 2010 issue of Fly Tyer magazine profiled a young 5th grade boy who ties flys, and from what I saw, he was good! Heck, you might even pick up the habit, if you're not tying now!


10-25-2010, 10:42 AM
Maturity and patience, as mentioned. Start with simple flies. JayB has the right idea. Craft foam is cheap and easy to work with. I have a simple trout fly- basically an Adams without the wings: hook, dark tail, tan or any color dubbing, brown or ginger hackle. Should be easy to tie for the youngster. Let us see some pictures of his work and fish caught on his flies. Next thing will be building his own rods. I had a 12 year old in my last building class. Did a great job!
P. S.- lived east of Lousiville in the Lyndon area off Shelbyville Road.

10-25-2010, 01:13 PM
I think he may have the maturity and patience, it's his daddy I am worried about.

We may give it a whirl at the next LRO class. Knothead, I too lived in Lyndon many years ago. I'm now back in the southend where I grew up.

10-25-2010, 02:45 PM

I live in Pewee Valley, looks like we all have probably run into each other some time or the other.

Louisville TU ties flies on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Commonwealth Bank on N. Hubbards Ln. at 7:00 PM. Don't need to bring anything, or be a TU member, they will help you and your son out.

Not trying to knock out LRO, but I don't think LRO has set their 2011 tying class schedule yet, and TU could help you and your son out right now. Winter is a great time to tie, as the weather around here is usually UGLY, as I'm sure you know. You should still try to go to LRO in the spring, as they will have their classes, and some great tyiers such as Walter Babb, Hugh Hartsell, et al, will be teaching. Troutfest in May (?) 2011 will have some great learning experiences also.


P.S. If you're interested, 3 to 7 of us tyiers meet informally at Forward Cast Fly Shop in St. Matthews on Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM to tie flies, eat donuts, and tell stories. Saturday morning should be great for both you and your son. We tie all kinds of flies from trout, bass, bluegill, steelhead, saltwater, etc.
Come and watch and tie if you like, anyone is invited. ;)

No Hackle
10-26-2010, 10:25 AM
Cardfly, My son used to sit with me @ the bench for 30 min - 1 hr when he was 3 and 4 years I never asked him he just wanted to be with me and for me that was enough. He was the same way with fishing. Now its a different story now its video games and rock throwing. I never have pressured him. he's 7 now and I'll ask him to sit with me and he will, I think it's out of respect now. Maybe he'll come around, if he does great if not maybe I'll have to learn to play that Star Wars game.