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Our son was born six weeks early and spent the first three weeks of his life in an isolate in the NICU. We watched, as his little lungs would fight for breath. As we watched him hooked up to IVs and the monitors, we’d dream of the day we could take him home. We’d talk to him and tell him stories of going fishing with his Dad and how much fun he would have.
This last weekend, that dream became a reality. Our four-year-old boy was able to go fishing with his dad.
Utah is a fisherman’s dream. We have over 600 species of fish, and plentiful places to drop a line in the water. Brown trout, rainbow trout, and white fish can call be found in local streams and lakes.
Fishing is a right of passage for a child, but also a milestone for a parent. It represents the bond of father and child and the passing on of tradition to the next generation.
Taking your child on their first fishing trip is a memorable one. Using these few tips will surely get your child hooked on fishing.

1. WHAT YOU NEED TO FISH WITH KIDS
–       Fishing Pole: Our son’s first fishing pole was a cheap Spiderman pole from Wal-mart. It taught our son how to cast and hold on to the rod and reel in the line. This made for hours of entertainment. We take our little rod up to Jackson Hole each year and the nieces love it as much as the nephews. We still haven’t told them there isn’t any bait on the rod line.
–       Bait: depending on what kinds of fishing you are doing you will need bait, worms or flies.
–       Fishing license: these can be purchased online (Fishing license)
–       Hat: a nice hat to cover your head to keep the sun out of your eyes
–       Snacks & lots of water: bring something that will not melt and be sure to drink lots of water.
–       Camera: be sure to bring a camera along to document the adventure. Putting the camera in a zip lock back or a special water proof pocket is a good idea in case you fall in or the camera gets dropped.

2. PICKING THE RIGHT SPOT
Finding a good location for that first fishing trip is key. You want to have it close to amenities, a short walk and with easy terrain.
Oquirrh Lake at Daybreak is an ideal location for fishing because it is close to the freeway, has access to amenities (including restrooms), and there’s a paved trail that goes all the way around it You can fish at several designated locations around the lake as long as you have a valid Utah Fishing License. Fish you can catch in Oquirrh Lake include Trout, Small Mouth Bass, and Bluegill.

3. CATCHING THAT FIRST FISH
The first catch is a big deal, no matter how big or small the fish.
Celebrate the moment and make them feel proud of their accomplishment.
Reel the fish in and let the child hold the rod. They may or may not be eager to feel the fish, but ask them to look at the fish and describe it to you.

Enjoy your next fishing trip, we’d love to hear about your adventures.
Fish on!


RESOURCES
Here are a few resources for you as you prepare your fishing trip:
http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/fishing/
Book: Fishing Utah
OUR FAVORITE FISH BOOKS
Books are a great way to teach children about fish. Here are a few of our favorites:

–       Hooray for Fish

–       Fish is Fish
–       In My Pond
–       The Bravest Fish
–       One fish two fish red fish blue fish