Hook, Line and smiling bobber: Fishing with Kids in the Vail Valley!

Hook, Line and smiling bobber: Fishing with Kids in the Vail Valley!

Catch a fish on your first outing and it’s likely you’ll be hooked, just like the trout on the end of your line. That especially holds true for children, which is why Nova Guides makes a nearly unheard of promise to those who fish the property’s private 3-acre trout pond.

fishing with kids

Nova Guides new 3-acre fishing pond at Camp Hale

“We have a 100-percent guarantee of catching a trout at Camp Hale,” says John Knight of Nova Guides. “We think it’s important for youngsters to get a fish on as soon as possible. It really gets them excited.”

Knight is in charge of sales and marketing for Nova Guides, a year-round outdoor adventure company based in Camp Hale, located 15-miles south of Vail. “With a professional guide and three hours, you will catch a fish,” Knight continues. “We can’t make that promise for those who float the Eagle (River) or the Colorado (River), but in a controlled atmosphere, we can make that promise.”

This past fall, the company did a lot of improvements to the existing spring-fed pond, including digging it out 20-feet deep, planting more trees and adding an adaptive path around it for wheelchairs. They built a wooden bridge to an island in the middle of the pond where they placed a picnic table.

“There are fish as big as 3 and 5 pounds in there, so trophy-size fish,” Knight says. And even though the pond is stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout each year, you still have to “earn your fish,” he adds.

“It’s a wonderful thing to use during run off when the water is too high and unsafe on the rivers,” Knight says. “The pond is a wonderful fishery and we’re going to add to the experience by showing historical pictures of Camp Hale, which is an important part of Vail mountain history.”

Keep Fishing Fun

Fly fishing in the vail valley

Catch a fish and kids are hooked!

The guides over at Gore Creek Fly Fisherman know that making the experience fun for kids is imperative to a good day. That’s why they’ll do small things, like perhaps draw a smiley face on an indicator bobber.

“We tell them when the smile disappears, set the hook,” says Kyle Tzitzicas who recommends that children are at least 7 or 8 years old before they pick up a fishing rod.

Tzitzicas also recommends booking a private lesson for a child, as that one-on-one time is really crucial for youngsters who are trying to get the basics down. “We’ll take them to some slower moving water first so they can get comfortable,” he says.

Even better, attend a free fly-fishing casting clinic, offered every morning at all three Eagle County Gore Creek Fly Fisherman locations. That way kids and adults alike can get a feel for the rod and how to cast it correctly out on a wide-open lawn, which is much easier than on a tree-laden riverbank.

Fishing Outfitter Information

• Nova Guides: The private pond at Camp Hale is available for fly fishing from May to November. Nova Guides also offers fishing year round on four nearby rivers: the Colorado, the Eagle, the Arkansas and the Roaring Fork. Nova Guides provides all the equipment, including waders and rods (both available in child sizes), boats, transportation, lunch, fishing licenses and guides. www.novaguides.com

fly fishing in vail

Catching is better than fishing!

• Gore Creek Fly Fisherman: At each of its locations in Lionshead, Avon and Bachelor Gulch, Gore Creek Fly Fisherman offers free daily casting clinics. Each clinic begins at 10:30 a.m. from Memorial Weekend through September. The clinics are perfect for those who have never fly fished before and are considering trying the sport. Expert staff members lead the demonstration, and are happy to answer any general fly fishing questions. www.gorecreekflyfisherman.com

Make the most of your outdoors time with your family and go fishing!

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