Tucked away in the Eastern Sierra, there are a lot of things you can do at Mammoth Lakes. With plenty of options for family-friendly camping and activities, Mammoth Lakes continues to be popular as a destination for outdoor recreation and great mountain adventures.

Parents see the Mammoth Lakes as an excellent opportunity to do something fun with the kids. Not only can they unplug from their games and devices for a change, but it’s also a change of pace– exploring and learning something new in the great outdoors.

Fly-fishing at Mammoth Lakes is a great activity everyone in the family can enjoy.

Scott Flint from The Troutfitter recently had a chat with the good folks over at the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board and shared some insightful tips when it comes to fishing up in the mountains with the little ones.

1. The Ideal Age to Start Fishing

As a seasoned fly-fishing instructor, Flint has worked with kids of all ages. He says that five or six would be the ideal age to get the little ones into fishing.

“I’ve taught them as low as three and a half, four and a half years old but their attention span isn’t too long so it’s kind of tough to keep them involved in it,” Flint explains.

2. Keep Things Interesting

Kids are naturally curious, and so getting their attention to focus on an attention-heavy activity like fly-fishing can definitely be a challenge.

How can you keep things interesting? You know your child best, and what sort of things best capture his or her attention.

There are a good number of activities you can do alongside fly-fishing, whether as an introduction for younger kids or as a way to have a variety of other things to do in and around the water. Here are a few of Flint’s suggestions to keep things interesting for the kids:

You can throw some stuff out in the lake with a weight and float some bait off at the bottom.

You can do a fly-in-a-bubble: the kids get to see the fly out there in the water and watch the fish actually hitting it.

Lures are also great– you can throw the lure out, see the lure hit, and then try to see it coming back in and wiggling, sometimes with the fishing chasing it as well.

You could even go bug-hunting around the water and then look into the fly box to pick out selections that look like the natural bugs they’ve found.

These are just some activities you can do to keep fishing fun– which is the most important thing to consider when you’re with your little ones.

3. Bring Snacks

Another way to keep things fun: have a stash of snacks with you on your family fishing trip. Being prepared is huge when it comes to having kids out there. And even if your child is having a great time, he or she is going to want some snacks.

So make sure you have lots of snacks packed for your fishing adventure, as well as lots of cold drinks and water. You’ll probably want to bring more than you actually think you need, especially with water.

4. Bring Adequate Sun Protection

You’ll be up and about in the great outdoors for an extended period of time, so don’t forget to use sunscreen.

Up in the mountains, the sun can reflect off the surface of the water and hit you in places that you normally don’t protect with sunscreen. (So make sure you use those areas too).

“I like to bring a hat along that has a shield in the back that covers the ears in the back of the neck lots of sunscreen in the nose and nostril area lips underneath the chin because all the reflection coming up just like off of the snow,” says Flint.

5. Bring a Bug Repellent Spray

Protect the kids from nasty bug bites by packing along some bug spray as well. Bring your favorite kid-friendly bug spray or some insect repellent patches to keep insects from constantly biting them all day.

6. Bring a Change of Clothes for Warmth
Lastly, the weather can change rapidly up at Mammoth Lakes, so it’s a good idea to bring along a jacket and some pants just in case it starts getting cold.

A Final Word

Fishing at Mammoth Lakes with the kids is an excellent family bonding activity.

It’s a great way for kids to get into a new hobby, and there are lots of things to do other than the actual act of catching fish. The areas in and around the lakes (or rivers) are interesting real-life lessons in bio- and eco-sciences, maybe even a bit of physics and geology.

The important thing is to have fun. And having fun together as a family through outdoor activities like these and other exciting adventures together helps build great memories, and allows for opportunities to discover more shared interests and experiences.