For All Ages, Fishing is Fun and Easy to Learn

Kevin Sauls
By Kevin Sauls March 15, 2014 00:16

Fishing is easy to learn, relatively inexpensive, and young and old alike can enjoy it together.

“We see a lot of dads taking their kids out, and we even have a mother who takes her son out,” says Scott Smallfield of Sierra Mountain Outdoors in Sutter Creek. “It’s kind of an all-ages thing.”

“I’d rather teach the parents to teach the kids rather than teach the kids how to fish,” says Bill Reynolds of Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold. “That’s something that’ll be etched in their minds forever. It’s a great family outing.”

“The fish aren’t always biting, so there’s time for good conversations,” says John Liechte of Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp. “When the fish are biting, everyone gets excited.”

Getting started costs less than a lot of hobbies. Liechte says the average lake or stream fisherman can buy a rod and reel for about $30 and “the most basic bait rig – Power Bait and nightcrawlers,” for less than $10.

Smallfield says a starter outfit for fly fishing will cost around $150.

The cost of a resident fishing license, issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for each calendar year and good for all ocean and inland waters, is $46.44. Shorter-term and lifetime licenses are also available.

Discount or free licenses are offered to low-income seniors, Native Americans and disabled Californians; learn more online at

Fishing basics can easily be learned through instructional materials, at a sports shop, from a fishing guide or by trial and error.

And though fly fishing involves finesse and delicate casting, often in tight quarters, “It looks harder than it is,” assures Smallfield.

Fishing offers many benefits, these veteran anglers say.

“It’s not just about going out and catching fish,” Liechte says. “It’s spending a little bit of time away from technology and out in the wild.”

“We get a lot of people who haven’t fished since they were young, and they want to experience that all again,” Reynolds says. “And they enjoy being in the woods.”

“I have a 5-year-old daughter,” adds Smallfield, “and it’s a good chance for us to get outside.”


Copyright © 2014 Friends and Neighbors Magazine


Kevin Sauls
By Kevin Sauls March 15, 2014 00:16
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