First and foremost,  we’re gonna start with making sure that as adults embarking on this journey, we are in the right mindset to get ready to fish with children. This task is not for the faint of heart and is not the place to put your dreams of catching the largest fish you’ve ever caught or putting dinner on the table. This is purely for the joy of children and to build a relationship with nature that will last a lifetime.

My kids have fished off and on throughout their childhood. I started to expose them to enjoying nature when they were very young. As they got older, I used to avoid taking my kids to fish the river by myself because I was terrified that I was going to catch a large salmon and not know what to do with it.

I’ve since gotten over that fear and have also realized that the erratic casting and reeling,  loud noises, rocks that get thrown into the river make the likelihood of catching a large fish out of season that is beyond my skill set slim to nothing. There are times that I’m not even sure that we use the right bait. 

We like to fish off of the docks or on the banks at or around the various boat launches. They usually have a nice place set up and in the shallow water you can usually see small fish swimming. This helps with the kid's attention span (and mine). Throughout Tillamook County, there are also many ponds that are stocked in the spring with trout. There also are family fishing days  ( that are an awesome place to start.

 When we fish, we pack a couple extra poles. We bring a couple hand-me-down poles, one of which is a  circa 1997 Scooby Doo push button pole that was a hand-me-down from family and another pole that was acquired from who knows where. We have some other items that have been handed down and items that have been added because now, every time we enter the store, he wants to buy fishing bait or tackle. Henry’s favorite is a tackle box from my grandpa John, loaded with all the good stuff. 

We use power bait (oh my gosh it stinks!) and some fancy things that I think are possible for catching ocean fish that my son insists is for river fish (remember: goal with small children is to not catch all the fish. It’s just to build a love of nature and grow the likelihood of having a wonderful hobby into adulthood.). We also stop by the sporting goods store and grab some worms before we go.

Do know that Oregon requires licensing and tags. This information can be found  here:

This year I went on a guided trip early in the spring (more on that in another blog) so I went with the sportsman’s pack when I purchased my tags.  I was feeling pretty wild,  thinking that I was going to do much more hunting and such than I actually will. Although, there is still time… maybe I can catch a bear or an elk. 

When I think about why this is something that’s important to me, it absolutely has to do with my personal experience growing up on the coast as a child. I spent a lot of time in nature, fishing, playing in the rivers and just exploring. Also, please put your children in life jackets, unlike mine in the pictures. When asked if it’s about catching fish, Henry says “nope, it’s about having fun”. 

Contributed by Sarah Dental, Rob Trost Real Estate, LLC



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