According to the Outdoor Foundation, fishing is the top “gateway” activity, spurring involvement in other outdoor activities:
“The future of any sport lies in engaging its youngest members, so reaching individuals in their early years is critical,” said The Outdoor Foundation Executive Director Christine Fanning.
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through ground-breaking research, action-oriented convening and outreach and education programs, The Foundation is working with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. For more information about the Outdoor Foundation, visit www.outdoorfoundation.org.
That’s right, folks – fishing is good for kids. And Olive the Woolly Bugger exists for the sole purpose of getting kids interested in fishing. There will be no disguising the fact that this blog exists for the main purpose of promoting the Olive series of fly fishing books. The central character of Olive the Woolly Bugger is the sole creation of author and illustrator Kirk Werner (that would be me).
The goal of the books (there are three in the series to date) is to introduce kids to the sport of fly fishing, with hopes that those young readers will then beg their parents to take them fishing. It doesn’t matter if they fish with a fly rod, or a spinning setup or a bait casting reel: the important thing is to get kids outside, enjoying all that nature has to offer, and away from their video game controllers. Kids need to dig in the dirt, play in the water and enjoy the things that previous generations grew up doing. More and more the simple pleasures that many of us took for granted growing up is being lost on today’s youth. Face it, it’s a different world. Time changes the way our society functions. But some things should never change. Unless we get kids interested in fishing, we’ll be without stewards of the resource tomorrow. With the resource (fish, clean water, and the environment) in dire need of anglers to watch over it, what hope is there for the future? Kids are our hope. Talk to kids about fishing. Read to them about fishing. Take that kid fishing. You’ll be glad you did.
I also hope to use this forum to promote fly fishing, and fishing in general, for kids. If you know of a good book or website that is fishing and kid-related, contact me about getting it listed/featured on this site. In the meantime please check out the sites I’ve listed so far, and come back often. I hope you’ll get hooked on Olive the Woolly Bugger. And I hope you’ll take a kid fishing.