One of the best things about fly fishing is that you always learn something new. You can fish new water, head to unknown places, try different styles, and catch new species. But what happens when all of a sudden you have a baby in your backpack? Do you give up your time on the water, or change your fishing habits? I would say that fly fishing with a baby is more than a decision, it is an attitude, a lifestyle choice all its own. A choice that will require many compromises: more planning, flexibility, and patience. Choosing to focus on the positives and not the challenges will open up a whole new world of experiences together. You will notice that you are heading into the future, which looks quite brilliant.

Determined to live the family lifestyle, when our son was born we decided to take him with us whenever possible. For us, giving him the experience of letting nature be his playground was important. Our first year was filled with hours on the river learning to fly fish together. The urban waters near our home were a good place to start. Being nearby made it easy to make short visits.

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Photo by Antti Takaniemi

As an infant, it was simple to take him in a wagon to the river where he just slept and ate alternately. But that was only a tiny little moment in time. It wasn’t long before he wanted to explore and move around without any patience to stay in place. At that point, a good backpack was worth its weight in baby gold. The type of carrier depends on you. Just make sure that there are pockets for baby needs, fishing gear, and integrated weather protection, which is a big plus for outdoor enthusiasts like us. Fly fishing during the baby-year was challenging, since he was growing so quickly, making the situations and rhythms ever-changing. Flexibility was key.

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Photo by Antti Takaniemi