About the Family & Youth Casting Call

A Family Fishing Event for Future Nature Enthusiasts

What better way to get kids “hooked” on nature than by teaching them how to fish? This June, the Family & Youth Casting Call will once again help “set the hook” for children to learn about nature and fishing in the Washington, DC area. A wiggling fish on the end of the taut line can be one of the most tangible connections between having fun outside and learning about conserving our natural resources.

On this action-packed day, partners will provide all the tools and training necessary for families to catch fish in the C&O Canal. Volunteer instructors will teach safety and basic fishing techniques and our sponsors will supply the bait and tackle for the day’s event. For this event, a portion of the C&O Canal will be stocked with native fish and all children will have the opportunity to catch fish.

When not fishing on the canal, children will complete a series of hands-on activities to earn their National Park Service Junior Ranger Badge. Learning stations set up around the facility will teach fly-tying, water quality testing, bug identification and more. There will also be plenty to do for the little ones including fish art, touch tanks and scavenger hunts.

If you are looking for opportunities to get your kids outside to appreciate nature and provide wholesome family fun, then make sure you visit Fletcher’s Cove in the C&O Canal National Historical Park on May 16,2015. We can help you and your kids get hooked on fishing!

Interested anglers should keep checking our website, FYCC blog,FacebookTwitter and You Tube page for the most up-to-date information.

Unfortunately, the 2011 Family & Youth Casting Call had to be canceled due to severe weather that moved through the Washington, DC area on April 16. Even so, about 100 or so kids and adults ventured out in the rain before word got out. NPR Reporter, Nate Rott, spent two days with AFFTA and our partners during our events. His piece aired on Monday April 18 on NPR's "All Things Considered."


The 2010 Family & Youth Casting Call
Focusing on Future Generations

Those of us who fish a lot can’t often remember the simple joy of catching our first fish but we take our children and grandchildren out and share the joy with them.  However there are thousands of children across this country who have never fished and parents who would love to get them out but don’t have the resources or knowledge to do it themselves.  This is the vision behind the Family & Youth Casting Call – to provide families in the Washington, DC area the chance to get hooked on fishing.

“Just like the field of dreams, if we host it they will come.  It proves to me that kids and families just need an excuse – and some tools and training that we provide during this event – to get outside and have fun,” stated Alan Gnann, Chairman of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) Board.  “Much has been made about the importance of reconnecting kids and families with the great outdoors. What we really need to remember is that most just need a helping hand after that first push out the door!”

AFFTA and its partners have hosted the FYCC  for five years and it has grown substantially in the last three.  In 2009, with glorious, hot and sunny weather 
more than 500 children fished at the event.  This year a daunting report of rain deterred a larger turnout, but another 200 children spent the day learning to fish and earning their National Park Service Junior Ranger Badge.  These kids learned a great lesson – that rain doesn’t stop the fish from biting and every child caught at least one fish and many caught well more than that. 

“It often amazes me how even the most active children can sit and fish for an extended period of time if they are simply given the opportunity – the lure of catching their first fish is so strong,” commented Mike Gawtry, fishing product line manager for L.L. Bean.  “And when they hook up that first time it is almost as if an imaginary hook is set in them to connect them to a lifelong love of fishing and the outdoors.” 

Promotional Video from the 2008 Family & Youth Casting Call